1959 Chevrolet Impala Steve Cook Creations

Steve Cook Creations Creates an Amazing 1959 Chevrolet Impala Custom Rod Finalist

There are some vintage cars that seem like they were designed to be customized, such as 1959 Chevrolet Impala. Just look at the horizontal fins above the cat’s eye taillamps, the wide, flat hood, and the overall low and lean profile.

1959 Chevrolet Impala Steve Cook Creations

The styling of the ’59 has always been a favorite of David Rush and he had been looking for one for several years when a one-family-owned example popped up on eBay. With a rendering from Alan Childers as inspiration and a target, the Chevy was placed in the hands of Steve Cook Creations to become a custom rod reality.

1959 Chevrolet Impala Steve Cook Creations

The distinctive body of the ’59 provided a solid canvas to work with as the Cook crew set about some subtle modifications. The front wheel openings were raised and lengthened, which led to extending the fender body line into the doors. The rockers received reworking and the hood inserts were recessed for a subtle touch, while the bumpers were smoothed and tucked tighter to the body. A Porsche Adventure Green color was selected from BASF to cover the sheet metal and applied in-house, followed by loads of perfected stainless and chrome work by Ogden Chrome.

1959 Chevrolet Impala Steve Cook Creations

A 1959 Chevrolet Impala dash requires little to look custom, so the Cook team smoothed and added a few shrewd updates including Dakota Digital instrumentation highlighted with custom lenses, bezels and trim. Gabe’s Custom Interiors wrapped the custom seats and console in Moore & Giles leather to create a contemporary custom interior that retains some classic Impala heritage.

1959 Chevrolet Impala Steve Cook Creations

Under the hood, Dave wanted to have the appearance of the famous 409 valve covers but the performance of a modern muscle machine, so a call was placed to Don Hardy Racing Engines. A Chevrolet Performance LS3 was selected and then topped with a Magnuson supercharger to boost the output to 800-horsepower. It was then dressed with a set of classic W-engine valve covers to get the right look for Dave. To improve the driving experience, a T56 Tremec six-speed transmission delivers power to the 9-inch axle through 3.70 gears.

1959 Chevrolet Impala Steve Cook Creations

With all that power on tap, the factory X-frame was just not going to cut it, so a Roadster Shop chassis fitted with RideTech coil-over suspension to achieve the perfect stance. Six-piston Baer calipers with 14-inch rotors are positioned behind a set of custom-cut Curtis Speed wheels that mimic vintage Impala wheel covers and are swathed in BF Goodrich rubber.

After winning the coveted Slonaker Award at the 2024 Grand National Roadster Show, it’s little surprise that David’s 1959 Chevrolet Impala was named a finalist for the Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year in Del Mar. It’s a fitting award for a car that makes such a natural custom rod.

Photos by Michael Christensen

 

Todd Ryden is first and foremost a car guy and admits to how lucky he is to have been able to build a career out of a hobby that he enjoys so much. He’s owned muscle cars and classics, raced a bit and has cruised across the country. With over 25 years in the industry from the manufacturing and marketing side to writing books and articles, he just gets it.