The Chevrolet Impala through the decades

Detroit-Hamtramck Plant’s last Chevrolet Impala

The Chevrolet Impala is formally lifeless. After practically six full many years, one in all Chevy’s best-known nameplates is being put out to pasture… once more. GM will repurpose the Detroit-Hamtramck facility the place it was constructed as an meeting plant for future electrical automobiles, marking the top of 1 period and ushering in a brand new one. 

Be part of us as we have a look again on the large Chevy, ranging from the start. 



The Impala title was chosen to convey the picture of grace and pace and when geared up with a high-performance V-8, the Impala was moderately fast. As for the grace or magnificence facet, the 1958 Impala lived as much as the picture by having among the styling attributes of a Cadillac resembling a lavish inside of tri-tone upholstery and loads of chrome.

Chevy’s new Impala was not merely comprised of a colourful inside and additional trim; its sheet steel was unique to the mannequin from the cowl again. Simulated air vents on the quarter panels and roof had been particular to the Impala as effectively. Optionally available mechanical techniques included a number of V-8 engines, computerized transmission and an air suspension known as “Degree-Air” in Chevrolet literature. The $128 possibility proved to be unreliable, although. The few ordered with the setup had been in most situations refitted with standard coil springs. It was dropped from the record of choices by the top of the 1959 mannequin 12 months.

Underneath the hood of full-size Chevrolet vehicles was any one in all a number of engines carried over from 1957 (although barely modified) together with the “Ram Jet” fuel-injected 283, plus three variations of the brand new big-block 348-cid V-8 starting from 250hp to 315hp with the latter being geared up with a Duntov cam, strong lifters, and triple two-barrel carburetors.

The 1958 Chevrolets bought effectively throughout a 12 months marred by an financial downturn. Even so, change was within the works once more. GM administration made the choice to share our bodies among the many divisions for 1959, thus the 1958s had been a one-year-only design.

The 1959 Impala was redesigned as a result of a company determination to share our bodies among the many 5 auto divisions. Engine alternatives had been principally carried ahead from the earlier mannequin 12 months together with the fuel-injected 283. This convertible is powered by the not often ordered engine.


The Seventies mixed the basic American muscle look from the Nineteen Sixties and what we might take into account a “conventional” sedan in today’s automotive world. The 1974 Impala, featured above, nonetheless sports activities its prolonged physique however provides corners to the again of the cabin, giving it a box-shaped stance for a extra outlined look.


[wptab name=”1980s”]

1985 Chevrolet Impala
Photo: Jim Grey

1985 Chevrolet ImpalaPicture: Jim Grey


For the 2000s period, the Impala’s physique seems to have been shortened, giving it a a lot fuller look. These variations of the Impala look type of like once you put a T-shirt on a cardboard box; the perimeters spherical out a bit of bit, however you’ll be able to inform the within construction remains to be a field.


[wptab name=”2010s”]

2017 Chevrolet Impala

2017 Chevrolet Impala

1959-1960 Chevrolet Impala

Solely a 12 months after introducing the brand new nameplate, Chevrolet went in a distinct course. A brand new chassis underpinned the 1959 and 1960 Chevys; it was decrease, wider, and greater. The second-generation automobile was in all probability the earliest signal of what Impala was to finally turn into. Per GM, the 2013 Impala was the final North American passenger automobile within the trade with an obtainable entrance bench seat. 

It will be many years earlier than the Impala we all know in the present day really took form, however this vestige of its roots remained nearly till the top. 

Center Generations (4th to seventh)

The center generations noticed one other revamping of designs and essentially the most spectacular gross sales numbers but. 

4th Technology (1965-1970) 

The fourth-generation Impala turned streamlined. The X-frame was scrapped in favor of a fringe body, which featured curved sides, full-coil suspension and angled windshields. 1965 was additionally the 12 months that the Impala broke an all-time trade file of over 1 million units sold

Chevrolet launched the brand new Caprice as the highest trim for the Impala. Simply because the Impala had been born as the highest trim for the Bel Air, now the Caprice was doing the identical, highlighting the Impala’s success — and in addition foreshadowing its inevitable demise. The Caprice was elegant, with wood-grained accents within the inside and specialty colours like night orchard, which was well-liked for ladies. 

In 1966, designs stayed comparatively the identical, whereas new big-block engines had been launched. Chevy supplied a 427-cubic-inch Mark IV V8, which produced 426 horsepower. 

In 1967, Chevrolet added security options to the Impala to maintain up with new laws. The steering column turned absolutely collapsible, and shoulder belts had been put in. 

A brand new entrance finish with horseshoe taillights highlighted design modifications in 1968, and in 1969, the Impala station wagon was renamed “Kingswood.” 

