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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
FYI: This is just a heads up for anyone who thinks they're getting the deal of the century and buys it sight-unseen. I went to see this car with a friend and after nearly three hours of inspection, decided to walk away. The seller has relisted it. I am posting only this so you know what you're getting into if you buy it. I have no intent to bash the seller - he was a nice enough guy. Please don't send him any nastygrams either; either go buy the car or just leave it alone.

96 DCM SS w/ lingenfelter setup The car is located in Irving, NY, about 35 miles southwest of Buffalo, NY, minutes off of I-90.
VIN is 1G1BL52P9TR191045 for reference. There was no evidence of any VIN shenanigans on the car. Trunklid matched the firewall.

EDIT: please note that the car was sold on Ebay September 2010 and is no longer available. The VIN is above for reference.

Quick summary: This is a project that needs to be trailered home. The goods are all there, and the interior is nice, but this car is going to need some serious mechanical diagnosis and work to get it drivable and probably several hundred hours of mechanical and cosmetic TLC to make it presentable at a car show. "Too many chefs in the kitchen" comes to mind when looking at the underhood and undercarriage. Restoration may be too strong a word, but it's getting close.



The good:
  • Yes, it's the full up Lingenfelter 383 w/ aluminum heads and Accel SuperRam intake. Owner does have most of the documentation but we couldn't find the actual build sheet in his stack of papers. Looking through the oil fill cap, the rocker area looked squeaky clean.
  • Headers (long-tube quad1 style), cats, Borla exhaust
  • Transmission supposedly beefed up, seemed to shift accordingly.
  • 2200-stall 12" (stock diameter) torque converter
  • Aluminum driveshaft.
  • 3.42 rear axle. Posi unknown.
  • Hotchkiss rear control arms upper and lower
  • Hotchkiss swaybars front and rear
  • New springs from Summit Racing. 2" drop from stock.
  • Front suspension rebuilt within the last 10k miles. Steering was nice and tight.
  • New body bushings all around. Passenger side bushing at the firewall area was loose.
  • TCE/Wilwood front brake kit with huge rotors and 4-piston calipers. Stopped fast and straight.
  • Pioneer DEH-P77 head unit w/ upgraded speakers
  • Interior in pretty nice shape, driver's seat has a small amount of wear.
  • Has a Buick frame brace on the back and a Whisperjet headlight harness up front.
  • Body is a nice ten-footer. No rust in any of the pillars. Body had no hidden rust anyplace we pulled up the trunk or interior carpet.
  • Brake pads are new, rotors are clean.
  • SAMCO silicone coolant hoses.
  • Newer water pump and fuel pump, and we found a receipt for a cap and rotor not too many miles (but several years) ago.
  • Suncoast ram air hood was in good shape.
  • There is a phonebook-size stack of paperwork and receipts. This car has had a lot of maintenance which is a good sign.
What you should know:
  • The car barely ran. Runs okay at WOT but does not feel like 450hp. Part-throttle drivability is non-existent. CEL was blinking while we drove it. Feels like it needs an opti and more. Was running rich.
  • Rear brakes were intermittently sticking, or something else screwy was going on.
  • Something was screwy with the TCC towards the end of the test drive. It was like the TCC was stuck on. Could have been the CEL, but it was screwy. We did not feel TCC lock during the test drive, most likely due to the blinking CEL.
  • There was no coolant in the coolant tank and we found some wet spots under the front of the car. The dregs in the coolant tank looked like it hadn't been flushed in awhile. There was a wet spot on the front of the AC condenser and on the bottom of the passenger side swaybar mount so we assumed the radiator was leaking.
  • Front bumper cover is cracked and needs to be replaced, not glued as the seller stated. ImpalaSStudio air dam add-on is likely reusable.
  • All of the air dams on the front end are missing, and the right side underbody plastic splash guard is missing.
  • Both front bumper shocks were extended but wet, possibly from the Bronx accident in 2002?
  • We found a strange mark on the frame on the passenger side in the firewall area, maybe from a frame machine?
  • The frame is wavy under the cabin in ways and places that made us scratch our heads. Not a showstopper, but just weird. We found an alignment receipt that said "best possible" in the shop's handwriting. Hmmm.
  • AC compressor clutch was screaming despite the seller spraying it with lube. The AC never blew cold while we were there trying to keep the engine running.
  • Every single panel on the car has had paint work, and it shows up close. Door spears need to be repainted.
  • The right rear fender is inboard of the taillight about 1/4" - it doesn't "look" wrong overall until you see that taillight sticking out from the body. Strange. We never got around to removing the tailight and see what the body seams looked like behind it. The taillight bolt mount near the license plate was cracked and distorted.
  • The right rear fender skin bottom 2" or so was replaced and the bottom seam is starting to rust again.
  • This car has likely been stored outside a number of winters. The floor pans are a bit more scabby than I'd like. Not rotten, but not clean either. It's at the point where I'd sandblast the floorpans and repaint them, and remove every removable piece of metal and sandblast/clean/paint it to get it looking nice.
  • Right side Borla muffler is on its last legs and will need replacing.
  • Aluminum driveshaft has been wearing on the H-pipe clamp and had a wear mark on it. Not a good sign.
  • Pinion seal was wet despite repair receipts indicating replacement.
  • SSRI is cracked in multiple places.
  • PCV vent system is not hooked up.
  • Front tires need replacing.
  • All of the rims are pretty beat, several have minor curb rash, and just go ahead and plan on needing two center caps.
  • Several of the interior window switches are shot. All windows worked.
  • The tint is purple. I'd replace it if it was me. Rear glass tint was a little bubbly but not terrible.
  • Odometer is fading in and out. It did read around 119k after the seller thwacked the dash in a few strategic spots.
 

