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The Cimarron Starlite Cruisers' Car Club proudly feature, great classic vehicles, which belong to the good folks of Oklahoma. We sincerely appreciate Penny Hurley of the Guthrie Flashbacks for the photos used in this feature.


This month’s Great Oklahoma Classic belongs to Tom and Diane Barton of Guthrie, Oklahoma. Tom and Diane have owned this classic Chevrolet Impala for about 20 years. They do not know the original mileage, but have put about 7500 miles on it since they totally rebuilt the engine, front end and driveline.  They have spent several years restoring their classic 1959 Chevy Impala.


Out back the 1959 Chevy has a spread wing treatment and cat's eye taillights. The rear license plate swivels down to reveal the gas tank filler cap.


The Impala’s 283 cubic inch or 4.6L V8 puts out two hundred thirty (230hp) horse power and three hudred (300) pounds feet of torque.  The Impala puts this horse power to the rear with a three speed column shift transmission.


The paint and interior were completed about four years ago.  Tom selected the skill of local craftsmen to get the finished Impala he was looking for. The paint work was done at Greene’s Paint and Body in Crescent, Oklahoma. Crescent is a small rural community just a few miles northwest of Guthrie. The beautiful white interior work was done by Grid Jarman right there in Guthrie USA.


Tom’s love affair (other than Diane) with a 59 Impala began with a 348V8, 4 speed and dates back to one he owned in the early 60s.  He really got hooked on the 1959 body style, which Chevrolet said was shaped lean, with crisp new contours and beautifully restrained accents. Designed for greater roominess and comfort, engineered for greater safety, economy, ease of handling and smoothness of ride. The 1959 Chevrolet was the last design by the famous designer Harley Earl, who helped pioneer General Motor's styling and design studio.


Tom and Diane spent about 4 years looking for this car. It is one of those “found it in a barn cars” located in Purcell Oklahoma. The fellow that owned the Impala really hated to sell the car but he wasn’t in a position to keep it.  


Tom and Diane were at a show in Paul’s Valley about 2 years ago and Tom noticed a fellow really taking a hard look at the Impala. When Tom walked up to him, the fellow mentioned that he used to have an Impala like this but he had to sell it and never got to restore it.  Tom then recognized him as the former owner of my car. Tom immediately said “this was your car!” The former owner was totally surprised. He called his wife and she came up and we took some pictures of the now beautifully restored Impala they had once owned. The former owner was really pleased that Tom and Diane had restored his old car to better than new condition.


Tom says, “You always wonder what happened to those great cars you had years ago. I don’t think that you are ever through restoring a car, especially one you really like, so there are still some things to do on our Chevy”.


Tom and Diane, along with other members of the Guthrie Flashbacks Car Club, attend about 20 car shows a year.  Tom says, “While attending these car shows you get to meet up with some really nice people. Meeting nice folks and looking at great classic cars is one of the tremendous benefits that come with the Classic Car Hobby.  There are some great show cars out there and we want to attend as many as possible.”



Tom said, “He and Diane would like to thank the Cimarron Starlite Cruisers for featuring their Impala as the Great Oklahoma Classic for April.  You guys are to be commended for keeping an avid interest in this hobby through your website and fellowship.”


The Cimarron Starlite Cruisers sincerely appreciate Tom and Diane Barton for sharing their Classic 1959 Chevrolet Impala and letting us feature their car as the Great Oklahoma Classic for April 2010.