Image credits: © Chevrolet. GM Corp

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series

The full-size 1955 through 1957 Chevrolet passenger-car line had been immensely successful, yet Chevrolet styling took a new direction for 1958. The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air looked nothing like its 1957 predecessor, as all full-size 1958 Chevrolet's received fresh and new bodyshell designs which they shared with Pontiac. With the all-new X-member 'Safety Girder' frame design and four-wheel coil suspension (replacing the old leaf springs), the 1958 Chevys were lower, wider, longer, and more luxurious with the 283 CID V8 remaining as the mainstay powerplant. New for 1958 was the first of the company's big-block powerplants, with the 348 available in four different states of tune. The 348 CID 'Turbo thrust' was essentially the company's truck motor and Chevy's second-generation V-8. It was called the 'W' engine referring to the shape of its valve covers, and would eventually evolve into the legendary '409.' With tri-power (meaning three two-barrel carburetors), the engine developed an impressive 280 horsepower.

Chevrolet sales remained strong, despite a weak American economy, and the new top-of-the-line Impala series accounted for over 15 percent of Chevrolet's 1.1 million cars sold. They reclaimed the top spot in sales from Ford and captured 29.5 percent of the market that year. Period advertisements touted the 'low, thrusting silhouette' and 'Sculpturamic Styling' of the full-size models - up to nine inches longer and five inches lower, on a 2.5-inch longer wheelbase than before. Even with its sales success, the 1959 model was all-new yet again.

Dramatic dream car-inspired stylistic cues included neatly coved gullwing-style rear fenders, rear-deck sculpting, quad headlamps (making their first appearance), and revised bodyside accent trim. The large grille, courtesy of GM stylist Harley Earl, was similar to those of Buick and Oldsmobile.

Chevrolet carefully segmented its model lines, with each higher level outfitted with increasing levels of trim, comfort, convenience items, and standard powertrains. Chevy buyers had the option of the basic Del Ray and Biscayne to the top Bel Air series, which was joined for 1958 by the high-style Impala. The American public had been first exposed to the Impala name in 1956 on a concept car that was part of the GM Motorama.

The Impala was a trim line of the Bel Air series for 1958 and was offered only in sport coupe and convertible body styles. Distinguishable features included the Impala script, insignia, and crossed-flag emblems at the front of the cove. They had large imitation chrome-plated scoops ahead of the rear wheel wells, broad ribbed body sill panels, and two-spoke deep hub steering wheels with Impala medallions. From the A-pillar back, the Impala was markedly different from the regular Chevrolet model line-up.

The 1958 Chevy Bel Airs wore a one-year-only styling and came with a wide variety of small-block and 'W-head' V8 powertrains. When it was new, Chevrolet Chief Engineer Ed Cole described the Impala as a '...prestige car within reach of the average American citizen.'

The Impala became a separate model in 1959 in both two and four-door versions and later became the best-selling car in the Chevrolet product line. For 1960, it became the best-selling automobile in the United States and held that position for the next decade. From 1958 until 1996, 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 one million units, which has never been bettered.


by Daniel Vaughan | May 2020

Related Reading : Chevrolet Impala History

The 1950s 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....
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Related Reading : Chevrolet Impala History

Noted as one of Chevrolets most historic vehicles, the Impala has been an American legend for decades. Setting a standard in comfort and value, the Impala seemed to set the bar for the American muscle car. A full-size sedan built by the Chevrolet division of General Motors, the Impala was introduced for the 1958 model year. The Impala was Chevrolets priciest passenger model through 1965 and became....
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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....
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Related Reading : Chevrolet Impala History

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....
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1958 Vehicle Profiles

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible

The 1958 Chevrolet Series 1700 (referring to the 6-cylinder cars) and the 1800 Series (V-8 cars) Bel Air lineup ranged from two-door sedans to station wagons. The luxurious Impala models were available as either a two-door hardtop sport coupe or a t....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible

Chassis Num: F58B2111144

This 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Amelia Island, Florida where it was estimated to sell between $90,000 - $110,000. The car is powered by a 348 cubic-inch Super Turbo-Thrust V8 engine with th....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible

Chassis Num: F58132111144

This 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Meadow Brook where the car was believed to be worth $80,000 - $100,000. The car has traveled a mere 11,000 miles over the last 26 years. The car has been re....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible

In 1958 General Motors celebrated its 50th anniversary. This was the first year Chevrolet offered the luxury Impala model, and it was available with the 'Turbo Thrust' 348 cubic-inch V8. This example is in Aegean Turquoise with a tri-color interior....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible

First-Year Impala: A Legend is Born
Impala! The nameplate that would rocket to the top of the sales charts and stay there for years to come was born as a 1958 top-of-the-line trim package for Chevy's popular BelAir Series. Named for an Afr....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala

Impala! The nameplate that would rocket to the top of the sales charts and stay there for years to come was born in 1958 as a top-of-the-line trim package for Chevy's popular Bel Air series. Named for an African antelope, the first Impala was a wildl....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1700 Series Hardtop Sport Coupes