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This is not your standard Impala SS, it has a $18,000 LINGENFELTER upgrade, stroked to 383,(440 HP) $2,500 Wilwood brakes upfront, $1,500 Hotchkins Sway bars front and rear, transmission freshly overhauled less then 1,000 miles ago, entire front end redone with less then 10,000 miles on it, new springs and performance struts all the way around, less then 10,000 miles on them, new water pump, fuel pump, front and rear brakes, new rear tires,(go figure), functional ram air hood, (not hooked up) BORLA SS exhaust ($1,500.00), Adult owned throughout its life, I am the fifth owner, last owner was also in sales, he picked it up with around 50 K miles on it and drove it for work, I have done the same, I picked it up with about 77 K on it and have driven this car to Florida twice and to South Carolina, Car is a daily driver, has small road chips on front end and front lower spoiler needs to be glued, not a big deal (raccoon). Interior is perfect, no seat rips, tears or burns. Everything works great, AC system was just checked and topped off blows ice cold. Performance is 0-60 in 4.7 sec. 1/4 mile at 12.9 and 104 mph.Suppose to be capable of 170 MPH. Here is a link on this car to bring you up to date on its capabilities http://www.depanorama.net/impala/106.htm , this car also got the $1,000 tranny upgrade and the rear end upgrade as well. It walks away from Mustang GT's while the driver sits back in full leather and air conditioned comfort. I have new carpet not installed, spare wiring harness, spare steering box and hard to fine wheel well trim. Stereo is an excellent Pioneer system with 12 disc Cd changer, speakers are all upgraded as well. Hate to sell it but economy is dictating it right now.
damn they are bosting it up to be a fine impala ..... shame how people lie like that...
 

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  • We found a strange mark on the frame on the passenger side in the firewall area, maybe from a frame machine?
  • The frame is wavy under the cabin in ways and places that made us scratch our heads. Not a showstopper, but just weird. We found an alignment receipt that said "best possible" in the shop's handwriting. Hmmm.
  • Every single panel on the car has had paint work, and it shows up close. Door spears need to be repainted.
  • The right rear fender is inboard of the taillight about 1/4" - it doesn't "look" wrong overall until you see that taillight sticking out from the body. Strange. We never got around to removing the tailight and see what the body seams looked like behind it. The taillight bolt mount near the license plate was cracked and distorted.
  • The right rear fender skin bottom 2" or so was replaced and the bottom seam is starting to rust again.
carfax says it all:

VIN: 1G1BL52P9TR191045
Year: 1996
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Caprice Classic / Impala SS
Style/Body: Sedan 4D
Class: Mid Range Car - Standard
Engine: 5.7L V8 SFI
Country of Assembly: United States
Vehicle Age: 14 year(s)
Calculated Owners: 5
Calculated Accidents: 1
Last Reported
Odometer Reading: 80,488
 

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thanks for the heads up. Alot of work went into that.
and ALOT more will be needed to fix alot of that work you spoke about...

i bet that motor is bad ass
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
What I really struggled with the most is this: The car is really a unique piece of Impala SS history. It had NAISSO and MISSL stickers, and the first two owners appear to have taken good care of it (the first guy was Jim Ford in Michigan if anybody knows that name; he only put 2600 miles on it through 1999 when he sold it to a guy named Najeeb Siddique. Jim also was the one who had the Lingenfelter work done to it). If it was just some crappy Impala that had all this stuff installed on it down the road, I'd go buy a nice stock '96 SS and then transfer all these goodies over, or put all this stuff on my '95 9C1. But the Lingenfelter package was installed on THIS car shortly after it was purchased in 1996. THIS car has the history. You may feel different, but that's what I wrestled with.

Anyway, the right buyer is someone who can take the time to lovingly restore this car back to what it could be. In the state it was in, I was worried that it wouldn't make the 2-hour drive back to Rochester.
 

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I'll have to post on the MISSL list to see if any of the grey beards there remember this guy, I have been a member since 99 or 2000, but there were a few legends from when the club was formed that were no longer regulars..

There were several SS's in the club that are notable, but I do not remember this one.

BTW.. how do you "calculate" an accident?
 

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I have a 1996 Impala SS with Lingenfelter total pkg.

I happened to catch this thread this morning while looking for any other owners of Impala SS's with Lingenfelter upgrades.

I am the original owner of a 1996 which I bought new/demo with 6000 miles prior to sending to Lingenfelter for the $26,958.00 package, back in 10/97. The current mileage is 36.6K, and the car is show condition.

I have never been able to find anyone in my area that has one of these, and have not had any luck on forums as well.

Any links you may know of concerning these special cars would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance!
 

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Post some pics of the Lingenfelter SS.. Sounds like a nice ride... Roger

I happened to catch this thread this morning while looking for any other owners of Impala SS's with Lingenfelter upgrades.

I am the original owner of a 1996 which I bought new/demo with 6000 miles prior to sending to Lingenfelter for the $26,958.00 package, back in 10/97. The current mileage is 36.6K, and the car is show condition.

I have never been able to find anyone in my area that has one of these, and have not had any luck on forums as well.

Any links you may know of concerning these special cars would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Send me a PM. I and another forum member spent several hours inspecting the one mentioned in this thread so I may be able to help you.
 
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