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 ManufacturersArrow PictureChevroletArrow PictureImpala Series (1958 - 1972)Arrow Picture1959 Chevrolet Impala Series 
Image Left 1958 Bel Air Series1960 Impala Series Image Right
 

1959 Chevrolet Impala Series news, pictures, specifications, and information

The 1959 Chevrolet was completely different and was a one year only design. The headlamps were so low at night you could detect it as a 1959 Chevrolet. The rear end had wings resembling a seagull and under the wings the taillights appeared to be cat eyes. The Impala had a production run of 65,800 units and weighed 3,659 pounds. The selling price was $3,451 and came with a 283 cubic-inch V-8 engine and Powerglide transmission.
Impala Series 1700 Six Cyl Hardtop Convertible
 
Named for a Southern African Antelope, the Impala was introduced in 1958 as a new upmarket, sporty trim package created for Bel Air coupes and convertibles. The Impala became a separate model in 1959 in both two and four-door versions and became the best-selling car in the Chevrolet lineup. For 1960, it became the best-selling automobile in the United States and held that position for the next decade. From 1958 until 1966, Impala sales were in excess of 13 million units, more than any other full-size car in the history of the automobile. In 1965, the Impala set an all-time industry annual sales record of more than 1 million units in the United States, which has never been bettered. The unique rear fins and a 'Continental Tire Kit' typified the era.
Impala Series 1700 Six Cyl Hardtop Sport Sedan
 
The 1959 Chevrolets were even longer, lower and wider than before, and a radical departure from the more conventionally proportioned cars from 1958. Their most distinguishing styling feature was the 'laid over' tailfins forming 'brows' over the 'cat's eye' taillight. Coupes like this one, display a crisp-lined hardtop highlighted by a wrap-over back window that allowed an almost unlimited rear view.
Impala Series 1800 V8 Convertible
Chassis Num: F59L180143
 
Sold for $88,000 at 2012 RM Auctions.
The new small-block V8 was introduced for 1955 and helped Chevrolet become a sales leader and also the performance leader in the low-priced field. Upgrades followed in 1956 and 1957 including fuel injection and achieving the one-bhp-per-cubic-inch for its 283 cubic-inch engine. In 1958, the line was completely redesigned with the flagship being the new Impala subseries in the Bel Air line, appearing in two body styles only, a convertible and 'Sport Coupe' two-door hardtop.

The Impala was given new uniquely-contoured rear fenders and extra taillights. Under the bonnet was a new engine designed for truck use, joining the small-block V8. It had a displacement size of 348 cubic-inches an available in several stages of tune, producing 250 to 315 BHP.

For 1959, all General Motors cars were redesigned in reaction to Chrysler Corporation's finned 1957s. Chevrolet was given gull-wing rear fender adornment and long horizontal 'eyebrows' in the leading edge of the hood. At the top of the series was the 'Impala' and available as a four-door sedan, two- and four-door hardtops, a convertible and a four-door Nomad station wagon.

This Impala Convertible is finished in Crown Sapphire, with a light and medium turquoise vinyl interior. The car has had only three owners from new and was given a full rotisserie restoration in 1995. The top and upholstery were redone in 2010.

Power is from a 348 cubic-inch Super Turbo-Thrust engine breathing through two-barrel carburetion and offering 280 horsepower. It has a Powerglide transmission and Positraction. It is equipped with dual exhausts, power brakes and power steering. It has a Wonderbar signal-seeking radio with dual antennas, spinner hubcaps, windshield washers and E-Z Eye tinted glass. Other accessories include a tissue dispenser and a Cadillac-inspired grille guard.

In 2012, this vehicle was offered for sale at RM Auction's sale in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $75,000-$100,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $88,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2012
Impala Series 1800 V8 Sport Coupe
Chassis Num: F59L151129
 
High bid of $100,000 at 2013 Mecum. (did not sell)
The swept-wing rear sculpting and 'cat's eyes' tail lights are classic styling cues that set the 1959 apart from every other car of the era. This Impala 2-door hardtop has a very rare factory option - it is known to be one of only 19 equipped with the Rochester Ram Jet Fuel Injection 283/290 HP small block V8 backed by a floor-shifted Borg Warner T-10 4-speed manual transmission and a Positraction rear end. It is finished in Tuxedo Black paint, has black painted steel wheels, dog dish center caps and correct 700-14 BF Goodrich Silvertown wide whitewall tires. It has a two-tone Red interior. There is an AM radio, heater, in-dash electric clock and a column-mounted Sun Super Tach to monitor the solid-lifter 283's RPMs.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2013
The 1950's Impala was big, very big. It actually began its life as a top option level of the Bel Air. Due to sales being so well for this body style, Chevrolet decided to create the Impala as its own model. Its styling has been termed 'bat-winged' due to the rear-styling of the vehicle. A variety of engines were available ranging from an inline-6 cylinder up to a triple carburetor, 348 cubic-inches V8 capable of producing 315 horsepower. A fuel injected V8 became available in 1959.

