This 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Is a Rare Anniversary Gem With Bad News Under the Hood

1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary 11 photos
Photo: jahmabul-0/eBay
1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Golden Anniversary
Established in 1911, Chevrolet became part of General Motors in 1918. By 1960, it had already established itself as one of America's greatest carmakers through vehicles like the streamlined Master, the Tr-Five, and Corvette. But despite all these achievements, the company didn't make a big fuss about its 50th anniversary in 1961.
While General Motors celebrated its 50 millionth production car with a gold-plated 1955 Bel Air and a big parade in Flint, Michigan, Chevrolet kept things simple with a special edition of its then-top-selling nameplate, the Impala. Called the Golden Anniversary Edition, it arrived in 1962, one year after the full-size was redesigned for the third generation.

Freshly equipped with thicker C-pillars that eliminated the "bubble-top" roof, the 1962 Impala had a couple of new mills to brag about. The 283-cubic-inch (4.6-liter) V8 was enlarged to 327 cubic inches (5.4 liters), while the iconic 409-cubic-inch (6.7-liter) lump joined the lineup as a range-topping powerplant. The latter delivered up to 409 horsepower, an impressive figure at the time.

Chevrolet offered the Golden Anniversary car in SS trim, so it came with all the goodies included in the so-called high-performance model. What made it special? Well, not much beyond the Anniversary Gold paint and the unique yellow-gold vinyl bucket seats. Chevrolet also included a few accessories, such as a reproduction of its 1912 parts book and a key ring that said: "Thank you, America, for 50 years of confidence."

As a regular Impala SS beyond the special color, the Golden Anniversary Edition was offered with all available engines at the time, starting with the 235-cubic-inch (3.9-liter) inline-six. The massive 409 mill was also included on the options list.

Not surprisingly, for a car with a gold livery as a defining feature, the Golden Anniversary Impala didn't find many buyers. Most Impala experts agree that Chevrolet sold between 300 to 350 units, accounting for less than 0.05% of total production in 1962. The Impala moved more than 700,000 examples that year. And that's precisely what makes it rare and desirable, especially since not all of them survived to see 2023.

How many of them are still around? Well, it's pretty much a guessing game right now. But with so many Impalas from the early 1960s rotting away in junkyards, chances are fewer than 50 of these Golden Anniversary cars are still around. And most of them are derelict rigs begging for total restoration, just like the one you see here.

Located in Flushing, Michigan, this Golden Anniversary two-door has been sitting since 1991. That's 32 years as of 2023. And it shows because the gold paint has faded away, the bright color of the upholstery is pretty much gone, and some interior bits are missing. But surprisingly enough, the body is still in good condition, apart from a few rust holes here and there.

There's bad news under the hood, though, as the engine and the transmission are gone. The Impala left the assembly line with a 327-cubic-inch (5.3-liter) V8 and a Powerglide gearbox. And we know that because this isn't the first time this SS has popped up for sale. We documented the same rig back in December 2021, when it was for sale from the same location, and the owner still had the drivetrain combo. Sadly, it appears the engine and the transmission are no longer coming with the car, which probably means they were sold separately.

Even so, this Golden Anniversary Impala is still worth saving since it's one of only a few surviving examples. But it will probably need a very enthusiastic new owner to save it since the restoration will cost more than the vehicle's market value in Concours-ready condition. And that's around $60,000 with a 327 V8 under the hood.

It's pretty sad to see it in the same place after almost two years, but hopefully, the no-reserve auction will bring a new owner to the yard. As of this writing, bidding is at only $1,850, with about 24 hours to go.
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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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