The Chevrolet Impala has served the Chevrolet brand for may years in many different roles. It has been everything from an crown jewel show car to the basic bare bones fleet vehicle. First appearing in 1956, the Impala would be produced through 1985 before being retired. However, the Impala would make a brief appearance during 1994-1996as the full-sized sports themed Impala SS. The Impala would than reappear in 2000 to take on the role of the Chevrolet “standard” model. The Impala is still being produced in that slot today.
1956 General Motors Motorama
The first Chevrolet Impala was a full-sized show car used in the 1956 General Motors Motorama. That show car had hardtop styling with Corvette design cues. It was painted emerald green metallic and had a white interior.
1958 Chevrolet Impala (First Generation)
The Impala was introduced in 1958 as the top-of-the-line Bel Air called the Bel-Air Impala. It was only available as a coupe or convertible. The Bel-Air Impala used the regular Bel-Air body, but had a slightly shorter greenhouse and longer rear deck. The Bel-Air Impala had a new chassis with unit construction rails laid out in the form of an elongated “X.”
1959-1960 Chevrolet Impala (Second Generation)
In 1959 and 1960 the Chevrolet Impala was Chevrolet’s top end full-size model. The Impala was made a separate model in 1959 instead of a subseries of the Bel-Air. It still used the same platform as the lower end Chevrolet Biscayne and mid-level Bel-Air, but was available with every option offered by Chevrolet. The Impala was offered as a four-door hardtop and four-door sedan, as well as the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible. Continue Reading about the 1959-1960 Chevrolet Impala…
1961-1964 Chevrolet Impala (Third Generation)
For 1961, GM restyled its full-sized B-Platform cars, which included the Chevrolet Impala, Buick Invicta, Pontiac Bonneville and the Oldsmobile 88. 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. Continue reading about the 1961-1964 Chevrolet Impala…
Chevrolet Impala 1965-1970 (Fourth Generation)
Chevrolet redesigned its, bread-and-butter sedan, the Impala, in 1965. This was a good idea as the Impala set an annual sales record of more than 1 million units. This record would not be beaten by the Impala again. Chevrolet also introduced a new top of the line Impala called the Caprice Impala. Unlike the 1961-1964 Impala, the all new 1965 full-size Chevrolet switched to a full-width perimeter frame with a redesigned full-coil suspension. The new body featured curved, frameless side glass and had sharper angled windshield with newly reshaped vent windows. Continue reading about the 1965-1970 Chevrolet Impala…
Chevrolet Impala 1971-1976 (Fifth Generation)
Redesigned for 1971, the Impala remained Chevrolet’s top-selling model. The redesigned Impala would be the largest car ever offered by Chevrolet. The same could be said for other GM B-bodies and C-bodies of this era. The hardtop Sport Coupe continued to be offered. It now featured a smoothly sloped semi-fastback reminiscent of the 1961 “bubbletop” styling. A high-performance big block V8 was still available in the form of the Turbo-Jet 454, which produced 365 hp in 1971. A three-speed manual transmission remained standard at the beginning of the year, but by the spring of 1971 all V8-equipped full-size GM cars got Turbo Hydra-Matic as standard equipment. However, Power-glide remained optionally available for six-cylinder cars until the 1973 models.
Chevrolet Impala 1977-1985 (Sixth Generation)
General Motors and Chevrolet took a gamble in 1977. That year all full-sized B and C body cars were downsized. For Chevrolet, this meant downsizing its B-body bread-and-butter Impala and Caprice sedans. But the gamble paid off for both Chevrolet and GM. The new Impala and Caprice were hugely successful, with Impala sales exceeding 300,000 units in its introductory year. The new Impala & Caprice was named Motor Trend’s car of the year for 1977. The new Impala & Caprice design would soldier through the 1990 Chevrolet Caprice. Continue reading about the 1977-1979 Chevrolet Impala…
The Impala received all new sheet-metal in 1980, but body styles remained similar. The inline 6 was replaced by a generic 229 cubic-inch V6, originally sourced from Buick. The Impala continued to sell well into the early 1980s. It would receive minor changes such as trim, color and taillights. By this time, the Impala was reduced to the base model full-size Chevrolet and was popular with fleet vehicle until it was discontinued in 1985. The Chevrolet would carry on the body style of the Impala with little changes until until 1990.
More comming on the Impala
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