The Impala was the top of the line Chevrolet since its introduction in 1958. It was also one of Chevrolet’s beset sellers. For 1961, GM restyled its full-sized B-Platform cars, which included the Chevrolet Impala, Buick Invicta, Pontiac Bonneville and the Oldsmobile 88.
1961 Chevrolet Impala
The exterior styling of the 1961 Chevrolet Impala was trim and boxy compared to the 1960 model. A Sport Coupe model featured a “bubbleback” roof line style for ’61, and a there was unique 2-door pillared sedan that was only 1961. 1961 marked the debut of the Super Sport (SS) option and was the last year the top station wagon model would bear the Nomad name. Both highly collectible today.
1962 Chevrolet Impala
1962 models received new “C” pillar styling for all models except the 4-door hardtop. The Sport Coupe models featured “convertible roof” styling that was shared with other GM “B” platform full-sized hardtop coupes. This style proved extremely popular and is a desirable collectible. The “overhang” roof style of the 1961 sedans was replaced with a wider more aesthetically pleasing “C” pillar which wrapped around the rear window. Engine choices for ’62 included a 409-cubic-inch 340 brake horsepower, which could be ordered with any transmission. There was also a small-block 327 cubic inches. As expected in the top-of-the-line Chevrolet, the Impalas featured premium interior appointments, plush seats, and chrome trim outside, including a full-width aluminum-and-chrome panel to house the triple-unit taillight assembly. The Super Sport (SS) models featured the panel in a special engine-turned aluminum that was also used to fill the side moldings, which made the SS more distinctive. The Impala also gained a top-of-the-line station wagon. The optional Turboglide automatic transmission was discontinued in 1962, due to reliability problems. This left the Powerglide as the only automatic transmission available until 1965.
1963 Chevrolet Impala
The 1963 Impala featured distinctive body style that had crisp lines with pointed front and rear fenders which to emphasize the long and low style of design that was popular in the early 1960s. Even though the 1963 was almost mechanically identical to the 1962 model, the 1963 is the most popular with collectors because of its body style. The rear taillight panel was aluminum, and was surrounded by a chrome border with the engine-turned surface on SS models. Engine choices were similar to ’62. The Sport Sedan now featured a creased roof line that was popular. The interior received a new “coved” instrument panel, which was good-looking but replaced the temperature gauge with “idiot lights” for engine temperature. An optional factory tachometer was offered, but rarely ordered.
1964 Chevrolet Impala
The 1964 Impala received a mild restyle. Body panels reverted to a more rounded and softer look. The taillight assembly featured an “upside-down U” shaped trim strip above the taillights, while the lights themselves were surrounded by a body-colored panel. The 409-cubic-inch returned as the big-block option. The 425 horsepower engines offered a 2X4 carburetor setup. The SS models continued to feature the engine-turned aluminum trim. Rooflines were unchanged from ’63.
To see what Chevrolet did with the Impala in 1965, see our post on the 1965-1970 Chevrolet Impala. For other Chevrolets see our posts on the 1967-1972 Chevroet C/K Truck or the 1964-1967 Chevrolet Malibu. To view other full-size cars of this era, see our post on the 1961-1964 Oldsmobile 88 or the 1961-1964 Mercury Monterey.
To find a Classic to yourself, see the Classics For Sale listings.