My Impala SS
The Impala SS Club of America
Day One was an exciting day at The Hallett Road Course. Shortly after I arrived we had the drivers meeting and then a meeting with our instructors (who happened to be another Impala SS owner with racing experience.) He would then answer your questions, tech your car to make sure you were ready to race. I was in group 7. We had a few hours before we would make it out to practice and play follow-the-leader, so my dad and I went and relaxed, watched a few Impala's run and just listen to the V8's racing around Hallett. Around 11:00 our group was called to the grid. I went to my car and made my way towards the staging lanes. We all got in line and then proceeded out on to the track at a relaxed pace. The first few laps we played follow-the-leader to get a feel for the track and sometime in the middle of lap 2 we laid into the peddle. I was about 6th in line. See me on the Track. The instructor was soon out of site along with the second car in line leaving the poor car in 3rd position not realizing he was holding up the rest of the pack.
The 3rd lap was cut short due to the car in 3rd position decided to exit the track, along with 4th & 5th. Well I thought hard about staying on the track because I new our time wasn't up, but something was nagging me to play the good soldier and follow along with the cars in 4th & 5th place, which had exited the course. On my way back to the pits thru the paddock area I heard this terrible clunking and banging noise coming from under the front of the car. Good thing I listened to my nagging self!
When I got back to my area, I opened the hood and what do I see, the sway bar bushing is in the middle of the sway bar. What the #$%. This is supposed to be held in place by the bracket which is bolted to the frame, which upon inspection had pulled out of the frame with all the twisting and turning. After a few choice words, I realized I forgot something. TOOLS! I head out to look for some tools and see if we can get some help. I run into another Impala SS owner who remembered some tools and my dad and him got to work while I scrounge for some bolts and a tap. I found a tap, but could not find a bigger bolt. During the lunch break, Dad and I made a quick run into town to get a bigger bolt for the newly taped hole in the frame he made. My Dad then beat the bracket as straight as he could and tightened everything back up.
WOW, back and running, I went from being extremely disappointed having to leave early, driving home with no sway bar to extremely satisfied with being able to make my timed run.
Additional Note about Impala SS Performance: A friend of my mom's races at this course quite often in her Porsche and does in a 1:22. You can see my times in the Hallett Road Course page. I was only 27 seconds off from what an more experienced driver with a 2000 pound lighter car, making just as much if not more HP. I figure if I didn't have the accident (that is another story), done upgrades & modification to the brakes and have my sway bar pull out of the frame (which was fixed before I ran) I would have had a lot more confidence in myself and my car and probably had a little better time. Not to mention I missed out on some valuable practice time. But, it was an experience I will never forget! To see pictures of me at Hallett click above or here...
Day Two was a little less stressful, you just need patience and a lot of cold water. This is Car show day. When I arrived there were already several 100 Impala SS's being cleaned and getting ready to strut there stuff. I must say that choosing a grass field may have been dusty but it sure helped out on the heat factor. This was the hottest day without a cloud in the sky and temperatures exceeding 110 with the heat index over 116. My Dad and I went thru 2 thermos of water and then some. Needless to say when they finally got around to judging my Impala I was exhausted and I hadn't done anything but dust the car, wonder around looking at the other Impala SS's and drink water. I sure was glade when that was over. I wanted to drag race that evening, but by the time they judged my car and being so sun beaten, I decided against it and elected to skip the drag racing event that evening. Come to find out the next day the Impala's over flowed the drag strip and the track stopped all Impalas from running for a few hours until the local yokels got there turn. To see a few of the pictures I took click above or here...
Day Three Autocross. I had decided not to do this cause I have never been excided about running thru a bunch of cones. But I did go a head and put my car on a Chassis Dyno and made 2 pulls. I backed my car into the back of a semi trailer and I actually got to do the pulls. I'm actually sitting in my Impala SS inside this trailer mashing the @#$ out of my gas peddle. I must say I was surprised when I banged against the rev limiter at around 4900 RPM. I would have thought it to be a little higher. It was interesting to say the least. Sometime when I get my computer system figured out, I will upload the video and audio, or at least the audio. To see my Dyno pics & Stats click here or above
That evening was the banquette and awards ceremony. One of the things the judges look for is safety items and a display. Since I elected to road race I had to buy a helmet. I decided to leave that in the car along with the display you saw in the trunk. Due to all the cleaning, detailing, helmet and display I placed second in my class which in under 50k miles mild street (under 20 visual mods). There were at least 6 other in my class. I was pleasantly surprised when they called my name. This is the first award my Impala and I have received and hope many more will come. To see my trophy and car click here
I look forward to next years 2nd Annual ISSCA National in Las Vegas, NV.