1959 CHEVROLET IMPALA BACKGROUND
Chevy’s seminal Tri-Fives (1955-57) were followed up by the one-year-only ’58 Impala, but for the 1959 model year, a whole new platform was being built with a new X-frame chassis, and revised suspension and all-new bodywork that lowered the roofline 3 inches and the body by 2 inches. The 1959 Chevrolet Impala also shared its body shell with the lower-end Buicks and Oldmobiles. The styling was toned down slightly for the 1960 model year, which would be the final year of the second-generation. Of course, the 1959 bodywork is swoopy and doopy and you either love it or you hate it. Yet the 1959 Chevrolet Impala remains popular 50+ years later not despite its polarizing Batman-styling, but because of it.
1960 Chevrolet Impala INTERIOR
1960 Chevrolet Impala ENGINES
1960 CHEVROLET IMPALA ENGINE OPTIONS
For the 1960 model year, 3 engines were available, the standard 235ci stovebolt six, and no less than seven optional V8s, in either 283 small block or 348 W-series big block. The single-carbureted 283s ranged in output from 170hp to 230hp. The single-carb 348s ranged from 250hp to 320hp, with the top dog engine being the triple-2-barrel 348 making 350hp, with 11.25:1 compression and dual exhaust. It was a genuine rocket in its time.
ABOVE & BELOW: Pictured here is the W-series Big Block 348ci V8. The 348 and the later 409 share architecture and look very similar. They are easily distinguished from small block V8s by their oddly-shaped valve covers, with three bumps along their bottom side, with sort of an “M”-shape to them, compared to the straight-sided small block valve covers.
IS THIS YOUR CAR?
If so, and you would like the entire set of photos we took of it at the show, EMAIL US with the make, model, year & color of your car, along with the event. For $20 (via PayPal) we email you the complete folder of all the photos we took of your car that day. All are high-resolution, large-format JPG images that can be blown up or printed with photo quality. Capture that day with you and your car.