Get notified via text and email before this lot crosses the auction block.
Lot 19 1961 Chevrolet Impala "Double Bubble" Custom
CHASSIS NO: 11837L106806
• One-of-a-kind Chevrolet Impala “Double Bubble” Wagon • Winner of numerous awards including Great 8 Ridler Winner and Goodguys’ Builder’s Choice • Over $1.5 million invested in custom fabrication and restoration • Premium custom interior by Paul Atkins
409 cid V-8 engine, Tremec five-speed transmission with McLeod clutch, Mustang II System front suspension, Be Cool radiator, Eagle crankshaft, RideTech ShockWaves, Flowmaster muffler
Anyone who follows the hot rod or restomod scene in the United States would be hard-pressed not to feel the buzz surrounding this 1961 Chevy Impala “Double Bubble.” It’s been written up everywhere and has garnered countless awards including the coveted Great 8 Ridler as well as two Goodguys’ Builder’s Choice Awards. “It all started with me wanting to create what I thought a 1961 Impala concept car might look like after the demise of the two-door Nomad,” owner Joe Horisk explained to Street Rodder Magazine. The result is a one-of-a-kind, fully custom creation that Detroit’s master minds never even envisioned, but it does pull the greatest innovations from their mid-century designs and engineering. This labor of love pooled some of the most talented craftsmen from around the country to create what is now popularly coined the “Double Bubble” – the result is a sleek, bubble top wagon that truly knows no rival.
It all began with the body design at the lauded Greening Auto Company in Nashville. The owner started with a 1961 Chevrolet Impala then the body was entirely stripped of all trim and even door handles before the real work began. The hood was lengthened four inches, the quarter panels were modified then CNC billet side trim and custom fender spears were added. To accomplish the desirable “double bubble” roof and elongate it to accommodate a wagon, a 1961 Pontiac roof was seamlessly added to the rear then the overall roof was chopped three inches. The windshield was laid back two inches, Nomad-style roof rips were fabricated then the front door seams and pillars were redesigned for a perfect flush fit with the revised windshield, which also boasted custom glass. After fenders were flared, a set of extra wide, modified Goodyear Eagle tires were custom designed with a strip of gold to match the fender spears. The show-stopping body is dressed in premium Glasurit Paint in a stunning white juxtaposed with golden fender spears.
The interior of the Double Bubble is equally impressive. Custom crafted by none other than Paul Atkins, one of the preeminent interior and dash work artisans in the country, this lush golden-brown leather, matching carpets, brightwork and lighting worthy of an arthouse film, take this ride to a whole other level. Derived from a 1961 Cadillac, the bucket seats are draped in rich brown leather that matches the golden fender spear that runs the length of the car and are offset by chrome trim work and a waterfall motif in the rear. Even custom armrests are lit with museum-level lighting. The custom, period-evoking dash is chrome, outfitted with Classic instrument gauges, then trimmed in matching leather. The adjustable steering column is adorned by a Motorhead Jewelry shift handle. Vintage air-conditioning flows through custom chrome slats. The glovebox, shifter plate and pedals are all custom chrome and evoke the early sixties with a flourish. The rear wagon bed features matching carpet with chrome strips inlaid with leather. While the exterior may be the most unusual, visually striking vehicle on four wheels, the opulent, detailed interior may just steal the show.
The work under the hood is far from pedestrian. A Chevrolet 409, big-block V-8 engine, with 473 cubic-inches and compression ratio of 10.5:1, is complemented by an Eagle crankshaft, Edelbrock cylinder heads and pistons, a Be Cool radiator and cooling components fan, stacked fuel infection, Tremec five-speed transmission, McLeod clutch, custom headers and exhaust as well as Flowmaster mufflers. The front suspension is derived from a Mustang II system with rack and pinion steering and is augmented with four-corner RideTech ShockWaves and Wilwood brakes. Even the undercarriage is show worthy and has often been displayed to great effect with mirrors underneath. This singular custom Impala has only seen 400 miles since completion and is engineered to be a thrilling driver as well as a showstopper at any venue on the world stage.