Chad Moskery attends the Hot Rod Power Tour® almost every year. The upside of Power Tour® is that you get to travel the country with a bunch of car guys, and, if you want, turn it into a big car-shopping trip. While on the tour, Chad's black Nova, which we ran in the Dec. '08 issue, attracted the attention of an Indiana local who was driving a barn-fresh 283, four-speed '62 Impala. Just the kind of car Chad likes to build. “The rougher, the better,” he says.
Chad bought it six months later with no engine or transmission and began to hatch a plan to build an LS-swapped street machine for the Car Craft Summer Nationals in St. Paul, Minnesota. Chad is a big fan of Internet swap parts, so he quickly scored an LS2 and a six-speed from an '05 GTO and an MP112 MagnaCharger from Craigslist.
Chad then took the car over to Cody Bray at Bray Motorsports in Ridgedale, Missouri, who fabbed up the intercooler and the heat exchanger for the blower. Chad put the engine and transmission in the car to make it a cruiser/driver, built for summer fun at car shows. Will the Impala smoke the tires? “Oh yeah, through all three gears. People love this car and gather around, and it gets 28 mpg with the six-speed and 3.42:1 gears,” Chad says.
It is an Anniversary Gold car with gold interior that you just don't see that often. Chad didn't touch the body or the interior, even keeping the original windshield that was so sun-damaged it was hard to see through. Chad added the wheels, tires, and the engine combo, and called it good. It seems to be what people like about the car.
This isn't the first time Chad has built an attention-getter with minimum parts. He specializes in taking original bodies, adding modern running gear, and driving it until someone makes him an offer. “Around here, you can't rely on body shops—they make the car hobby an unhappy situation, so I don't use them. They take too long and are really expensive. I have OCD—if I can't have something right away, I don't want it.”
You can see Chad and his pals at the Car Craft Summer National in St. Paul in the summer. We never know what he's going to roll in with, but it's always the center of attention.
Who: Chad Moskery
Where: Des Moines, Iowa
What: 1962 Chevy Impala Convertible
Body: This thing is original all the way down to the factory paint and interior. It was parked outside next to a barn in Oklahoma for 20 years before it was found by its former owner when he got lost on the way to a jobsite. It had a running 283 and a four-speed. He added a new gas tank, tuned it up, and drove it away. Yes, they are still out there, just a lot rustier.
Suspension: The former owner also added RideTech's air-spring suspension to make it a fun cruiser and kept the original steel wheels. Chad added E-T Vintage V 17x8 and 18x10 wheels with Nitto NT555 245/40ZR17 and 275/35ZR18 tires, installed a new RideTech controller, and dumped the car on the ground.
Powertrain: The GTO was equipped with a 5.7L LS1 in 2004 and in 2005–2006 had a 6.0L LS2 mill. Chad found a 6.0L from an '05 on eBay and added a used MagnaCharger MP112. With a factory GM computer and HP Tuners, it makes 500 hp at the wheel with 14 pounds of boost. The transmission is a six-speed that required transmission-tunnel surgery and a new crossmember to fit. It uses a Z06 clutch.
Brakes: The front and rear brakes are from a '98 F-body. CPP sells a bracket to adapt the 11-inch rotors to the 12-bolt rearend, and Chad modified the stock front spindles for the 12-inch rotors. He also used the stock F-body calipers.
Rearend: The 12-bolt is from a pile at the local junkyard that was measured to fit. Chad thinks it is from a fullsize Caprice that happened to have a 3.42:1 gear ratio and a limited-slip. He got lucky on that one.
Thanks: Cody Bray at Bray Motorsports