autoevolution

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala Convertible

Body style: Convertible (spider/spyder, cabrio/cabriolet, drop/open/soft top)
Segment: Roadster & Convertible
Production years: 1958, 1959

The 1958 Impala was the car that helped Chevrolet get over the recession year that affected the United States, even though it wasn't a distinct model but a trim level for the Bel Air.

What started as a trim level turned out to be a surprising success. That determined the automaker to create a different path for the Impala, which later on became the first American car to be sold in more than one million units in a single year after WWII.

General Motors had its 50th anniversary in 1958, and that's why it decided to create several special versions for the brands under its umbrella. Even if that meant heavily modifying a few vehicles, such as the Impala. Like the Sports Coupe version, the convertible received a quad-headlight front fascia and, up to the A-pillars, it resembled the Bel Air. Yet, the panoramic windshield and the more extended rear deck were different. In addition, at the back, it sported three taillights.

Inside, Chevrolet installed a taller instrument panel than the rest of the dashboard. It was fitted with a speedometer and a few gauges. In the middle of the dash panel, the Impala sported a radio and the controls for the ventilation system. At the front, the cabin featured a bench seat with individual adjustments for the seatbacks, while in the rear, the carmaker installed a bench for two with a center armrest. Thanks to the extended rear deck, the carmaker managed to completely conceal the canvas roof when it was retracted behind the cabin.

Under the hood, the Bel Air Impala received a choice of two engines with various power outputs, depending on the carburetor system. The most potent version was fitted with the newly introduced 5.7-liter V8 fed by three two-barrel carburetors that offered 280 hp.

CHEVROLET Impala Convertible 1958-1959 11 Photos
CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)CHEVROLET Impala Convertible (1958-1959)
CHEVROLET Impala Convertible 1958, 1959
  2 gasoline engines
  • 4.6L V8 3MT RWD (253 HP)
  • 5.7L V8 3MT RWD (253 HP)
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CHEVROLET Impala Convertible 4.6L V8 3MT RWD (253 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  4.6L V8 3MT RWD (253 HP)
Cylinders
V8
Displacement
4639 cm3
Power
186.1 KW @ 5000 RPM
253 HP @ 5000 RPM
250 BHP @ 5000 RPM
Torque
305 lb-ft @ 3800 RPM
414 Nm @ 3800 RPM
Fuel System
Carburettor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
20.1 gallons (76.1 L)
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
3-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Drum
Rear
Drum
DIMENSIONS
Length
209.1 in (5311 mm)
Width
77.7 in (1974 mm)
Height
59.1 in (1501 mm)
Front/rear Track
58.8/58.8 in (1,494/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
117.5 in (2985 mm)

CHEVROLET Impala Convertible 5.7L V8 3MT RWD (253 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  5.7L V8 3MT RWD (253 HP)
Cylinders
V8
Displacement
5697 cm3
Power
186.1 KW @ 4400 RPM
253 HP @ 4400 RPM
250 BHP @ 4400 RPM
Torque
355 lb-ft @ 2800 RPM
481 Nm @ 2800 RPM
Fuel System
Carburettor
Fuel
Gasoline
Fuel capacity
20.1 gallons (76.1 L)
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
3-speed manual
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Drum
Rear
Drum
DIMENSIONS
Length
209.1 in (5311 mm)
Width
77.7 in (1974 mm)
Height
59.1 in (1501 mm)
Front/rear Track
58.8/58.8 in (1,494/1,494 mm)
Wheelbase
117.5 in (2985 mm)
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