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 CoupesArrow PictureManufacturersArrow PictureChevroletArrow PictureImpala Z11 (1958 - 1972)Arrow Picture1963 Chevrolet Impala Z11 
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1963 Chevrolet Impala Z11 news, pictures, specifications, and information

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In the early 1960s, intense rivalry among the American auto manufacturers began to manifest itself on the short dirt tracks and the high-banked oval speedway in the southern United States. Chevrolet was right in the thick of the battle when Junior Johnson debuted his Impala at the 1963 Daytona 500. Johnson's Impala quickly had the competition taking notice when he ran 165.183 mph in practice (fully 8 mph faster than the previous year's pole speed).

Powering the Impala was the legendary 427 'Mystery Motor' that featured a new design cylinder head (called the Porcupine as the angled valves and rockers 'stuck out every which way') and a four-bolt main block. Unfortunately, mechanical problems robbed Johnson and the Impala of victory when leading the 1963 Daytona 500. For most of the races that year, Johnson's Impala was on the pole and by the end of the season, Impalas had scored eight victories during their first and only year of competition.

Chevrolet had learned a valuable lesson from the 'Mystery Motor' program and applied what they had learned on the track back to the engine's design. Within a few short years, production Chevrolet 427 Mar IV big block engines would dominate a wide variety of racing venues throughout the world.

The current owner is The International Speedway Corporation, Daytona, Florida.
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This car is the very first factory light weight car built on the assembly line at Flint, Michigan Chevrolet Assembly. It's still not known how many of these cars were built - somewhere between 50 and 57 are the numbers commonly used. The owner believes there were 50 built, based on a shipping document from an engine plant showing 50 Z-11 engines shipped to the Flint Assembly Plant.

Zora Duntov and his group of engineers developed the 427 Z-11 engine and body package for drag racing. The Z-11 427 engine was the first 427 cubic-inch production engine offered by Chevrolet in a Regular Production Order (RPO) car.

The base price of a 1963 Impala was $2,774. Adding the price of the RPO Z-11 option of $1,240 brings the total price just over $4,000, not including destination charges, taxes, etc.

This car was raced by Ronnie Sox (of Sox and Martin Fame). It was used as their match race car and was billed as the 'World's Fastest Z-11,' turning low 11.20 ET's. It in fact was capable of times as fast at 10.80 ET in the ¼ mile and indeed was extremely fast for its day. The car has factory aluminum hood, fenders, bumpers, brackets and other components.
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As the drag racing wars continued to escalate, so did the efforts to find ways to win. Lighter cars and bigger engines were one quick means to an end. For Chevrolet, one of their attempts was the Impala Z11 with a modified 409 engine. In 1963 and 1964, the Impala was could be fitted with various types of engines with results ranging from 340 to 425 horsepower. The Z-11 was devoid of heaters, radios, sound deadening insulation, and any other non-essential items. In total, there were only 47 examples produced and even fewer exist in modern time.

The RPO Z-11 Impala cars were built to race. They were used by many of the top drag racing individuals of the time and used with great success on many occasions.
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This 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 Sport Coupe has just 1,080 miles and a distinguished racing career. It has a factory installed aluminum front end and bumpers. It was ordered from the factory with the Z-11 package that included the 427 cubic-inch 'Mystery Engine' with special Z-11 heads. The car has undergone a complete frame-off restoration and is one of the finest examples of a factory race car.
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When you pair a Chevrolet Impala Z-11 wîth the likes of engine builder Bill 'Grumpy' Jenkins and racer Dave Stickler, you get a combination that could only lead to victory.

In the early days of A/FX racing, different combinations were tried and tested on racetracks each weekend. With Bill Jenkins doing the tuning and Dave Strickler driving, Chevy had a winning team.

Only 16 factory drag racing Impalas were produced in 1962, and 57 in 1963.

This car was one of the first Impalas to have the Z-11 drag racing option, and, raced by Strickler, won over 90-percent of its races including Indy '63. Strickler is remembered as a tireless racer who played a very important role in the early years of A/FX racing.

Source - Vehicle Owner
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
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Gooding & Company, the acclaimed auction house celebrated for selling the world's most significant and valuable collector cars, will host its annual Pebble Beach Auctions on August 18th & 19th in association with the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Once again, Gooding & Company is poised to present an outstanding array of blue chip and concours-quality collector cars on its record-setting stage, including the elegant 1955 Maserati A6G/54 Frua Berlinetta owned by Grammy Award-winni...[Read more...]

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Arrow Right 1963 Chevrolet models
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Chevrolet II Nova Series 400
Chevrolet Impala NASCAR
Chevrolet Impala Series
1963 Chevrolet Concepts
Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT Concept
Chevrolet Corvair Monza SS Concept
Chevrolet Corvair PF Concept Car
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Collectible: A Gathering of the Exceptional and Captivating
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Chevrolet: 1961-1970
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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 
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