Years of work ‘worth every cent’ for Chevy

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Cruising in style…Chanelle Purser with her refurbished 1960 Chevrolet Impala, originally imported from the USA. PHOTO: Phillip Purser

Chanelle Purser’s 1960 Chevrolet Impala arrived in New Zealand with a little something extra.

“We were looking for something similar to my husband’s 1965 Chevrolet and finally found one in the United States,” she said.

“It arrived four and a-half years ago with a dead squirrel in it.”

The Tapanui local knew the car had been sitting around for a while and was not in its original condition.

“We knew when we purchased it it had a bit of rust, but the interior had been redone and was exactly what we wanted,” she said.

However, it took four years to bring the car up to New Zealand’s registration standards, a job which was completed by friend and engineer, Aidan Helm.

“Aidan did the body work as a wee bit of side project,” she said.

“There was a lot of rust in the boot.”

After some research she discovered it was a common problem with cars of this make.

“We considered whether to cut it off and replace it altogether.”

They did, and asked their overseas contacts to help find a replacement.

“Then we repainted the car and put it back together.”

The car was red when it arrived but Mrs Purser changed it to a titanium grey so the red interior would pop.

It also has a digital dash and a 468 big-block motor.

“It was an expensive exercise but worth every cent.”

The car is one of three Mrs Purser and her husband Phillip plan to buy for each of their three children, to leave as a legacy.

They plan to get a third within the next decade.

She is not a car club member but does enjoy the social aspect of taking the car to shows.