There are few cars that inspire reverence among collectors more than the 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible. When the Chevrolet Impala first burst onto the automotive scene in 1958 it was the top-of-the-line styling under the Bel Air model. The convertible version was the only Chevrolet convertible offered that year. It made quite an impression. Today we value the first year Impala so highly because it was a one-off styling just for ’58. And it was the last year that extravagant use of chrome was considered trendy. The 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible remains one of the most beautiful Chevrolets ever produced.
The 1958 Chevrolet models were quite a departure from the 1955–1957 body styles … noticeably longer, lower, and wider. The defined tailfins of the ’57 Bel Air gave way to highly detailed and sculptured fenders in ’58. The three tail lights on each side would become an Impala signature. Crossed flag insignias were seen above the side moldings while speared bright moldings adorned the side panels and a dummy fender scoop showed behind the door in the rear quarter panel. 1958 was the first year for dual headlamps.
The ’58 came with a coil spring suspension that used an air ride system. It was a transitionl suspension preparing the way for the unitary suspensions of the ’60s.
A big-block 348 cu in (5,700 cc) Turbo-Thrust V8 was a new engine option. It was developed from a truck engine, so it had a lot more torque than quickness. But it was Chevrolet’s answer to younger buyers who wanted more power. There were three “flavors” of the 348 big block. You could get it with 250 horsepower, 280 horsepower or 315 horsepower. The latter came with the Tripower carburetion system. Three carbs were hot rod stuff developed from racing carburetors. Indeed the was a young man’s car. No longer would a car be something to get you from point A to point B. Now the automobile began to define the driver.
Find more ’58s in the Classic Chevrolet Impala Section of the Cars On Line website.
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