LIMA — Beautiful cars such as Matt Billingsley’s 1960 Chevy Impala usually carry a lot of nostalgia mixed with sentiment. And that’s exactly what Billingsley’s car does for him.
He has owned this beauty for four years. His dad bought a 1960 Chevy Bel Air, black, four-door, brand new.
“I drove it in high school,” Billingsley said. “So I have been wanting this for 30 years.”
That’s not where the similarities stop, as Billingsley’s license plate is 666YJ, which is the license plate his dad’s car carried.
“When I grew up my dad had it on his car. We had to clear it through the state. YJ is the Allen County designation,” Billingsley said.
The Impala was Chevy’s popular flagship passenger vehicle. It was among the best-selling American-made cars in the U.S.
The 1960 Impala had a dychotomy in styling, as it kept some of the ‘50s flare while incorporating Impala touches, such as the round tail lights.
Billingsley’s Impala features a 350 engine with power steering and transmission. The color is opal, which is original to the car, as is the interior.
The trunk space is large, which is something that reminded Billingsley of his dad’s car.
“We used to sneak three guys in it to go to the drive-in,” laughed Billingsley.
Billingsley drives his car every chance he gets, including in the winter.
“I drive it when there’s no ice, just to keep it running,” Billingsley said. “I come back and clean it.”