Here’s our detailed look at the 2015 Ridler Award winner, the Impostor—a ’65 Impala owned by Don and Elma Voth and constructed by Foose Design.
Nobody knows better than Chip Foose how to create a Ridler Award winner. The car designer and TV personality has now accomplished the feat four times. His latest build, the Impostor, is essentially the mashup of a 1965 Chevrolet Impala and a 2009 Corvette. That is, the car’s outer skin is ’65 Impala Sport Coupe, but the chassis, driveline, and running gear are C6 Corvette. (When the project began more than five years ago, a brand new 2009 Corvette was purchased and dismantled just for this purpose.) To merge these two packages of radically different dimensions, the Corvette portion was stretched nearly eight inches, while the Impala body was shortened 14 inches.
In other words, the six-passenger, full-size hardtop has now lost its rear seat, and the overall package dimensions are closer to those of a two-seat sports car. Naturally, the Impala sheet metal had to be carefully cut apart and rejoined in multiple locations in order to maintain proper proportions. The roof is now eight inches shorter and 1.25 inches lower, but the bulk of the reworking took place in the rear quarters. This work was so extensive that the Foose team brought in a stock production ’65 Impala for the Impostor’s display at Cobo Center to illustrate just how they did it. In the photo below, the black areas indicate areas where metal was removed and rejoined.
The interior also includes plenty of ’09 Corvette content, with the complete dash, steering column, wiring harness, and electrical system adapted to the Impala’s cabin space. Meanwhile, the production C6 powertrain with six-speed automatic transmission and 430 hp LS3 V8 has been upgraded with a Magnuson supercharger. Exhaust ducts in the front fenders (“waste gates” in Foose’s sketchpad vernacular) serve as visual signifiers of the C6 Corvette hardware under the skin.
From there, the Impostor abounds in all the small but perfect details Foose is noted for in his designs, which he uses to tie a car together into a single unifying theme. Bumpers, grille, lamps, trim, wheels—all have been reimagined and fabricated from scratch to serve his vision. With every inch of the car given the full Foose treatment, the Impostor is a treat to the eye at five feet or 50 feet. There’s more to see in the gallery below.