Re­defin­ing the mean­ing of big

Waitaki Herald - - MOTORING - By NI­COLA WOLFE

very­thing about Be­van Chap­man’s 1962 Chevrolet Im­pala is larger than life.

The car, like many of the era, boasts vi­va­cious curves, tons of room, a cool paint job and a roar­ing en­gine.

And that is just the rea­son why Chap­man prefers cars from the 1960s.

‘‘I like the style of older cars rather than new cars,’’ the Oa­maru man said.

‘‘I’ve owned about four de­cent older cars in­clud­ing this and a 1969 Ca­maro.’’

Chap­man im­ported the Im­pala from Australia six years ago.

It needed a lit­tle work done on it, a gen­eral tidy up that Chap­man did him­self.

He re­painted it, fixed the en­gine and mo­tor parts and boxed out the boot.

‘‘I tend to muck around with cars to tidy them up,’’ Chap­man said when asked if he re­stores cars.

The Im­pala has a 300 horse power 327-en­gine, air-ride sus­pen­sion and pil­lar­less win­dows.

It is also left-hand drive and runs in miles. He was un­sure of its top speed. ‘‘It’s not re­ally a fast car, more a cruiser. Some­thing to use on the week­ends. Runs pretty good, heaps of car,’’ said Chap­man.

‘‘It can be quite thirsty on long jour­neys depend­ing on how heavy your foot is [but] gen­er­ally, it’s no thirstier than a V8.’’

Other than week­ends, the Im­pala doesn’t come out much, not in the win­ter at least, ex­cept for the car shows and events.

It has been to the Cromwell Car Show and to an event in Ran­giora, and has also done a good dash at the Oa­maru air­port with the Oa­maru Hot Rod Club at Oa­maru Drag Rac­ing.

Chap­man will take the Im­pala out again for the next event on March 7, where he vol­un­teers as a gen­eral helper.

Wher­ever the Im­pala goes, it gets ‘‘lots of looks’’.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple will tell me about some­one they know who had sim­i­lar cars,’’ Chap­man said.

His other car, a 1969 Ca­maro is also popular when it’s out and about.

‘‘It’s a lot smaller, more a mus­cle car. Gets lots of looks.’’

Chap­man does not think he had a favourite thing about the Im­pala, though he does love the pil­lar­less win­dows.

When asked how he thinks cars from the 1960s com­pare to cars from other eras, Chap­man replied: ‘‘I like the style of older cars rather than new cars. The 1970s cars don’t re­ally do it for me.’’

Driv­ing: Chap­man has owned a few cars in his life­time but cars from around the 1960s are his favourite.

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