Recently Purchased 1996 Impala SS With 196 Miles Raises More Questions Than Answers

1996 Chevrolet Impala SS 10 photos
Photo: YouTube Screenshot/Gas Monkey Garage
1996 Chevrolet Impala SS1996 Chevrolet Impala SS1996 Chevrolet Impala SS1996 Chevrolet Impala SS1996 Chevrolet Impala SS1996 Chevrolet Impala SS1996 Chevrolet Impala SS1996 Chevrolet Impala SS1996 Chevrolet Impala SS
It goes without saying that the Japanese completely dominated the sports car scene in the 90s. Their iconic design and peppy contraptions derailed the global car enthusiast community for a sweet decade, but that doesn't mean U.S. manufacturers were asleep. In retaliation, General Motors brought back an American sweetheart from the mid-60s, the Impala SS.
Making a debut as a concept at the 1992 Detroit Auto Show, the new Impala SS had unassuming looks, more like a city cab, but with a big surprise under the hood. The perfect description for this ride would be – a gentleman's hot rod.

The 1992 concept packed a weighty 8.2-liter powerplant. But when it first rolled out from GM's Arlington, Texas production facility in 1994, the Impala SS came with a modified 5.7-liter V8 LT1 engine plucked out from a fourth-gen Chevrolet Corvette.

The powerplant was good for 260 hp (264 ps) and 330 lb-ft (447 Nm) of torque. The car could hit a top speed of 145 mph (233 kph). All this power was channeled to the rear wheels via a 4-speed automatic 4L60E floor-mounted transmission.

With this fury setup, the 1996 Impala SS could do zero to 60 mph (97 kph) in less than 7 seconds.

Despite its modest looks, it gained a cultic following, and GM aficionados groveled under its glory. It currently dons a collectible status, which is quite odd considering it's a later-generation car from a legendary predecessor.

Anytime you see Richard Rawlings of Gas Monkey Garage lurking anywhere, there's probably a high-value car not too far away.

On a recent episode on the Gas Monkey Garage YouTube channel, he took a trip to Earth Motorcars dealers in Carrolton, Texas, hoping to drive away with an extremely low-mileage 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS.

All collectible 90s Impala SS with low mileage almost always make collectible status. But Rawlings's find was extremely rare. It had less than 200 miles (322 kilometers) on the odometer, which is a little bit more than 'delivery miles.'

An example like this could fetch more than the sticker price on auction platforms like Bring a Trailer.

The initial offer on the car was in the mid $30,000 range, but Rawlings had some concerns. There was a lot of surface rust on the engine bay and underneath the vehicle. The front seats were surprisingly worn, considering it was a 196 miles (315 kilometers) car. It also needed a windscreen replacement and an interior detail job.

The fact that it came with Nitto Z-rated tires and not the original date-coated tires also did not sit well with Rawlings.

They settled for an undisclosed amount. We are assuming a little over $30,000, considering the seller wanted between $35,000 and $37,000 and initially rejected Rawlings's $27,500 offer.

They say when a deal feels off, trust your gut. A couple of issues don't add up. For a car below 200 miles (322 kilometers), it's a little odd that the driver seat looks that bad. It's also a little suspicious the previous owner changed the tires on a car that reportedly did not drive that much.

Regardless, Rawlings will probably make some profit from this classic, considering its cultic following.

What do you think? Was Rawlings taken for a ride? Watch the video below and let us know what you think.

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About the author: Humphrey Bwayo
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Humphrey is a car enthusiast whose love and passion for automobiles extended into collecting, writing, driving, and working on cars. He got his passion for cars from his Dad, who spent thousands of hours working on his old junky 1970 E20 Toyota Corolla. Years later, he would end up doing the same with a series of lemons he’s owned throughout his adult life.
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