The Bel Air was completely redesigned for 1958 and its wheelbase was lengthened by 2.5 inches over the previous models. The 1958s made great use of aluminum trim, especially in accenting the new quadruple headlights and graceful wings along the trun....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1700 Series Impala Hardtop Sport Coupe

Introduced in 1958, the Impala was Chevrolet's top-of-the-line, full-sized sedan. It was designed by Harley Earl as a larger, more luxurious and more prestigious Chevrolet.....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

Chassis Num: F58J173553

In 1958, Chevrolet introduced the Impala as their new top-of-the-line model. It featured a 'Safety Girder' X-type frame that was longer, lower and wider that reduced overall height while keeping the same interior passenger headroom. There was an an....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

Chassis Num: F58S173101

The Chevrolet Impala was introduced in 1958 and positioned as Chevrolet's mid-priced vehicle. It was built on Chevy's new 'Safety Girder' X-type frame and was the basis for a longer, lower and wider body that reduced overall height without compromis....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1700 Series Impala HardTop Sport Convertible

Chassis Num: F58J235106

This Impala is equipped with a factory continental kit, factory flipper wheels covers, original dual mirrors, correct fingertip guards, power steering, and the original AM radio. Power is from a 283 cid overhead valve V-8 with four-barrel carburetor....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1700 Series Impala Hardtop Sport Coupe

The 1958 Chevrolet Impala was designed in 1956 taking some of its styling cues from the Motorama 'Corvette Impala' show car. Also, borrowing some design ideas from Cadillac; the fancy tri-tone interior, power brakes, power steering and lots of chrom....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

Chassis Num: E58N165246

The Impala Sport Convertible has been in the same ownership for the past two decades. It has been given a seven-year nut-and-bolt restoration which was completed near the close of the 1990s. The engine is a 348 cubic-inch 'Super Turbo Thrust' V8 en....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible

This 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible was completely restored in 1955. It has the 280 horsepower 348 V-8 with three two-barrel carburetors.....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible

Chassis Num: F58B123736

The Tri-Year Chevrolet models were produced in 1955, 1956, and 1957. These models had superb performance, excellent styling, and were strong sellers in the marketplace. In 1958, a redesign was called for, and Chevrolet promised and delivered somethin....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1700 Series Impala Hardtop Sport Coupe

The name 'Impala' was first used by Chevrolet on their 1956 General Motors Motorama show car. That vehicle included several design cues from the Corvette. The design was modified and approved for production beginning in 1958 when it became Chevrolet'....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala

This 1958 Chevrolet Impala wears its original Onyx black exterior, tri-color turquoise interior and is powered by its original Turbo-Thrust 348 4-barrel Big Block engine mated to an automatic powerglide transmission. This car is equipped with air con....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala

Chassis Num: F58L-192202

The Impala was a trim line of the Bel Air series for 1958. It was offered only in sport coupe and convertible body styles. Trim features included Impala script, insignia, and crossed-flag emblems at the front of the cove. They had broad ribbed body s....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1700 Series Impala Hardtop Sport Coupe

This 1958 Impala was featured in the 1972 'American Graffiti' film. The current owner pursued this car for years finally acquiring it in 2015. He got it from the party who originally purchased it from Lucasfilm immediately following production....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible

Chassis Num: F58L140152

The Impala name was first used on a concept car that appeared as part of the 1956 GM Motorama. The Impala joined the Chevrolet lineup in 1958, officially a part of the Bel Air Series, but position at the top-of-the-line model. Body styles included a ....[continue reading]

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series vehicle information

1800 Series Impala

Chassis Num: F580114804

Chevrolet revised their entire product line in 1958 despite it being a recession year. They introduced new designs that were a departure from the previous cars. They developed a new chassis and fresh sheet metal resulting in cars that were lower, wid....[continue reading]

1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible
 
1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible
Chassis #: F58B2111144 
1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible
Chassis #: F58132111144 
1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible
 
1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible
 
1800 Series Impala
 
1700 Series Hardtop Sport Coupes
 
1700 Series Impala Hardtop Sport Coupe
 
Chassis #: F58J173553 
Chassis #: F58S173101 
1700 Series Impala HardTop Sport Convertible
Chassis #: F58J235106 
1700 Series Impala Hardtop Sport Coupe
 
Chassis #: E58N165246 
1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible
 
1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible
Chassis #: F58B123736 
1700 Series Impala Hardtop Sport Coupe
 
1800 Series Impala
 
1800 Series Impala
Chassis #: F58L-192202 
1700 Series Impala Hardtop Sport Coupe
 
1800 Series Impala Sport Convertible
Chassis #: F58L140152 
1800 Series Impala
Chassis #: F580114804 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1958 Bel Air Series
$2,900-$18,600
1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Series Price Range: $2,400 - $2,900

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Chevrolet
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)2,237,201
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)2,061,677
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)1,318,014
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)1,653,168
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)1,462,140
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)1,142,460
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)1,505,910
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)1,567,117
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)1,704,667
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)1,143,561
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)1,346,475

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