’64 Chevy Biscayne: A Classic, Timeless Appeal

Photos & Words:  Kevin Cole | Copy Edit: Richard Graves

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GM produced the Biscayne between 1958 and 1972, during which time it served as one of Chevrolet’s cheapest full-size vehicles. Although primarily intended for the fleet market, they were also available to the general public.  The Biscayne did not come with any of the fancy interior trimmings or exterior chrome pieces made famous by the up-market Bel-Air and top line Impalas.  However, this lack of frills made the car an instant hit with hot-rodders looking for budget builds.

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Most Biscaynes were originally sold with a V6 engine, but being so closely related to the Impala, the latter’s big block V8 engines proved easy swaps for those looking for more power.  Engines aside, even the trunk lids were  interchangeable between the two. This particular Biscayne has had the trunk lid swapped to an Impala to match the other Impala-esque modifications.  Originally the Biscayne, like the Bel-Air ,was easily identified by its two taillights per-side vs. the triples on the Impala.

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Speaking of “this particular Biscayne”, our owner, John Walker was somewhat obliged to become mechanically inclined having lived on a farm most of his life.  There was no, “calling the mechanic” he had to just fix whatever broke.  This translated into his car hobby.  John’s son, Thomas, states, “My Dad would buy some piece of junk, and make something good out of it. I guess that just stuck.” I definitely believe that idea stuck with him considering the beautiful transformation this once lackluster Biscayne has enjoyed.

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John’s first car was a ’78 Camaro,  followed in no particular order by a ’70 Monte Carlo and ’73 Javelin. John has also completed ground up restorations on a ’56 Willys and an ’86 Chevy 4×4. The Javelin and 4×4 were father-son projects. John says that he has a love for Land Cruisers as well. It would seem that John loves nearly anything automotive, and we at Forward Motion definitely appreciate that.

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Before owning this Biscayne, John had always wanted a 4 speed car that was fast and loud. He states, “The mechanics were there [with the Biscayne] and so was the potential. Plus it’s a `64 and so am I so the trade was made.”

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When John first got the car, it needed a healthy dose of TLC. The floors were rusted out, the interior needed some updating, the wiring was barely good enough to start the car and keep it running, and the paint was badly faded. John started by replacing the floors and finished by completely rewiring the entire vehicle.

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The original seats were traded out for a set of Impala Super Sport items both front and rear wrapped in some fresh leather. John made his own custom door panels and added a billet steering wheel to finish off the interior.

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The exterior received a multitude of upgrades. The front and rear bumpers and grill received some sparkling new chrome, the emblems were freshened up, and a pair of new billet rear view mirrors were also added.

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Wheels and tires were changed out from the original steel wheels and hubcaps to a set of American Racing Torq Thrust II’s and some Yokohama Rubber. The big block beats the ground via a chrome tipped Flow Master exhaust crooked out the side just in front of the driver side rear wheel.

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Rather than chrome dip the side molding, John chose to shave it instead. This gives the side of the car a clean, sleek look. McNabb Auto Body painted the car a classic deep black. The combination of black with chrome and billet details gives this Biscayne a classic, timeless appeal.

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The original V6 engine made way for a high compression 454 big block with a hydraulic Comp cam and roller rocker arms.  Fuel and air flow to the motor through a Holley 850 carb. The Exhaust finds its way to those side-pipes by way of Hooker Competition Plus headers.

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The only current plans for John’s Biscayne involve a disc brake conversion and rear axle swap…but, as John says, “… you never get done as long as you own one.”

Being a car builder myself, I could not agree more.

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Engine

  • High Compression 454
  • Hydraulic Comp Cam
  • Roller Rocker Arms
  • Holley 850 Carb
  • Hooker Competition Headers
  • FlowMaster Exhaust
  • Edelbrock Valve Covers

Exterior

  • Chromed Bumpers & Grill
  • Billet Mirrors
  • Shaved Side Molding
  • Impala Trunk Lid
  • American Racing Torq Thrust II Wheels
  • Yokohama Tires
  • Fresh Black Paint by McNabb Auto Body

Interior

  • New Floors
  • Complete Rewire
  • Custom Homemade Door Panels
  • Impala Super Sport Seats
  • Billet Steering Wheel

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John would like to say thanks to:

“Miller Auto Parts in Bean Station for vintage parts. Also Hubbard Impala parts for new parts and chrome. Special thanks to Jamie McNabb at McNabb Auto Body for making it look good.”

Also to our readers, John would like to say, “Go get your hands greasy. It’s fun!”

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