I’m not the one saying it but the production figures. Chevy built over13 million Impalas between 1958 and 1996, and this crowns it as the most successful full-size model sold in the United States.
Getting back to the 1958 model year, while General Motors hoped the Impala would eventually boost its sales, the company decided to start with baby steps for the first year on the market. The Impala was, therefore, born as the top-of-the-line version of the Bel Air, being offered only as a sports coupe or a convertible.
Most of the details are missing, but it’s not hard to figure out why this Impala is such an intriguing project. The convertible is a highly desirable model, especially as it was the most expensive Impala back in 1958.
It all depended on the spec sheet, but a convertible with Ram-Jet fuel injection added nearly $500 over the sticker price of the top-of-the-line configuration.
The 30 years in storage have caused massive rust in almost every single area, and I seriously doubt that regular patching would do any good right now. New panels are almost certainly required, especially on the floors and in the trunk, where the rust has produced massive damage. The engine under the hood is long gone as well.
The 1958 Impala could be ordered with either six-cylinder engines or V8 units, as Chevrolet wanted the car to be both a fancy ride to the supermarket and a small rocket on wheels. The base unit was a 235 (3.8-liter) straight-six, but the most popular choice for this model year was the 283 (4.8-liter) V8.
Of course, the icing on the cake was the 348 (5.7-liter) V8, which was offered in not one, not two, but five different configurations. The top-of-the-range, fitted with the Special Turbo Thrust package, developed 315 horsepower.
This convertible no longer has an engine, and this isn’t necessarily a surprise. Due to its long tenure in hiding, the car most likely served as a donor for other projects, so while a full inspection in person is recommended, you should also expect other parts to be missing too.
The current condition of the project certainly makes it a restoration candidate that’s not aimed at the faint of heart. At the end of the day, I’m honestly not surprised to see this Impala becoming a hit on eBay.
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