From the front of the car, the design was fairly normal for the 1950's era. Extensive amounts of chrome littered the front end. Two headlights, located side-by-side, were placed on each sides of the vehicle. A front grill was used to help keep the engine cool. View the car from the side and it becomes immediately clear that this is a big vehicle. The length of the vehicle could be extended an additional 11 inches by adding the Continental spare tire cover to the rear of the car. Viewing the car from the rear, the car quickly ends up in a league of its own, with only a few other vehicles such as the Cadillac Series 62 / DeVille having such a radical rear-end. The vehicle featured rear-fins that resembled cats-eyes. To top it all off, this car was not-only long, it was also very wide.

Drum brakes were used and due to the weight of the vehicle, tended to wear out rather quickly. The Impala came in three different body styles including a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, and a convertible coupe. Even though the vehicle weighed 3650 lbs, it could achieve a zero-to-sixy run in about 9 seconds. Top speed was in the neighborhood of 130 miles-per-hour.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2009

Chevrolet Impala, 1958-1960

In 1958, Chevrolet decided to move upscale with a new trim level for the successful Bel Air. Called Impala, the upgrade package included enhanced interior and exterior styling, along with powertrain options potent enough to create one of the best performing large cars available at the time.

The name of this new trim level had been used at Chevy before, when GM was showcasing dream cars in its 1956 Motorama shows. One auto created for this show by GM's design studio was the Chevrolet Corvette Impala. With a hardtop and room for five, this concept was created to show the possibility of producing a full model line for the Corvette. It had a traditional Corvette grille and swoopy lines with a sporty flair, free of the fins so popular on sedans.

Though the Corvette Impala never made it beyond concept car status, the Bel Air Impala retained some of its sporting intent. The priciest car in Chevrolet's fleet, the new flagship could be had with a 348c.i. V8 producing 315bhp.

Ironic given the clean lines of the Corvette Impala, the Bel Air Impala featured large fins and as much chrome as a contemporary roadside diner. Other new styling elements included a six taillight rear treatment, and a wide front view with four headlamps. The Impala package could be ordered only as a coupe or convertible, enhancing the sporting image of the car. While the base engine was a 145bhp straight six, every other available engine was a V8 displacing 283c.i. or 348c.i. With this plethora of performance-minded engine options, buyers knew theses vehicles were serious.

The Bel Air Impala was an easy seller. Despite its premium price, the public loved its looks and available power. Its sales volume was high enough to prompt Chevy to bring back the Impala for 1959 as a model line in its own right, free of Bel Air connections.

Available as a sedan, coupe, and convertible, the 1959 Impala was an even bigger hit. Its design was fresh and considered very stylish, with huge fins second in size only to Cadillac's. The Impala was named after an African antelope, hence the car's logo. Other animals were evidently taken into consideration as well during the designing of the Impala. The large tailfins were referred to as 'bat wings.' The long, narrow taillights, which tapered toward the center to sharp points, were called 'cat's eyes.'

Many consider the early Impala the first real muscle car. The 1958 models especially followed the formula of taking a big sedan, getting rid of a couple of doors, and shoehorning in the biggest V8 that'll fit under the hood.

For 1959, the performance slant of Impalas took on a hint of greater sophistication when an impressive new engine choice was made available. A 283c.i. V8 with an advanced fuel injection system was introduced. With more power than the cheapest 348c.i. engine, the fuel injected motor made a great choice. Unfortunately, it was never very popular and is a rare find today.

The 1960 Impala was a letdown for driving enthusiasts. Some of the distinct styling features were deleted, as was the availability of fuel injection. The Impala had taken a step away from its performance roots. It continued to sell incredibly well, though. In 1959, the Impala was already the bestselling Chevrolet. In 1960, it became America's bestselling car of any manufacturer.

Successful or not, the Impala was beginning to lose its direction in 1960. But hopeful enthusiasts were rewarded for their patience a year later when the 1961 Impala SS was introduced, bringing a brand new performance icon to Chevrolet. The Impala would go on to become the bestselling full-size car of all time.

