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 Bit of a surprise... The owner of a 1964 Impala Chev, Trevor Roughan, told his wife Anne he had bought the car while they were at the airport, about to go on holiday to Australia with friends.PHOTO: ASHLEIGH MARTIN

A 1964 Chevy Impala was snapped up by Trevor Roughan after the previous owner had to sell the car to put a new roof on his house before the house went up for sale.

Mr Roughan said he had been talking to a guy at a funeral and told him he had always wanted a Chev Impala, and the man said he was trying to sell the house of someone who had one.

“I went straight down to see him,” Mr Roughan said.

Now Mr Roughan is only the third owner of the New Zealand new right-hand drive vehicle.

When he was growing up, Mr Roughan’s next-door neighbours always had Chev Impala cars, and he said he thought one day he was going to buy one.

“Anne [Mr Roughan’s wife] and I were going on a trip to Australia with some friends and I said ‘How much money have we got in the bank?’ and she said ‘We’ve got plenty for this trip, don’t worry’ and I said ‘No, I’ve actually just bought a Chev car’.

thought I’d just sneak this in.”

Mrs Roughan said he told her while they were at the airport with their friends.

The pair had owned the car for nine years now.

“I didn’t quite have it finished for my second daughter to get married in, but the next two daughters have had it as a wedding car and friends of ours have a ’77 Holden Statesman exactly the same colour, so the two of them go together quite well.”

He said his five sons-in-law also enjoyed driving the Impala.

Mr Roughan said the big car’s first big outing was when “Americarna” came to Southland.

“In my retirement I would love to go and do the Americarna run again in the North Island or even the top of the South Island.”

“I think there was 140 cars last time it came to Southland.”

Mr Roughan said the car was beautiful to drive.

“It just kind of floats along – I mean it’s not like the modern cars, but it’s very well built; it hasn’t got a squeak or a rattle with it.”