Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chevy Centennial: "My Dad's Car," Part III

Herb Younger meets retired GM Designer Blaine Jenkins, who is responsible for the interior of the '65 Impala.
 More fun today from the Sweet Chevy story that not only keeps on giving- it's becoming the Energizer Bunny of Chevrolet commericals. You'll recall that I wrote about the Chevy spot "My Dad's Car" last fall, the story of a father being reunited with his long lost '65 Super Sport after a five year search by his sons.

It's one of the best Chevy spots I have ever seen, and if you haven't seen the commercial yet, grab a tissue:

I had the pleasure of meeting Herb and his family at the LA Auto Show Press Day and talked to him about the car and how touched I was by the story. I told him I had showed the ad to my neighbor who had designed his car's interior and how he recognized the special door panels right away. Herb commented that he would like to meet him some time.

There at the Press Conference, they showed the long version of the commercial with backstory:

Now my neighbor turns out to be retired GM designer Blaine Jenkins, who was responsible for the interiors of some of the most successful Chevrolets of all time. He created the Corvair Monza and the original Caprice, along with the Mako Shark and yes, the 1965 Impala, including Herb's Super Sport. Just last month he was featured in a tribute by Automobile Magazine called "The Inside Man" and it's highly recommended in case you haven't seen it, but anyway Blaine loved Herb's Chevy commerical and agreed we should all try to meet up.

Some times these things happen and some times they don't, but this morning we all got together for breakfast in Palm Springs. I picked Blaine up in an immaculate original 18,000 mile 1965 Impala Sport Coupe (to set the right tone, you know) and off we went for breakfast and car talk. The man who owns the most famous '65 Impala on record met a member of the team who designed it.

Herb brought a the '65's Photo Album and his article in Muscle Car Review and Blaine brought his tribute in Automobile, and we talked about the automobile as more than the sum of its parts, the link they help create between generations, and of course the 1965 Chevy Impala. It was a great time and we hope to see Herb again. After breakfast, we drove around Palm Springs for a few minutes and somehow ended up in front of the Kaufmann House, Richard Neutra's 1947 masterpiece.

Is it hard to figure out why I love it here?

Blaine Jenkins inside the 1965 Impala Sport Coupe

Blaine Jenkins surrounded by his work

Two classics- the 1947 Kaufmann house by Neutra and the 1965 Impala Sport Coupe


  1. what an awesome day you had! thanks for sharing it with us.

  2. I had a '65 Super Sport convertible in high school (mid 70's) Sure wish I had it back! Kudos to Mr.Jenkins on the was light blue in my car with the dark blue paint on outside.

  3. I had a beautiful '67 Buick Skylark from 1969 - 71 when I was at college in Flint. I would like to see that now! Two door coupe in Gold with a white vinyl top, no less.

  4. My first new car was a 1965 Impal Super Sport. Four on the floor and four bucket seats, all black outside and black interior. It was a dream car. It rode and handled perfectly. My dad and I were traveing south on Rt 75 just north of of Cincinnati when we were hit head on with a tornado. The car was totaled but we survived without a scratch. That was the dream car of all the other ones that I have owned through the years.

  5. I had a 1966 Impala convertable with a small block. I wish I still had, it was a great car!

  6. My first car was 1966 Impala with a 283 engine and powerglide trans. It was a great car!

  7. My 2nd car was a 1963 SS 283 automatic. I got more compliments from that $100 dollar car than any other car I have owned. I let my brother drive it to pick up his girlfriend and he got hit by a stop sign runner.

  8. We've had a lot of Chevy's anything from a '56 with a 283 to a '72 with a 400 small block. That last one could get up and move! On an emergency run one night almost 35 years ago, it hit top end on the speedometer and still had about 1/2" before it was all the way to the floor. We estimated that when it was pushed to the floor it was going about 140-145 mph.

  9. I Remember My Dad talking about all the Chevrolets He had owned thru the many years!! When he spoke of One he bought from one of his teachers, when he was in high school. To the day He died he was a Real Chevrolet Man. From the 46/55 Belair/57 Belair/59 Impala/62 Chevy II Station Wagon/69 Black over White Impala/ 73 Impala/ 77 Monty Carlo, and many more I need not mention. But as the result for all the many miles with little to no problems, I became one as well, I cant say I've never owned another brand of car, but I must say FORD/DODGE can't compare their products to chevrolet!! not EVEN CLOSE!! my current truck is a 98 blazer with 330,000. I bought it used with 145,000 hasn't given me a minutes trouble until the other day, it shut of going to my wifes work ,I thought it was finished so I let it sit in the yard for 2 monthes a wonderful neighbor loaned me her dodge van which she ended giving me its got 130,000 on it Ive had nothing but trouble out of it!! so as I said no more Dodge or Fords for me. To this day Ive Owned 52 Chevys/GM cars /trucks and I will stick with them I Am Disabled can't afford much But It Will Aways Be A GM!!!

    1. Sorry, but forgot to say I put a new Battery on the Blazer after 2 monthes and it started right up and I'm driving it !!! Michael T

  10. Sorry: But I wanted to add to my comment above I put a New Battery on my Blazer it started rite up been driving it!! Thanks CHEVY FOR A GREAT PRODUCT !!!

  11. Back in the 80's I bought a 70 Chevelle SS 454 from a freind. It was Red with Black stripes. The car was perfect. I yanked the LS5 motor and put a factory new crate LS6 450 HP motor in it and a wider set of radial tires on it. Being a former Chevy Dealer it was easy to do. Made the car come alive. That car got more attention and looks than my new Corvette Demo when I went somewhere. Miss that got stolen a year or so before I sold the Dealership............I still look for the car !