Sources:

www.corvettes.nl, '1956 Chevrolet Impala Show Car.' Car Styling 7 Mar 2009 http://www.carstyling.ru/en/cars.1956_Chevrolet_Impala%20Show%20Car%20.html.

Patterson, Marit Anne. '1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible.' Sports Car Market 08 Aug 2008 7 Mar 2009 http://www.hagerty.com/lifestyle/hobby_article.aspx?id=34714.

'Chevrolet Impala History.' Muscle Car Club 7 Mar 2009 http://www.musclecarclub.com/musclecars/chevrolet-impala/chevrolet-impala-history-1.shtml.

'1958 Chevrolet Impala.' 1958 Classic Chevrolet: 'A Whole New Look' 7 Mar 2009 http://58classicchevy.com/.

By Evan Acuña
Considered to be ‘the best selling full-size car in the U.S.,' in 1960 the Chevy Impala was designed and built by the Chevrolet division of General Motors.

Originating as a sports coupe, the Impala began as a dreamcar for the 1956 General Motors Motorama.
The name Impala originated from a southern African antelope known for its speed and prowess. Introduced in 1958, the Impala was developed by chief engineer automotive executive for General Motors, Edward Cole.
Michigan born, Cole was the son of a dairy farmer whose lifelong aspiration was to become an automotive engineer. Beginning as a lab assistant for the General Motors Institute, Cole worked in engineering before gaining recognition and becoming promoted to chief engineer in 1952. Cole eventually became president of Chevrolet in 1967.

Introduced with a trim package, the new sporty model was unique with its six taillights. Eventually becoming the ‘best selling car in the Chevrolet product line', in 1959 it became a separate model in both two and four-door versions. Within the second year of production, production reached 473,000 units.

Continuing for a decade as the best-selling automobile in the U.S. Impala broke the record for sales with over 13 million units sold. The Impala held this record until 1977 setting an ‘all-time industry annual sales record of more than 1 million units.'

Introducing the largest impala, the 1971 redesign set the standard that has yet to be topped remaining Chevrolet's top-selling model until the late 1970's.

The design of the Impala SS (Super Sport) became the model often credited for the beginning of the muscle car era.

During the 1973 energy crisis that rocketed the nation, the impact of high rising gas prices put a damper on the industry. Impala sales plummeted and the redesign of the Impala to meet changing demands. Minimized in length, becoming more narrow and taller in stature, the new Impala showcased ‘the new image of the full-size American car – smaller, lighter, more efficient.'

Over the decades, the Impala has continued to remain an American trademark, enhanced by its ability to evolve with the times.

Introduced during the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2005, the 2006 Impala came complete with a base engine, a 3.5 L V6 that produced 211 hp. A completely revised interior, the 06 Impala was selected by Fleet car of the Year by both Automotive Fleet and Business magazines.

By Jessica Donaldson
For more information and related vehicles, click here

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Arrow Right 1959 Chevrolet models
Chevrolet Apache
Chevrolet Bel Air Series
Chevrolet Biscayne Series
Chevrolet Corvette C1
Chevrolet Corvette Scaglietti Coupe
Chevrolet El Camino
1959 Chevrolet Concepts
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Racer

Collectible: A Gathering of the Exceptional and Captivating
Similar Automakers
CadillacChrysler
DodgeFord
GMCHummer
JeepLincoln
MercuryPontiac
Saturn
Similarly Sized Vehicles from 1959
Bentley S2 Series
Cadillac DeVille
Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz
Cadillac Eldorado Seville
Cadillac Series 62
Chevrolet Bel Air Series
Chevrolet Biscayne Series
Chevrolet El Camino
Edsel Corsair
Edsel Ranger

Similarly Priced Vehicles from 1959
Plymouth Sport Fury ($2,930-$3,130)
Studebaker Lark VIII ($2,315-$2,588)
Elva Courier MKII ($2,895-$2,895)
MG MGA ($2,460-$3,640)
Ford Galaxie ($590-$3,350)
Plymouth Suburban ($2,570-$3,135)

Average Auction Sale: $53,142

 
Chevrolet: 1951-1960
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Chevrolet History
Other models by Chevrolet
Manufacturer Website

Chevrolet
Monthly Sales FiguresVolume
March 2014179,681 
February 2014153,913 
January 2014119,089 
December 2013153,493 
November 2013145,089 
October 2013155,214 
September 2013127,785 
August 2013187,740 
July 2013162,670 
June 2013193,460 
May 2013179,510 
April 2013172,460 
(More Details)

 
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Image Left 1958 Bel Air Series1960 Impala Series Image Right
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