Myron Dybing of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, bought his ’59 Impala hardtop in June of 2014, from a builder in Peace, Minnesota. It appeared to be the best of three cars he had for sale, but the floors and trunk were rusty. Not only was it the best of the three but there was no other rust anywhere on the body, which was quite unusual considering the floor and trunk were. Of, course, less rust cuts down on build time, especially when it comes to body work!
After hauling it home, Myron worked on it that first winter, when the cold surely invades Minnesota. He was in no particular hurry but he wanted to turn the ’59 into an old style kustom, complete with Lakes Pipes, Rolled and Pleated interior but keeping the original engine that would power it – the stock 348ci V8. Behind that Myron decided to add a better transmission- a T-350.
Shortly after placing it in his 3-car garage, he replaced the floor and the trunk floor with repro parts, and repaired a huge door dent. When that was taken care of he started on the “kustom” part of the build by redoing the rear of the car similar to Joe Burgasser’s Barris built ’59 Impala. Myron used round rod to enlarge the taillight area and form the opening for four ’59 Buick taillights and then metal was filled in. The license plate indention was moved down from just under the fins, the gas filler was moved inside the trunk and a 1960 Buick rear bumper was literally bolted into place.
Needless to say, the trunk need replacing., Certainly looks better in the 'after" pic, right?
Myron is no stranger to building a kustom, his passion started in high school way back in 1956 when he got a driver’s license and a 1951 Ford Vicky. Like all teens at the time, he read all the small Car Craft, Rod and Custom, and Custom Cars books of the times. The first thing he did on his Victoria was shave the hood, trunk, and door handles. He then lowered it in the rear with 6 inch blocks, added dual exhaust and glass packs, and put a 49 Chevy license bumper guard on the rear. Olds spinners and skirts were added after he paid a friend to paint it a Dark Metallic Green for today’s unheard of sum of $75.00.
Left: Body mods included 'restyling' the taillight opening and enlarging it to fit two '59 Buick taillights per side. Right: Headlights needed to be moved inboard to match up to the Chrylser grille. Scoops were added to the out sides of the headlights with round rod and metal.
He’s always had a kustom car in his life and in 1994 he started on a ’50 Chevy two door and built it into an award winning vehicle he named “Lavendar Lady.” He finished the Lavendar Lady in 1997 and started going to the summer’s events. No stranger to rod running, he and his wife, Pam, drove the car all over the U.S. for 17 years, putting over 100,000 miles on it. Of course, going to different rod runs each summer gets the blood flowing and the mind thinking and soon enough, the ‘gotta-build-another’ bug bit him again.
In the winter of the second year of owning the ’59, Myron took on the front suspension. All bushings, tie rods, and the rest were replaced along with adding disc brakes. In the rear an adjustable panhard bar was added after cutting one coil from the rear springs, and the same to the fronts to lower the car. A 605 power steering box replaced the original and a dual master cylinder/power brakes finished out the suspension work.
Left: After redoing the floor, Impala bucket seats were bolted in to see how they fit. Right: Dash has been painted and assembled and the difficult job of wiring it all has commenced.
Nearly finished and awaiting some road miles, this rear end photo highlights the ’59 Buick taillights, the 1960 Buick bumper and the new license plate position.
The next summer (2015), the 1950 Chevy -‘Lavendar Lady’ went away. The Lavendar Lady was begun in 1994 and drivable in 1997. He worked on it when time permitted while he was teaching high school music, in Kindred, North Dakota. When he retired from 30 years of teaching in 1997, Myron was able to finish the ‘50 that summer. It was a great car and in June of 2015, Myron drove the Chevy to the Custom Car Revival in Indianapolis and put a for sale sign on it. It didn’t take long to sell and Dr. Dave of Arkansas purchased the ‘Lavendar Lady.’ The sale would help finish the ’59, now named “Lady Blue.”
The third winter Myron rehung the front clip, removed the factory ’59 turn signals, smoothed out the factory scoops in the hood and ruff- mounted a ’59 Chrysler Imperial grille. Because the Imperial grille was narrow, Myron moved the headlights in and then built functional scoops in each front fender’s outer edge. Round rod was used throughout to make for a smooth look and feel.
A happy and healed Myron Dybing stands next to his latest kustom. Lady Blue has been grabbing plenty of awards lately.
In the summer of 2016, the original 348ci engine was rebuilt, backed with the T-350 transmission and settled into the engine bay. Myron finished the body work and painted the ’59 himself in his garage. He chose 2014 Ford Blue Flame Metallic basecoat and clear, and then started color sanding. Unfortunately, Myron had an accident which hurt his shoulder and that halted final assembly and upholstery on the car.
Fortunately, his ‘no-hurry’ time frame wasn’t hindered so he changed direction and figured it was time to do upholstery. Myron contacted the upholsterer of his past cars and asked to be added to the schedule. Billy’s Custom Coverup of Fargo, North Dakota did the carpet, seats and headliner and Myron’s wife, Pam, stepped up and offered to attempt doing the door panels and trunk.
Quite the learning experience, she hand-stuffed all the rolls and pleats of the interior door panels and trunk panels and helped Myron attach them. While she was sewing and Myron was healing, he tackled the small stuff and polished all the stainless. This past Spring, he was able to finish polishing the new paint.
The car is now on the road with about 1,000 miles on it. Other than a few building bugs to work out everything seems fine. Tires are Diamondback wide whites, 205/75/15 on black painted wheels. This coming winter the wheels will be replaced with chrome reverse and spider caps and the car will be pinstriped. Will there another kustom in Myron’s future? Hard to say, but “Lady Blue” is definitely bringing home the awards right now.
What do you think Myron’s Chevy? Let us know in the comments below, and if you have a project of your own that you’ve been slaving away at, share it with us! Send us an email and yours could be the next project featured in “What Are You Working On?”