Saturday, January 10, 2004

'62 red Impala's her perfect car

By Lauren Bishop
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Nancy Seiter sits inside a 1962 Chevy Impala her husband bought and rebuilt nearly 20 years ago. He then painted it red, "the correct color." And, no, she won't sell it. So don't ask.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/ERNEST COLEMAN

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At 18, Nancy Seiter of Whitewater Township bought her first car: a blue, 1962 Chevy Impala, purchased used from Glenway Chevrolet. Blue wasn't her favorite color, she says, but at least it was a convertible.

Three years later, she traded in the Impala for a new Pontiac GTO, but not without a twinge of regret for giving up what she calls the "love-of-my-life car."

"I'd always loved it and I always said if I had another car to keep forever, it would be a '62 Chevy convertible," she said.

Years later, her husband, Jim, found one for sale - cheap, because it needed to be completely redone. A mechanic, he ventured into new territory by painting it red - "the correct color," Seiter says - installing new white seats and making other cosmetic improvements.

That was nearly 20 years ago, and the Impala is still rolling, with only 90,000 miles on it. Seiter drives a Chevy Blazer most of the time, or other cars at her disposal via her husband's used-car lot.

But she takes the Chev, as she calls it, to run errands on nice days, and to the James Dean Run in Fairmount, Ind. once a year. And despite offers, she's not giving it up anytime soon.

"I still have it and it's still absolutely perfect," she says. "If you ever see that car and I'm not in it, something's wrong."

First car: Her first 1962 Chevrolet Impala.

Dream car: Her Impala, or an Auburn Boattail Speedster.

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