Of the many cars built by Chevrolet over the past century, few are as cool as the Impala. These aren’t the only long rear-wheel-drive cars to come out of that era, but a 1959 Impala just sends out a certain message with the batmobile rear end.
What era are we talking about? Well, General Motors was celebrating its 50th anniversary and decided to offer amazing versions of their biggest, most high-end sedans. It’s the 1950s, which was the era of excess, after all. You got your Buick Roadmaster Riviera, Pontiac Bonneville Catalina, Cadillac Eldorado Seville, and the Chevy Bel Air Impala. They were all amazing, large and dripping in chrome trim. American Graffiti – we don’t need to say any more than that!
The 1st-gen looked like a much fancier Bel Air and lasted only until 1959, when they introduced this model. In its first year as a separate model, it was a smashing success with nearly half a million sales, the most of any Chevy. That’s why you find so many of them for sale on eBay. However, this one is no rust bucket.
In 1959, the Impala began offering the 348ci V8 with a triple 2-barrel carb making 320 horsepower, and that kind of started the horsepower war. So, you see, the Impala is one of the cars that started the muscle car movement and isn’t really appreciated for it, just like the Pontiac GTO.
The most expensive 59 Impala?
You won’t believe what’s under the hood of this, though. It’s GM 572ci V8 Crate Engine that’s making 620 horsepower, almost double the factory output. Now, that’s not the very latest ZZ572/720R, but you can’t argue with an all-motor 9.4-liter setup. This big-block powerhouse has been dressed up with a lot of performance goodies, including Chevy’s aluminum heads, Holley 4-barrel carburetor, ceramic-coated headers, and an air cleaner with old-school pin striping.
This being a restomod, you’re probably not going to be surprised by disc brakes, but you’re still talking slotted and drilled rotors with 6-piston calipers. That’s some sexy overkill. And you can’t have your boat-tailed big boy riding too high, which is why Ridetech air suspension has been fitted in combo with some stronger 3-ling rear components, tubular control arms, and a special control module.
Most of all, we just live the black paint and the supercar price tag on this giant, not to mention all that displacement. For a while, the 3rd-gen Impala, the boxy one, was the ultimate gangster’s car. You’d see low riders in all the rap videos. But collectors are now hugely valuing the flamboyant first and second generation.
And nothing proves that quite like the following restomod of a 1959 Impala which just went on sale for a whopping $229,900 with Vanguard. Now, that 1960 Impala coupe we showed you recently was only $85,000. But let me tell you, there are some crazy features on this bad boy.