1970 marked the first year without production of t

1970 marked the primary 12 months with out manufacturing of the SS. Demand for muscle vehicles was dwindling, and new laws had been encroaching, resulting in the short-term loss of life of the SS. 

fifth Technology (1971-1976)

The fifth-generation Impala noticed the biggest automobile Chevrolet ever supplied as much as that time — the 1971 Impala, with a roomy, comfy inside. It continued to be a best-selling car. 

The Caprice Traditional took over the Impala convertible, and the station wagon returned. Smaller, more practical refinements had been added throughout this era, together with:

  • Cushioned entrance bumpers
  • Variable-ratio energy steering 
  • Inside insulation
  • Corrosion-resistant body coating
  • Put on sensors on disc brakes

The enhancements made the Impala safer, extra comfy and extra sturdy. As power laws impacted design, this period additionally marked the top of the long-bodied Impalas. 

sixth Technology (1977-1985)

Marred by the fuel disaster, differing developments in shopper tradition and extra security options, the sixth-generation Impala would see its most difficult decade but. Even all through its struggles, the Impala continued to boast excessive gross sales. 

The 1977 Chevy was downsized significantly, sustaining most of its roomy inside however shrinking its total dimensions. The elongated again finish that was distinctive to the earlier Impalas was now much less noticeable. 

In 1981, Chevrolet put in the Pc Command Management (CCC) to fulfill authorities laws. The 350-cubic-inch Oldsmobile V8 was now obtainable for all fashions. 

Maybe stalled innovation led to the Impala’s discontinuation after 1985. The Impala lived on, nevertheless, beneath the legacy of the sedan and station wagon Caprice. Nice vehicles have a manner of coming again, and Impala followers would not have to attend too lengthy earlier than they noticed a resurgence of the basic muscle car. 

The Impala was additionally immortalized by West Coast hip-hop culture, as rappers like Ice Dice rapped concerning the previous Impala. These restored automobiles appeared in music movies and in lyrics, creating a totally new tradition across the basic automobile even when it was out of manufacturing.

seventh Technology (1994-1996)

Chevrolet designer Jon Moss sought to carry the Impala again to its former glory. On the 1992 L.A. auto present, Moss unveiled his new design — the all-new seventh-generation Impala SS idea automobile. Pleasure bubbled across the new idea, and two years later, the SS Impala hit manufacturing. 

With a 5.7-liter V8 LT-1 engine producing 260 horsepower, this was the Impala that fanatics had been on the lookout for, and it marked a nostalgic nod to the nice automobile’s historical past. The outside remained rounded and compact, labeled with SS badging. The automobile’s suspension was lowered, nevertheless, and it featured twin exhaust, disc brakes and a high-capacity reverse-flow cooling system. 

Including choices to the car’s jet-black look, Chevrolet unveiled new colours for the seventh-generation Impala — darkish cherry and green-gray. 

1996 was the ultimate 12 months of the resurgent seventh era. Chevrolet redesigned the instrument panel, added a tachometer and glued the bugs from earlier fashions. Even with these improvements, Chevrolet needed to lower manufacturing as soon as once more to make room for the rise in demand for different automobiles of the period. 


The Chevy Impala’s historical past is difficult — you might need some lingering questions that you really want answered. Listed below are some steadily requested questions concerning the Chevy Impala. 

What Yr Is the Most Common Impala? 

Going strictly by numbers, 1965 was the most well-liked 12 months for the automobile, with Chevrolet promoting 1,046,514 Impalas. This shattered a single-model annual gross sales file that has but to be overwhelmed. 

What Is the Impala Recognized For? 

The Chevy Impala is best known for its iconic desi

The Chevy Impala is finest recognized for its iconic design — lengthy again finish, brief greenhouse and low suspension. Due to its sprawling historical past, nevertheless, the Impala is understood for a lot of different issues — listed here are a couple of notable mentions:

  • Efficiency: The Impalas of the early ’60s had been bent on inserting the car within the muscle automobile class — and so they succeeded. The SS and Z11 Impalas, with their handbook transmission and monstrous engines, elevated the automobile to an entire new stage of efficiency. A part of the rationale the SS Impala was revived in 1994 was due to the various fanatics who longed for a return to the Impala’s efficiency glory days. 
  • Cultural impression: Within the ’90s, the Impala turned a West Coast hip-hop cultural icon, with iconic rappers together with the ’64 Impala in songs and movies. It turned an emblem of lowrider tradition and put the basic automobile again into the highlight, even within the years of its first discontinuation. 
  • Fleet use: Within the early 2000s, Impalas turned well-liked vehicles for legislation enforcement fleets. Many individuals might now affiliate these ninth-generation Impalas with police vehicles.

What Occurred to the Chevy Impala? 

