Lately, the weather has been hot. Nobody has it hotter than Jody Nominee though. See, Jody lives in one of the hottest spots in the world: Mesa, Arizona; where temperatures can reach a staggering 115F in the shade. In his cooled garage sits a wicked ’95 Chevrolet Impala SS. For those who aren’t familiar with the ’95 Impala, here is a quick history lesson.
In 1992, it had been almost ten years since the last generation of the Chevrolet Impala had been built. General Motors was looking to breathe new life into the iconic car when at the 1992 Detroit Auto Show, a new Impala was showcased. Featuring the body of a Caprice, the car had been lowered 2 inches, while under the hood sits 8.2 liters of 500ci. big-block. Despite this being a prototype, the Impala rolled off the factory floor with almost everything identical to the concept, sans the big block. In its place was the powerful and potent (although de-tuned) LT1 out of the Corvette.
Jody’s love affair with the seventh-gen Impala started when he was working for a company that provided him with a ’94 Impala SS as a company car. He instantly fell in love and knew he had to have one. After locating a ’95 Impala for cheap 7 years ago, Jody had no choice but to buy it. He then rolled it into his shop and began the process of turning the car from mild to wild.
The first thing that had to go was the motor. Despite the base LT1 providing decent power, it just wasn’t enough. A stroked 383ci. version of the LT1 was sourced from an engine shop in Massachusetts. The new motor features all forged internals with ported and polished heads. The injectors have been swapped out with SVO green-top 42 lb.hr.. injectors from a Ford Lightning.
Of course, the weak 4L60E transmission had to be beefed up as well to handle all of the power being thrown at it. With a quick phone call to Hughes Performance, a stronger and more reliable 4L60E loaded with Corvette servos and a 3,000 RPM stall converter was on its’ way. In a Pro Street car you’re going to need some serious support in the rear, and Jody fixed that problem with a Moser M9 fabricated 9-inch rearend stuffed with a full spool and 3.90:1 gears.
The suspension in the rear has also been swapped out with a custom 4-link coilover setup to help the car handle those hard launches. You’ll notice that one of the biggest mods done to the car is the wheels and tires. To get the massive 31x18x15 Mickey Thompson street radials to fit in the rear, Jody had to cut and tub the rear end on his own.
This was no easy task, as Jody informed us, “One of the hardest parts of this build has been the lack of aftermarket parts. It’s not like the Novas the Chevelles that have extensive parts catalogs. It’s very difficult at the easiest.
Usually I end up having to design and fabricate what I want.” As it sits currently, Jody’s Impala only needs the interior finished and a paint job. When asked about his future plans, I was told that it’s wrapped up in secrecy at the moment, but a big-block with an 8-71 blower is in the works. With the never ending support of his wife and kids, Jody’s dream of having one of the fastest seventh generation Impalas is close to fruition.