The 1958 Chevrolet Impala was a notable car for several reasons. For one thing, this was the first time that Chevrolet used the model name “Impala”. This also was the first Chevrolet to use the “quad” headlight design.
A 1958 Chevrolet Impala
The 1958 Chevrolet was an unusual one-year only design. In the past and for many years after Chevrolet would use the same body style for two or three years with only trim changes on a particular body style. However, the 1958 Chevrolet neither resembles the 1957 nor the 1959 Chevrolets.
The Design of the Back of the 1958 Impala Hints of the Large Wings That Will Fully Emerge in 1959
The Impala model can be distinguished from the remainder of the Bel Air models by the chrome trim mounted in front of the rear wheels and the “Impala” insignia mounted higher up on the rear fender. The Impala model was available as a 2-door “hardtop” coupe or as a 2-door convertible. No particular engine package came with the Impala option and they could even be fitted with the base inline 6-cylinder engine.
I have included an advertisement for the Impala from 1958. It is curious that this image includes a small glimpse of the rear fender from a 1958 Corvette in the lower right corner.
This 1958 Advertisement Refers to “Turbo-Thrust V8 Engines” Which Really Meant More Cubic Inches As None of the Engines Were Turbocharged
In 1958 Chevrolet first used the 348-cubic inch V8 engine as an option. Previously, (from 1955 to 1957) the available V8 engines in Chevrolet cars was the 265 or 283 cubic inch “small block” V8 engine.
The 348 cubic inch V8 Can Be Identified By the “Scooped Out” Valve Covers
This particular 1958 Chevrolet Impala had the 250 horsepower V8 engine. In 1958 Chevrolet had a wide option list of available engines:
Standard 235 cubic inch inline 6-cylinder: 145 hp
283 cubic inch 2-barrel V8: 185 hp
283 cubic inch 4-barrel V8: 230 hp
283 cubic inch fuel injected V8: 250 hp
348 cubic inch 4 barrel V8: 250 hp
348 cubic inch three two-barrel V8: 280 hp
348 cubic inch high compression 4 barrel V8: 300 hp
348 cubic inch three two-barrel V8: 315 hp
The 348 cubic inch V8 engine originally was only available in the General Motors truck products. I think that for this reason, the 348 cubic inch engine is the “Rodney Dangerfield” engine of the Chevrolet V8 engines. It never really got the respect that it deserved, as it was often referred to as a “truck” engine with some distain.
The Transmission Shifter Has Been Re-Located To The Floor
This particular Chevrolet was fitted with the 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, but somewhere over its life, the transmission shifter has been moved to the floor from the column. If you look closely, you can see the Powerglide transmission display still on the column. Other available transmissions for the 1958 Chevrolet Impala were the standard 3-speed manual transmission and the continuously variable Turboglide transmission.
This Impala Has A Very Colorful Interior
Note the presence of seat belts in this car. I think that seat belts were available as an option or perhaps these are an aftermarket addition.
Interest in the 1958 Chevrolet pales in comparison to the 1955 to 1957 Chevrolets, but it is still a fine car.