This 1958 Chevrolet Impala Hopes to Make Your Tesla Feel Ashamed After 30 Years in Hiding

Out of all cars launched in the ‘50s, Chevrolet Impala is, for me, the model that has it all, including that rare je ne sais quoi that’s impossible to find on a new model.
1958 Chevy Impala fighting for a second chance 20 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/eBay seller allianceenterprisesdri
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While the Impala came to be in 1958, the nameplate first smiled in front of the public two years before at the General Motors Motorama event. Chevrolet presented this new nameplate as a sports coupe concept whose objective was as simple as it was ambitious.

Impala’s number one goal was to put General Motors back on the map and make it competitive once again at a time when Ford was already dominating the market. Nobody knew – not even GM, that is – that Impala was poised to become an iconic model spearheading the auto industry in such a dominant manner.

I’m not the one saying it but the production figures. Chevy built over13 million Impalas between 1958 and 1996, and this crowns it as the most successful full-size model sold in the United States.

Getting back to the 1958 model year, while General Motors hoped the Impala would eventually boost its sales, the company decided to start with baby steps for the first year on the market. The Impala was, therefore, born as the top-of-the-line version of the Bel Air, being offered only as a sports coupe or a convertible.

One of the 1958 Impalas still in existence today is now fighting for survival after spending no more, no less than 30 years in storage.

1958 Chevy Impala
Photo: eBay seller allianceenterprisesdri
That’s right, the convertible you see here is back in action after over three decades in hiding, with the owner explaining that everything you see in the pics is as original as it gets.

Most of the details are missing, but it’s not hard to figure out why this Impala is such an intriguing project. The convertible is a highly desirable model, especially as it was the most expensive Impala back in 1958. It all depended on the spec sheet, but a convertible with Ram-Jet fuel injection added nearly $500 over the sticker price of the top-of-the-line configuration.

Sure enough, this doesn’t necessarily mean this Impala is a museum-grade classic. Not at all, and the pictures that you can see here confirm the car needs a ton of work before it can even be considered roadworthy.

Unfortunately, the most concerning part is the current condition of the metal. The 30 years in storage have caused massive rust in almost every single area, and I seriously doubt that regular patching would do any good right now. New panels are almost certainly required, especially on the floors and in the trunk, where the rust has produced massive damage.

1958 Chevy Impala
Photo: eBay seller allianceenterprisesdri
The engine under the hood is long gone as well.

The 1958 Impala could be ordered with either six-cylinder engines or V8 units, as Chevrolet wanted the car to be both a fancy ride to the supermarket and a small rocket on wheels. The base unit was a 235 (3.8-liter) straight-six, but the most popular choice for this model year was the 283 (4.8-liter) V8. It was the configuration that developed just the right amount of power for the majority of drivers, with the two-barrel carburetor version producing 185 horsepower. A four-barrel unit pushed the output to 230 horsepower.

Of course, the icing on the cake was the 348 (5.7-liter) V8, which was offered in not one, not two, but five different configurations. The top-of-the-range, fitted with the Special Turbo Thrust package, developed 315 horsepower.

This convertible no longer has an engine, and this isn’t necessarily a surprise. Due to its long tenure in hiding, the car most likely served as a donor for other projects, so while a full inspection in person is recommended, you should also expect other parts to be missing too.

1958 Chevy Impala
Photo: eBay seller allianceenterprisesdri
Probably the best thing about this Impala is that the car, or at least what’s left of it, is as original as it was when it rolled off the assembly lines. With the right parts and a proper restoration job, the car could eventually become a museum-grade Impala that could end up costing quite a small fortune.

All-original Impalas in mint condition can even sell for $100,000, though it all depends on the quality of the restoration and how original it continues to be. The current condition of the project certainly makes it a restoration candidate that’s not aimed at the faint of heart.

At the end of the day, I’m honestly not surprised to see this Impala becoming a hit on eBay. The car received over 20 bids in just a few days, and the top offer at the time of writing is getting close to $13,000. Unfortunately, eBay seller allianceenterprisesdri has also enabled a reserve, and this could eventually become the main shortcoming in this Impala’s highly anticipated return to the road.
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Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third party.

About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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