1958 Chevrolet ImpalaConvertible
Year of manufacture1958
- Remarkable one-year-only styling; the mass-produced adaptation of the Motorama Impala concept car
- Desirable “Tri Power” 348 cu. in. V-8 engine and four-speed synchromesh manual transmission
- Finished in Onyx Black with correct tri-tone blue upholstery
- Benefits from a high-quality body-off restoration
Motorama showgoers in 1956 saw a hint of what was to come for Chevrolet, which debuted a new, range-topping nameplate: Impala. The 1958 Impala that emerged two years later was both the brand’s new flagship and an anniversary celebration for the Bowtie division; both a two-door hardtop coupe and convertible were available. Chevrolet began its march to find a more upscale buyer, and the styling intentionally recalled Cadillacs of the era.
The Impala was based on the Bel Air, but its Cadillac-inspired chrome grille penned by the legendary stylist Harley Earl helped it stand apart. This grille was complemented on either side by twin pairs of dual headlights, another styling landmark for Chevrolet. The chrome body side moldings that run nearly the entire length of the Impala pair well with the mock exhaust ports in its lower rear quarter panels and its numerous simulated vents. Inside, polychrome striped vinyl and miles of anodized aluminum trim outfitted GM’s most stylish cabin to date.
The first-year Impala’s striking body sat over a new X-frame construction with a coil-sprung suspension. Period advertisements touted the beauty and the “low, thrusting silhouette” of the full-size models—up to 9 inches longer and 5 inches lower, on a 2.5-inch longer wheelbase than before. Power came from a repurposed Chevrolet truck motor, the 348-cubic inch “Turbo Thrust” V-8, which was fed by one of three optional carburetor configurations.
This eminently presentable 1958 Impala Convertible offered here was acquired by the consignor in October 2009 from a private collection in California. Its stunning degree of presentation is thanks to a complete restoration executed by the consignor. The lustrous Onyx Black paintwork is nicely complemented by a rear continental kit, dual antennas, and factory “spinner” hubs wrapped in wide whitewall tires. The cabin of this Impala features a perfectly executed tri-tone blue interior replete with plenty of anodized aluminum trim beneath its power convertible top. The interior finishes are presented in factory-correct specifications with a handsome dash clock, Wonder Bar push-button radio, heater, and two-tone steering wheel.
The desirable “Tri Power” V-8 engine has been tastefully improved by the fitment of a four-speed synchromesh manual transmission which is actuated via a floor-mounted shift lever. In addition, this Impala’s road-handling performance benefits from the presence of power steering and brakes.
If you are looking for the very best in 1950s Chevrolets, make no doubt about it—this is your car. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf21.