Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1958 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe
It's only because of the unusually luxurious and selfish proportions of the car that they do succeedthat any of it succeeds. "There are all those back-and-forth angles in the roofline and side trim," said feature car owner Bob Sekelsky, himself a Pratt Institute-bred designer. "Every bit of the car is sculptured and formed into an amazing design."
If you thought the previous Impala, Classic Auto Mall stock number 1646 was impressive, we can offer you another from the same restorer and consigner in the form of this Sport Coupe. Luxurious over embellishments, but in a sleeker form with a dealer installed 4-speed manual transmission, and aftermarket posi rear, and a rebuilt engine. I get the feeling with this one we can go just a bit faster, its lighter and nimbler, all while retaining the luxury feel of the 1958 Chevrolet.
The fins rise out of the low trunk and push forward, forcing their way to the rear seat. They stretch the rear glass into a deep, low curve, sink the back of the roof and shove the doors forward, well into the windshield. The side spears carry the faux vents in front of the rear wheels along with them, rather than blowing back from the front. Even the vertical chrome hash marks lean forward, and the sheetmetal overhangs the headlamps. It's as though a wind blew over the car, stripping away the bulk and awkwardness of the other 1958 GM designs. The taillamps play their part: like pebbles on a beach, the fins blow around them, leaving them in a little hollow, and the cove follows from there. A very different taillamp configurationthe 'vee' that went toward the center of the car was more rakish; it has separate lamps and the regular line had two in a bezel. Despite the designer's dislike of frippery, the dual parking lamps are just that: only one set works, while the other is decorative. All chrome is nearly perfect, and the Sierra Gold paint is well done. Spinner caps are on front and the faux ones on the rear had to go away due to the fender skirt. A shout to the design of this skirt as it appears as a perfect made up proper lady's eyebrow.
There was nothing controversial about the Impala interior, it was simply one of the best GM ever rolled into a showroom, and it carried plenty of Motorama styling cues. The most obvious is the three-tone striped pattern on the cloth seat inserts. These present with white cream and light gold alternating cloth striped inserts, and tasteful beige vinyl bolsters, and are just perfect in condition and design. Seen between the rear seats is a luxurious arm rest in gold vinyl. Another unique detail are the formed, anodized aluminum panels on the doors and interior quartersthat was a real nightmare for Fisher Body because all the body panels had to be an exact color match. You can imagine with four separate pieces of aluminum, the anodizing could turn out in all different valuesif they didn't watch it, and they did. The dash has been made even sleeker with white faced Dakota Digital dash gauges that glow an atomic red during night driving. Cranks for windows are all working perfectly, and an inverted boomerang drilled and emblazoned in the center with Impala and Chevrolet flags, and a circular horn ring, fronts the sleek dash. Perfect deep pile gold carpet floods the floors and floats the just perfect seats. Above a pristine headliner hovers over the seats.
Opening the hood, a 348ci V8 with tri power carbs (3-2 barrel carbs) dotting the top leaps from the engine bay to your eyes where they put you into eye candy bliss... it's that nice. Attached to the back of the pristine mill is a dealer installed 4 speed manual. An aftermarket posi rear has been added. Everything in the drive train has been rebuilt and restored.
With a meticulous restoration as such you would expect nothing less than a perfectly preserved black tub sitting within a black structurally sound rust-free frame, and suspension. This suspension includes independent coil springs in front and 4 link with coil springs on the rear. Power disc brakes are now on front and power drums for the rear. A total stainless-steel exhaust with turbo mufflers runs from the orange painted block to the back of the car.
Another test drive must do, I slipped inside as soon as this car arrived, turned it right over, and went for a cruise. Alone all quiet, and no distractions, I was in '58 design heaven, spinning the wheel, accelerating nicely, and enjoying the power and cornering, when suddenly I was awoken from my dream which was reality by my cohort in crime, the crack decoder guy saying "MY TURN! Beautiful driver of course.
Sixty years later, our eyes have nearly been blinded by decades of increasing blandness and focus-group design. The Impala, once a curiosity, now stands as a monument to the end of the Harley Earl era at GM,
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