Introduced in 1958 as a special, anniversary version of the Bel Air, the Chevrolet Impala became a stand-alone model in 1959. And it became quite popular too, moving enough units so that it’s far from rare more than 60 years later.
In fact, there’s no shortage of 1959 Impalas regardless of whether we’re talking about barn finds, junkyard rust buckets, nicely restored examples, or restomods. Yes, certain drivetrain-option combinations are a bit harder to find and the two-door hardtops are usually more desirable, but overall, the 1959 Impala is a rather common classic.
Unless you’re looking for unrestored survivors. Because 1959 Impalas that haven’t been repainted or engine-swapped are indeed tough to find. But YouTube’s “IowaClassicCars” was lucky enough to locate such an example at an estate auction. Yes, it’s pretty beat-up and will need a lot of work to run and drive again, but it’s as original as they get.
And not only does it still have its factory 348-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V8 under the hood, but it still boasts its original Gothic Gold paint job. Why is this color important? Well, it’s the ultimate 1959 Impala hue and the color you’ll see the most in those cool vintage Chevrolet ads.
Yes, I know Roman Red is also a popular color on these rigs, but Gothic Gold is unique thanks to its brownish tint.
This Impala is also very complete, which makes the deal even sweeter, and it also rocks a two-tone upholstery that matches the gold/brown shade of the exterior.
You won’t be able to see much of that since the seats are dirty and worn out, but this Chevy was a gorgeous rig when it rolled off the assembly line. And with a bit of luck, it might get restored to its original specifications.
For the time being, our host took the four-door to his shop to get it cleaned up and assess the rust issues. The Impala will need new floors and a trunk pan to become road-worthy, but it appears to be in one piece otherwise.
As for the 348 W-series Turbo Thurst V8, which was the range-topping mill in 1959, it’s likely stuck after 40 years without a sip of gasoline. But knowing the owner and his determination to get barn finds going again, we might just see it fire up in a “will it run?” type of video soon.