1960 Chevrolet Bel Air "Impalasaurus" Is a Wheelstanding 8-Second Monster

1960 Chevrolet Impala dragster 7 photos
1960 Chevrolet Impala dragster1960 Chevrolet Impala dragster1960 Chevrolet Impala dragster1960 Chevrolet Impala dragster1960 Chevrolet Impala dragster1960 Chevrolet Impala dragster
The 1960 Chevrolet Impala is arguably one of the most iconic classic GM-made automobiles out there. It's drop-dead gorgeous, aged like fine wine, and it's quite the hot rod when equipped with the right powerplant.
Chevrolet had already joined the horsepower war with the W-Series big-block V8 in 1958. By 1960, the 348-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) mill delivered 335 horsepower in top-performance trim. Sure, it wasn't as potent as the 409-cubic-inch (6.7-liter) version that followed in 1961, but it was enough to turn a full-size car into a rubber burner.

More than 60 years later, some of these Impalas are still on the road. You'll see them at car shows as restored classics or beefed-up restomod. You'll spot even more of them in junkyards. However, you won't see many 1960 Impalas at the drag strip. But it's definitely worth keeping an eye out for them because you may get to see one of the meanest Impala dragsters ever built.

Known as "Impalasaurus," the white 1960 Bel Air Impala you see here is more than just a two-door coupe with a massive hood bulge and fat rear tires. Born with a rather mundane 283-cubic-inch (4.6-liter) V8 rated at 170 horsepower, the Impala got a significant transformation sometime in the 2000s. The makeover included a 502-cubic-inch (8.2-liter) crate engine, a Turbo 400 transmission, and a Dana 60 rear end.

Already much quicker than a stock Impala, the Chevy wasn't fast enough for owner Steve Scott. So he decided to replace the 502 V8 with an even larger 632-cubic-inch (10.4-liter) powerplant. Almost too large for the Impala's engine bay, the big block turned the full-size into an eight-second beast down the quarter-mile. Moreover, it's potent enough to propel the Impala into wheel-standing starts from the Christmas tree. That's probably why enthusiasts nicknamed it "Impalasaurus."

So, exactly how quick is this souped-up coupe? Well, our host says Steve's record down the quarter-mile is 8.39 seconds. You won't see it run this quickly in the video below, but two of the four attempts come really close. The fourth run sees the Impala cross the finish line in 8.53 seconds, while the third run stops the clock at only 8.46 clicks. Mighty impressive!

Oh, this thing also regularly hits more than 150 mph (241 kph) across the line. In this video, it reaches nearly 156 mph (251 kph). For reference, the factory 1960 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala can barely exceed 125 mph (201 kph).

And yes, the footage also shows the "Impalasaurus" going front wheels up. And I'm not talking about a couple of inches. This Impala can get its heavy nose more than three feet up in the air. Hit the play button below to check it out.

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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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