The 1958 Chevrolet Impala Emerges from 30 Years of Hiding to Challenge the Tesla’s Reign

While the Impala was created in 1958, the nameplate grinned for the first time in front of the public during the General Motors Motorama event two years earlier. This new moniker was introduced by Chevrolet as a basic yet ambitious sports coupe idea.

At a time when Ford was already ruling the market, Impala’s main objective was to revive General Motors and make it competitive once more. Nobody, not even GM, was aware that the Impala was set to lead the car industry in such a powerful way and go on to become an iconic model.

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.

One of the 1958 Impalas still in existence today is now fighting for survival after spending no more, no less than 30 years in storage. That’s right, the convertible you see here is back in action after over three decades in hiding, with the owner explaining that everything you see in the pics is as original as it gets.

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.

Sure enough, this doesn’t necessarily mean this Impala is a museum-grade classic. Not at all, and the pictures that you can see here confirm the car needs a ton of work before it can even be considered roadworthy. Unfortunately, the most concerning part is the current condition of the metal.

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.

It was the configuration that developed just the right amount of power for the majority of drivers, with the two-barrel carburetor version producing 185 horsepower. A four-barrel unit pushed the output to 230 horsepower.

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.

Probably the best thing about this Impala is that the car, or at least what’s left of it, is as original as it was when it rolled off the assembly lines. With the right parts and a proper restoration job, the car could eventually become a museum-grade Impala that could end up costing quite a small fortune.

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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