About Impala Bob's
The Story of Impala Bob's
Impala Bob's was started literally by accident.
One morning in 1989, Bob’s younger brother Francois borrowed Bob’s 1968 Impala Convertible to drive to high school. It had rained on that fall Connecticut morning, and there were wet leaves on the road. Blame it on slick road conditions, plus a sharp curve, but despite Francois’ supposedly extraordinary driving skills, it equaled one 1968 Impala Convertible crashed into a stone wall. Luckily, the only injury was a bruised ego.
Bob was not too pleased about the condition of his car when returned to him, but the damage was quickly forgiven. With his brother’s help, Bob decided that he was up to the challenge of restoring the ragtop to its original glory. The biggest challenge was finding the needed replacement parts: A fender, a bumper, a grille, moldings, and various trim pieces.
The parts manager at the local Chevy dealer just laughed. 1968? They did not have anything that old. The hunt for a parts car began. A suitable organ donor was found about 50 miles away in the “Bargain News” classifieds, and dragged home.
The front end of Bob’s car was disassembled. The needed parts were removed from the donor car and installed. It was decided that the entire car would get a repaint. With a new paint job, the car would need all new rubber weatherstrips. So, in that case, why not a new interior too? One thing led to another, and before long, Bob’s project evolved into a full restoration. To pay for all of the needed materials, Bob promptly put a new ad in the paper: “Parting out 1968 Impala Convertible”.
The response to the ad for leftover parts was tremendous. There were plenty of other Chevy lovers looking for parts for their rides too! It wasn’t long before Bob had a dozen parts donor cars in his driveway, the phone ringing off the hook, and the neighbors wondering what the heck Bob was doing. His hobby was getting out of hand! He became known as “Impala Bob”, and in 1991 decided to devote his full efforts into developing his hobby into a full-time business, and quit his job.
In 1994, he moved to Arizona, the Nirvana of rust-free classic cars, to re-establish his business there. He bought a small house in the hot desert on three acres of land. His brother Francois, transferred to college in Arizona, and moved in with him. They worked days, nights, and weekends. Before long the “yard” had a couple of hundred rust-free Arizona Impala parts donor cars in inventory.
The brothers answered the phones and took orders during the day. They used the living room as their office. They pulled parts and packed boxes at night when it was cool enough to go outside. The garage served as their shipping department. They shipped many tons of rust-free fenders, doors, quarter panels, hoods, and nice clean trim pieces, mostly back east to the “rust belt” states. From a headlight switch, to a complete car, no part was too small or too large to ship.
Around that time, Bob also developed his first "Impala Bob's" catalog of new restoration parts available for the Impalas. After going through many, many phone calls, and scouring the country to find the parts he needed to finish his own car, Bob decided to try to offer “one stop shopping” for his fellow Impala restorers, and stock all of the new parts that were available for these cars.
Over time, the enterprise grew. Bob hired a staff of other Chevy enthusiasts to join him, and help operate and grow the business. Bob focused more and more on developing the catalog business, and eventually phased out most of the salvage yard operation. Ultimately, he sold his land to a home builder, and in 1998 moved his entire operation indoors to its current location in a large warehouse facility on Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, AZ.
Impala Bob’s is known for carrying thousands of hard to find items, and all of the major brands of restoration parts, such as rubber weatherstrips from Soffseal, Metro, and Steele, interior kits from PUI and others, wiring harnesses from Factory Fit, emblems, lenses and carpeting from Trim Parts, a huge selection of replacement body panels and body repair parts, bumpers, moldings, trim, mechanical parts, chassis, brake and suspension upgrades, interior parts, auto glass, car covers, manuals, and books. Many of the offerings are oficially licensed GM Restoration parts. Bob's offers tens of thousands of parts from literally hundreds of manufacturers. Over the years, Bob has also accumulated an extensive and exclusive inventory of good used and reconditioned original parts for Impalas that simply are not available new, such as rust-free Arizona fenders, doors, hoods, deck lids, and re-chromed bumpers.
Now in its 25th year, Bob’s has become a multi-million dollar enterprise. Besides catering to Impala owners, Bob's has branched out over the years to become a leading supplier for other models of classic Chevy cars and trucks with other vehicle-specific catalogs and websites. All of the catalogs are free. Parts can be ordered by phone by calling 1-800-IMPALAS, through our websites, or picked up from our retail store. Free digital catalogs are also available.
Our knowledgeable sales representatives are classic car restoration veterans, and enthusiasts just like you, and are available to you for toll-free technical assistance for our products during normal business hours.
Orders for in-stock parts, received weekdays by 5:00 pm EST, will normally be shipped the same business day, unless it's a holiday.
We gladly accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, PayPal, business or personal checks (held for bank clearance), and money orders.