Often when we venture out and decide to begin a new project we scourer the interwebs looking for the perfect canvas to begin the journey. Other times that project might land in your lap like it was meant to be. For Jason Haase of Pasco, Washington he hit a home run when he came across this 1965 Chevy Impala, for a mere fifty dollars, which at the time was just a bare shell. Even though this might have deterred some potential owners, with Jason’s long resume of cutting up trucks and cars, this massive project wasn’t too much for him to tackle. Wanting something a bit larger now that the Haase Family was growing, Jason moved from the ground huggin’ trucks that he was use to cruising with his club Visions, and was ready to build the perfect yet unique family cruiser.
Starting with just a 4dr 1965 Impala shell, he knew this would be a long term build that he wanted to tackle in his spare time, but he had no idea just how little “spare time” he would have as the family began to take most of his time and efforts outside of work. As with any project of this magnitude, life tends to get in the way a bit and a relocation and three children later and Jason was finally able to complete the gorgeous build you see pictured here. Built on a “family man” budget and doing the work himself, Jason was able to still accomplish his goal of a body dropped four-door cruiser that his family would be proud to cruise in all over town. Right out of the gate, Jason knew that a body drop was in order so he got to work cutting out the floor and reworking the suspension to perfect the flat-on-the-ground stance he was after. Along with cutting and moving the floor up, he had to drop and rework the core support and raise the gas tank to accommodate the ultimate in Slam’d.
Photos: Mike Alexander | Words: Jason Ballard
Four-door cars of yesteryear tend to be the “utilitarian” models and are not always babied during their lifetime of toting the family around and getting things done. This meant Jason definitely had his work cut out for him restoring this baby back to its original luster. A custom trucker at heart and a body man and painter by trade, Jason couldn’t leave well enough alone and began by shaving the front emblems, roof gutters, and trunk emblem. A custom-built hood gave the Impala a menacing look, while also giving plenty of engine clearance after the bodydrop. The metal and bodywork didn’t stop with the exterior of the car. Wanting a truly custom build both inside and out, Jason smoothed the dash, rear package tray, inner sail panels and b-pillars. Prior to the laying down the PPG Scion Envy Green paint, Jason ensured the body was straight and smooth so all of his hard work would shine through. Not totally happy with the paint the first go-round, Jason proceeded to strip it paint it again a second time. Dedication to any build and ensuring the final details are dialed is what sets these builds apart from the rest, and these details are generally what earns that feature spot right here in Slam’d Mag.
The engine on the Impala is also something unique to go along with the rest of the build. Along with a parts car needed to finish the rebuild, Jason also scored a 1998 Chevy Vortec motor which he then converted back to a carb setup to keep things on the old-school side. Jason had the heads rebuilt and topped with an Edelbrock intake for a bit of added power and the addition of a Holley electric fuel pump ensured the motor received the necessary petrol at all times. The wiring was hidden throughout the engine bay and Jason even relocated the battery and shaved the firewall to finish off the clean custom look he was after. Married with a 350 turbo transmission the low-slung Impala now had plenty of power to get it down the road with the family in tow. Wayne Martin helped Jason with the engine duties, and is one of the few sets of hands besides Jason’s to be trusted with the four-door Haase family hauler.
Moving to the interior, Jason continued the overall clean yet custom theme and built upon the metal work already completed with the bodydrop. Impala bucket seats were cut down and wrapped for the front seats and the rear seat had to be modified and reworked a bit to fit post body-drop. The heater controls, center speaker, ashtray and defrost vents were all shaved giving the dash a smooth, yet factory appearance. The factory gauges were restored and utilized along with he factory radio, clock, and steering wheel. The door panels were smoothed out and Jason’s friend and fellow Visions club member helped him redo the custom headliner. Rounding out the stylish and custom build, the rear tray and inner b-pillars were also smoothed out and the addition of a custom center console and cleverly placed bandanas and mexican blankets help complete the look.
So to recap, YES, you can completely rebuild a $50 junker to show winning and family cruising condition – it just takes time and dedication to the cause. Jason wanted to thank his club buddies from Visions including Jason Knauft for the help on getting this car from a shell to the envy of the Northwest. It might have taken Jason 10-years to build this family hotrod Impala, but it surely was worth the wait. Now he has a ride that he can load the family into and hit the highway when he cruises to the shows near and far. We salute you Jason for sticking to your guns, mission accomplished – he completed his dream to build a clean and smooth ride that he and his family can enjoy for years to come.
Owner: Jason and Mandee Haase
Vehicle: 1965 4dr Impala
Hometown: Pasco, Washington
Firestone 2600lb. ‘bags all the way around
Custom-built ‘bag brackets
Modified stock control arms
Dual Viair 380c compressors with a set of Viair air gauges
12-gallon air tank, 1/2-inch air line, Xtreme air valves
Traditional bodydrop, modified core support mounts
Raised and custom mounted gas tank
Replaced all suspension bushings
Performed By: Owner
Shaved: Front Impala emblem, roof gutters, trunk lock, trunk emblem
Smoothed top of dash, rear package tray, inner sail panels, and lower B-pillars
A tons of body work to get this beast straight
Painted PPG stock Scion Envy Green
Performed By: Owner
Front seats are cut down Impala SS bucket seats
The rear seat is the stock bench cut down and modified to fit
Shaved heater controls, center speaker, ash tray and defrost vents
Restored stock gauges
Smoothed door panels
Custom headliner and center console
Performed By: Owner and Jason Knauft
1998 Chevy Vortec truck engine converted back to carb
350 turbo trans
Holley electric fuel pump
BMW electric fan
Batwing air cleaner
Hidden wiring and battery relocated to under dash
Performed By: Owner and Wayne Martin