GM’s decision to release the Impala came out of the company’s desire to celebrate its 50th anniversary in a rather unique way. Absolutely all brands in its portfolio released a special treatment for the top models, obviously by embracing similar styling.
Impala, therefore, received the difficult mission of boosting the customer appeal of the Bel Air. The car could only be ordered as a 2-door hardtop or convertible, and only in the top-of-the-line Bel Air configuration. It was the beginning of a glorious tenure that pushed Chevrolet back to the leading spot of the American car sales rankings.
The success of the Impala was pretty clear from the first months of availability. The demand for the car was so strong that the Impala accounted for no less than 15 percent of the entire Chevrolet production despite being available only as a Bel Air version. Most of the original Impalas rolled off the assembly lines as coupes (about 125,000 units), while the convertible output came down to nearly 56,000 units.
While it’s not yet known how many of these original Impalas are still around these days, it goes without saying that finding an example that hasn’t been molested in any way is an impossible mission. We all know what 65 years mean for a piece of metal, so it’s hard to believe that a 1958 Impala is still breathing today without a thorough restoration.
And yet, someone on eBay claims they have the nicest Impala still around these days. Its appealing package, however, doesn’t just come down to the equipment that was installed by Chevrolet more than six decades ago but also to the condition that this hardtop continues to exhibit today.
Let’s start with the thing that most people are interested in. This Impala is entirely original, so everything you see on the car is the work of Chevrolet engineers before the hardtop rolled off the assembly line. Even the mats and the trunk liner are the ones that came with the car, so in many ways, this Impala isn’t just a rare collectible but also a piece of art whose place would rather be in a Chevrolet museum.
Everything on the car, outside, inside, and under the hood, comes in beautiful condition. However, the Impala isn’t a perfect 10 survivor, as some small fixes are still required here and there. However, the overall shape is impressive, to say the least, especially as seller rove_8508 claims the car has never been restored.
The only thing that has been overhauled, we’re being told, is the factory power steering. The owner says a rebuild was the only way to go to bring it back to tip-top shape, but otherwise, both the engine and the transmission are still untouched.
The 1958 Impala could be had with either six-cylinders or V8s. The base unit was the 235 (3.9-liter) Blue Flame l6, while the 283 (4.7-liter) Turbo Fire served as the standard V8. The 348 (5.7-liter), which was also Chevy’s first big-block unit, was available in multiple configurations, including with optional three two-barrel carburetors for a maximum output of 280 horsepower.
The 283, however, was the most common choice for this year, with some models (the actual numbers are unknown, though) being fitted with the Power Pack upgrade. Telling the difference between a 283 and a 283 Power Pack isn’t necessarily easy, as it all comes down to the cylinder heads that Chevrolet used for the base V8 – the Power Pack used 59cc chambers, and you can tell them apart from the other heads by the symbol that was engraved during manufacturing – a pyramid that’s placed on top of a rectangle.
The Power Pack engine is also said to be powering this museum-grade Impala as well, and needless to say, everything is in perfect working condition. The V8 has never been restored, the seller guarantees, and it comes alongside a long list of all-original parts, including the AM radio, factory air conditioning, and factory-tinted glass.
Another tidbit that’ll probably blow the minds of Chevy diehards is the mileage. The odometer indicates just a little over 28,000 miles (that’s about 45,000 kilometers for our European friends), and of course, they are all original.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to find something to complain about on this Impala, especially as everything has been beautifully preserved throughout all these years. It goes without saying that a car this special can’t come for cheap, so you can only buy this Impala if you’re ready to spend $75,000 on it.