After six many years, the Impala was lastly discontinued in 2020. Though the car has made comebacks up to now, the 2020 mannequin might be the final to roam the streets. Finally, the Impala’s design did not match what customers needed. Bigger automobiles like SUVs are extra frequent selections for households now. The brand new Impala designs additionally failed to draw the vast viewers it as soon as did — the efficiency requirements of the early ’60s and opulent types had been discarded for a extra useful journey. 

What Yr Impala Is Greatest? 

From Chevrolet’s perspective, 1965 is likely to be the very best 12 months for the Impala, since gross sales topped one million. For collectors, nevertheless, the very best 12 months differs — the 1959 mannequin is constantly talked about as one of the distinctive and sought-after Chevy Impalas. With its brief manufacturing, lasting just one 12 months, and its fascinating, daring design, it is simple to see why it is so admired. The 1959 Impala featured these teardrop “cat-eye” taillights and slanted “bat-wing” fins, creating one of the unmistakable again ends on a automobile ever. 

The Impala’s finest 12 months, after all, is subjective. Your private “finest” Impala 12 months will rely on the attributes of the automobile mannequin you prefer. Whether or not you like designs, efficiency or fundamental features, there’s an Impala for everybody in its lengthy and wealthy historical past. 


The Impala label nonetheless carried sturdy title recognition when it was introduced again as an eighth-generation model for the 2000 mannequin 12 months. From 2000 ahead, Impalas can be front-wheel drive. Once more, the Impala was supplied solely as a four-door sedanbut now in two trim ranges, neither of them a Tremendous Sport. That modified for 2004 when a limited-edition Impala SS with a supercharged 3.8-liter V-6 producing 240 hp at 5200 rpm was supplied versus the usual 3.4-liter engine rated at 180 hp at 5200 rpm. The eight-generation Impala, derived from the front-wheel-drive Lumina, remained in manufacturing by 2005. There have been two extra variants of the Impala not supplied to the general public – the Police Bundle, code 9C1 launched in 2000, and the Undercover Police Bundle, code 9C3, launched the next 12 months. It was additionally obtainable to fireplace departments and emergency medial providers. Essentially the most notable options of those packages had been a stronger suspension and the 200-hp 3.8-liter V-6 engine. The 9C3 bundle supplied extra comfort choices in addition to extra paint and inside selections.

For 2008, the Chevrolet Impala is obtainable in LS, LT, LTZ, and SS variations. All besides the SS had been powered with a V-6.

The 2006 mannequin 12 months introduced forth the ninth-generation Impala, which made use of the third-generation “W” platform. It was supplied in LS, LT, LTZ and SS variants. The bottom engine was a 211-hp 3.5-liter V-6 for all however the Tremendous Sport. The SS made use of the 303-hp 5.3-liter “Technology IV” small-block with “Displacement on Demand” permitting this engine to operate as a V-8 or a V-6 in an effort to enhance gas mileage. Additionally a part of the usual gear record was performance-tuned suspension, “StabiliTrak” digital stability management and, after all, bucket seats with a console. The SS didn’t promote in ample quantity to justify manufacturing past 2009.

The ninth-generation Impala stayed in manufacturing by 2013. Nonetheless, beginning with the 2014 mannequin 12 months, the ninth-generation automobile was relabeled “Impala Restricted” and was bought to rental companies, fleet patrons and police departments, a apply that continued by 2016 all of the whereas a tenth-generation Impala was in manufacturing.

The tenth era Impala is the present one in manufacturing, however is scheduled for termination in January. It shares its “Epsilon II” platform with the Cadillac XTS. For the primary time, the Impala might be bought with an inline 4-cylinder engine. Rated at 196hp, it displaced 2.5 liters. Additionally obtainable was a 3.6L V-6 (later commonplace). Commonplace security gear contains 10 air baggage and “OnStar.” Additionally supplied is a rear-view digital camera, navigation know-how, and Bluetooth and smart-phone integration.

The tenth-generation Impala is at the moment in manufacturing. It shares its “Epsilon II” front-wheel-drive platform with the Cadillac XTS. The redesigned automobile introduced a serious improve in gross sales, with a 14.7 p.c share of the full-size sedan market versus the earlier 6.9 p.c share. For the primary time, the Impala might be bought with an inline four-cylinder engine that displaced 2.5 liters. One other variant of the two.5-liter engine, referred to as “ECOTEC,” supplied hybrid-assist know-how. Additionally obtainable is a 3.6-liter V-6. Commonplace security gear contains 10 air baggage and “OnStar.”

The recognition of the massive sedan has been on the wane once more; solely a bit of greater than 56,000 had been bought for 2018. In actual fact, the final quarter of 2019 was to carry an finish to the Impala as soon as once more. Nonetheless, its demise has been rescheduled for the top of January 2020. Will the tenth-generation Impala really be the top of the road, or will it merely be one other hiatus?


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