the necessary information regarding the car. Jeff also learned that the Impala had been repainted: until then, the all cars Jeff had imported into New Zealand had retained their original paint, so he decided to carry out some more research. Paul also sent Jeff a copy of the Chevrolet’s title. Armed with this, Jeff was able to track down the car’s previous owner, Doug, in Florida, who was able to explain that the car had already been repainted when he got it, and that he’d sold it as it didn’t have air conditioning. In passing, he also said that he still had a set of 1959 Cadillac tail lights that he’d taken off the Impala. Doug had acquired the Impala via a car swap with a Texan named Gerald. Eager to uncover the history behind the Impala, Jeff now sought out Gerald. When he finally found him, it turned out that he’d purchased the car from the son of the original owner, that person having had it for 40 years. Gerald had spotted the Impala for sale in a magazine, and it was exactly what he’d been looking for: a car in need of TLC but completely rust-free. He also told Jeff that the car’s first owner, who’d purchased the Impala new, changed the original transmission from manual to auto when he’d got older.
After acquiring the Chevrolet, Gerald had repainted and reupholstered the car — it was then that he’d done the swap with Doug, the swapped car being a 1959 Ford retractable.
After following this trail of ownership history, Jeff was convinced of the car’s authenticity and condition, so he contacted Paul again and proceeded with the purchase. The car finally arrived in New Zealand in August 2008.
Jeff also got back in touch with Doug, who kindly sent him the 1959 Cadillac tail lights he’d held on to, and these have since been reunited with the car.
However, as they say in the TV commercials, ‘but wait, there’s more’. Jeff has been busy buying a few more cars since our featured Impala arrived and is also the proud owner of a custom 1965 Chevrolet Impala, complete with 51mm roof chop, shaved door handles, and tuck-and-roll upholstery, as well as a 1930 Ford Model A roadster nostalgia hot rod that was built in the US in 1959, this last car being something of a departure for Jeff from his Impala collection.
Jeff’s daughter Hayley is involved in the fashion industry. As you can see by our photographs, she loves to dress up in period style and feels right at home in any of her father’s cars. She is also looking forward to the day when she can drive one of the Impalas to Beach Hop — maybe that’ll happen next year, so keep an eye out for Hayley in one of her dad’s Chevys.