Harald Sannum's 1959 Chevrolet
1959 Chevrolet Impala owned and restyled by Harald Sannum of Trondheim, Norway. Harald bought the Impala in 1963. When he got it, the interior was in a bad shape, so had YVI in Trondheim stitch him a custom upholstery. Harald told the workers at YVI that he wanted a rolled and pleated Naugahyde interior for the car. YVI did a great job with the interior, but it was very expensive, and it took forever to complete. Harald had to pay 2000 NOK for the job, and 1500 NOK for the materials. In 1963 you could by a late 1940s or early 1950s cruiser for half the price. The seats, side and door panels, dash and hat rack were upholstered in rolled and pleated Naugahyde. Originally, Harald wanted to upholster the headliner with rolled and pleated Naygahyde as well, but due to the cost he went with plain white Naugahyde.
After the car had received the custom upholstery, Harald replaced the stock inline-six engine with a Chevrolet 283 V-8 engine. The engine was bored to 301 cubic inches before Harald fit it with a hotter camshaft, hi-comp pistons and a 4-barrel carburetor from a Corvette. Harald decided to keep the original 3-speed manual transmission in the car. Several components in the engine compartment were sent to the chrome shop before Harald painted the front end and chassis on the car.
Tired of repairing dents and scratches made byl "hired" drivers, Harald decided to customize the body of the car in the Autumn of 1965. When Amcar Magazine interviewed Harald about the car in 1979, he told them that his inspiration came from the stacks of Hot Rod Magazines he had in his collection. Another inspiration was also the cars he had seen at Bosse Gamen's Hot Rod Show in Stockholm, Sweden. The restyling found place in Bjørn Tømmervik's garage, and they began the build by shaving all the chrome trim on the car. The holes from the trim were welded shut before they began on the rear end modifications. In the rear, the taillights were frenched and tunneled. The stock bumper was removed and replaced with a rolled pan. Fenderskirts were installed, and two antennas were frenched into the right quarter panel before the car was painted in a light pink color. The front was later modified by replacing the stock grille with a homemade tube grille.
In 1967 Harald's Impala was show at the Hot Rod Show in Stockholm, Sweden, and it became the first Norwegian custom car to be displayed at the Hot Rod Show. Harald came second in the upholstery class, and many Norwegians were sure that it would have won if it had Swedish license plates.
Early in the Winter of 1968 Harald traded the Impala for a 1958 Ford Skyliner with a guy from Oslo. By then the car had been painted in a light copper color. Rumor has it that the Impala was sent to the junkyard after it had crashed into a ptelephone booth. The interior was supposedly installed in another Impala.
In 2013 rumor had it that Harald's old interior was still present in Asbjørn Øverlie's 1959 Chevrolet Impala. According to Odd Harald Bolgnes, Harald had confirmed in the early 1980s that it was the same interior.
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.
- Find out how you can become a contributor.
- Forward this article to a friend.
- Subscribe to our newsletter and receive updates on Harald Sannum's 1959 Chevrolet and other subjects featured on Kustomrama.
Help us make this article better
If you have additional information, photos, feedback or corrections about Harald Sannum's 1959 Chevrolet, please get in touch with Kustomrama at: email@example.com.
This Article Was Made Possible By:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can become a Kustomrama advertiser and supporter.