1958 Chevrolet Impala Is One-Year Gem With a Rare Surprise Inside the Cabin

1958 Chevrolet Impala 8 photos
Photo: Matt Gause/YouTube
1958 Chevrolet Impala1958 Chevrolet Impala1958 Chevrolet Impala1958 Chevrolet Impala1958 Chevrolet Impala1958 Chevrolet Impala1958 Chevrolet Impala
Discontinued for the third time in 2020, the Impala name was first used by Chevrolet in 1956 on a GM Motorama show car with Corvette-like design cues. But it wasn't until 1958 that the badge showed up on a production model. That's when Chevrolet debuted the Impala as a top-of-the-line version of the two-door Bel Air.
The Impala became an instant hit and moved more than 180,000 units in its first year on the market. While this number is significantly smaller compared to annual sales from the 1960s, the 1958 Impala covered 15% of total Chevrolet production and helped the company regain the number one U.S. production spot from Ford. But the 1958 Impala is truly special because it's a one-year model with a unique design.

Come 2023, the first-year Impala is a highly sought-after collectible, perhaps even more desirable than the hot-rodded, SS-badged hardtops of the 1960s. Sure, it's far from rare at more than 180,000 units built, but it's still harder to find when compared to most Impala generations that followed. Especially since many of them have been abandoned in junkyards and soldiered on into the 21st century as rust buckets.

The white example you see here is one of those 1958 Impalas that got a much-deserved restoration. That's enough to make it special in my book, but this two-door hardtop also has a rare interior to brag about. While most 1958 Impalas came with three-tone stripes on the seats, this one combines bright green seats and door panels with black center sections. And not only is green a rare color in the first-gen Impala but white over green and black is a combo you won't see again anytime soon.

All told, it's one of those cool classic cars that look somewhat mundane on the outside (color-wise, obviously, because the 1958 Impala is gorgeous from every angle) but becomes striking once you open the door and slide into the driver's seat. Would I go for this layout over the more common striped seats? Probably not if the main color is turquoise, but the green/black combo and the fact that it's quite rare make it a tough choice.

And this Impala has yet another surprise inside the cabin. You probably already noticed it because the massive hammer-style Hurst shifter is hard to miss. Sure, it's not a factory feature and diehard enthusiasts may not like it, but it's a cool upgrade that doesn't turn a classic into a restomod. Speaking of shifting, this Impala relies on a four-speed manual, but it's unclear whether it's the one it came with from the assembly line. But the full-size was indeed available with a four-speed in 1958.

We also don't get info on what's under the hood, but if the four-speed gearbox is factory correct, it's a hint that this Impala doesn't have the range-topping 348-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) V8. Because this mill, rated at 250 or 280 horsepower, was only offered with the three-speed manual, the two-speed Powerglide, and the three-speed Turboglide automatics.

This leaves the entry-level 235-cubic-inch (3.9-liter) inline-six and the 283-cubic-inch (4.6-liter) V8. Hopefully, it's the latter, because the Blueflame is rather underpowered for a car this big at only 145 horsepower. The V8 generated 170 horses in base trim while the fuel-injected mill was rated at a solid 250 horsepower. But regardless of what's under the hood, this 1958 Impala is one fabulous rig. Check it out in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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