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Progress of Performance
Written by Emily Pogue, Photography by Derek Hieb
Ask around and you might find a group of car enthusiasts who mark the introduction of the Chevy Impala as the start of the muscle car era. One look at this 1962 Impala SS with its hardtop convertible-style coupe definitely helps make that argument.
As one of the most popular cars in the early ‘60s, the Impala is a flawless blend of style and performance. With the new C-pillar style and rear wraparound window, the ‘62 Impala was affordable and attractive. The redesign demanded consumers’ attention, including Jody Schroedermeier of Canton, SD.
Schroedermeier purchased this flare red beauty and brought it to Outlaw Metalworks in Davis, SD for some upgrades. And it’s shaping up quite nicely thanks to owner Shawn DeVries and the skilled tradesmen of Outlaw.
Outlaw Metalworks first started operations in 2008 out of necessity for automotive-lover DeVries. Having always been into lifted trucks, mud racing, and drag racing, DeVries realized there weren’t many people who could complete the custom work he needed. So after 18 years of performing maintenance work for a large equipment dealer, DeVries struck out on his own. His skilled employees, Dan Rauch and Bob Tupper, are no strangers to automotive and fabrication work, either. Together they have driven Outlaw Metalworks to becoming the standard in custom fabrication and taking care of “everything under the paint.”
That’s exactly what the team did for Schroedermeir’s ride.
The custom work with swapping out the original 2-speed transmission with big block engine for the more powerful 495HP LS3 GM performance crate engine. An upgrade to a 4L70-E GM transmission provides a more fuel-efficient drive. Wanting to take advantage of the car’s fairly good ride quality, Outlaw also added coil-over QA1 single adjustable shocks so that it can be adapted to fit the preference of its driver. Maneuverability was increased by adding an ididit steering column and Forever Sharp steering wheel. Dakota Digital gauges are also mounted inside.
Further enhancements include a Wilwood master cylinder brake booster, new brake lines from front to rear, and installation of new 12-inch Wilwood brakes. Not one to use suspension kits, DeVries and his crew built and installed an all-new suspension for the Impala. New inner fenders were put on the car, and the crew painted them to match the exterior paint. Worn-out factory moldings were also replaced.
Schroedermeier wasn’t the only one calling the shots on his car though. His wife made a call to DeVries and enlisted his help to surprise Schroedermeier with the gift of air conditioning. And that isn’t the only surprise coming Schroedermeier’s way.
“He doesn’t know about this yet,” DeVries joked, referring to the article.
In addition to the ‘62 Impala, the Outlaw team is currently working a plethora of other projects including a ‘68 fastback. The iconic Ford Mustang will be treated to a rebuild from the ground up. The team is ready to take on anything else that comes their way, from fabrication services to ground-up restorations and chassis designs.
“We’re still here; we haven’t gone anywhere,” said DeVries.