Low-Mileage Original:

1958 Chevrolet Impala

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GM was celebrating big in '58: Fifty Years in the Automobile Business.

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To commemorate this worthy occasion, a new, top-of-the-line Chevrolet was launched: the Impala! Christened with the name of an elegant and swift African antelope, the Impala was longer, wider, and lower than any Chevy the adoring public had ever seen.

The first Impala was produced in just two body styles: 2-door hardtop and convertible. Both were a hit with consumers and more than 180,000 Impalas were made in '58. Today, finding a pristinely preserved, original first-year Impala is almost impossible. Too fickle were the fancies of fashion in those years, and what was admired today was discarded tomorrow.
Let's now have a closer look at this amazing, 75,999-mile survivor:

The cowl tag identifies this car as a "1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala 2-door Sport Coupe." Quite a mouthful! The car was built in California, in Van Nuys, San Fernando Valley, to be precise. Factory options include air conditioning, EZ-I tinted glass, power steering and brakes, and electric side windows. Cool!

Clean, unrestored engine compartment houses the optional, 348 cu.in. G-code "big block" engine, sporting the -- again, optional -- 4-barrel carburetor. Yes, the carb is original to the car as evidenced by its small metal tag; we've just had it professionally rebuilt. 250 big ol' American horses powered the Impala to a sub-10-second 0-to-60 sprint. Even today, the car is more than able to keep up with freeway traffic.

Plainly visible is the huge AC-Delco compressor of the factory A/C unit, which is complete and intact, just hasn't been used in many moons.

Finished in the very attractive Anniversary Gold -- a perfect fit for this 50th anniversary GM product -- with a contrasting Honey Beige roof, the Impala's exterior looks stunningly well-preserved. There are no dents, dings, bubbles, scratches, chips or any flaws worth mentioning. Lavishly applied chrome and stainless steel trim is in equally nice condition. Note Deluxe spinner hubcaps, another desirable option.
Rear fender skirts are period accessories.

Another highlight: this Impala's untouched, original interior, which reflects the car's low actual miles and the fact that it resided in a prominent Central Valley collection for the past three decades, always covered and protected from the elements.

Perfect Impala two-spoke "Sport" steering wheel and column-mounted shifter for the Powerglide automatic transmission on the left, A/C control panel to the right.

Immaculate original headliner and sun visors. Note working dome light.

Pretty unusual option on a 1950s Chevy is the 4-way power front seat. This Impala seems to be fully loaded! Four-color tone-in-tone upholstery in the style of the time, featuring copper, gold, beige and coral shades. This is all "as delivered" in 1958.

Fabulous condition throughout; just the original loop carpeting shows a bit of staining. Center arm rest extends upward. Note elaborate "Impala" insignia decorating the -- optional -- rear radio speaker. By the way, the car's AM pushbutton radio works like a charm, as does the rear-fender-mounted, electrical antenna! Additional options include dash clock and tissue dispenser.

A trademark design element of the Impala were its 6 taillights. Note the icing on the cake, the gorgeous "slim-line" continental kit.

Continental kit swings out of the way, allowing access to voluminous trunk.

Removing the black rubber mat reveals a clean and rust-free trunk floor.

Closeup. Spare and jacking equipment are all acounted for.

Speaking of rust, the build quality of anything Detroit made in 1958 was mediocre, and most of the cars of the late 1950s succumbed rather quickly to the demon rust. Not so this California-manufactured, San Joaquin Valley-raised example! It is totally, 100% free of any perforations or corrosion that would necessitate panel replacement. It has neither been "Ziebarted" nor undercoated with a rattle can. Ahhh, the virtues of a dry Californa car!

Wednesday, June 1st turned out to be a nice, mild Southern California spring day in San Buenaventura, and we decided to take the Impala out on a test drive, taking these photos along the way.

Our Impala is an impressive sight, admired wherever we take it. Somehow, even in bone stock configuration, those '58s looked more like wild Hollywood Kustom Kars than conservative Detroit iron.

The big Chevy starts, idles, runs, drives, handles and stops beautifully. It does not smoke, leak oil or coolant, nor does it overheat. We'd drive it anywhere!

American Graffiti, the movie, made us fall in love with 1958 Impalas. That was 40 years ago. Back then, all most of us could do was dream about owning a car like Steve's white coupe, the ultimate babe magnet that even got his bud Terry "the toad" laid by beautiful, sexy Debbie.

Time waits for nobody and we've had our fun. Now it's your turn to be a swinger. Just dial the radio to K-Fat and listen to Art Laboe groove to Sixteen Candles. Some things never change . . .

We sold this fabulous '58 Impala in Spring of 2016.

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