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The Chevrolet Bel Air Impala

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Chevrolet Bel Air, Chevrolet Impala

The Chevrolet Bel Air Impala

William Jason
SubmitYOURArticle.com
April 8, 2011

When you hear the word "impala", what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Like some people, perhaps you think of the southern African antelope with ridged curved horns that can move with enormous leaps. But for most others, the name impala signifies one of the most famous automobiles ever built by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. General Motors is known for making a lot of wonderful cars, but one of their best creations to this day is the Chevrolet Impala. If you have a passion for classic cars that first became available in the 1950s, you have most likely already heard about this car. And even if you aren't a car enthusiast, it's not that hard to fall in love with the Chevy Impala, whether you look at it from inside or out.

The Chevrolet Impala was the most expensive passenger model through 1965 and became the best-selling car in the United States at a time when full-size models dominated the car market, going head to head with the Plymouth Fury and Ford Galaxie 500. The first generation Impala that was introduced in 1958 was positioned alongside top of the line Bel Air coupes and convertibles, and it led the eventual rise of the Impala to being the most popular full-size model car in the market. This particular model was called the Chevrolet Bel Air Impala and it differed structurally from the usual Chevrolet. Some classic characteristics of the Chevrolet Bel Air Impala include a change from the 1955-1957 shape that signified a substantial move away from the conservative of earlier models. The sharp tail fins were replaced with deeply sculptured rear fenders and the three taillights on each side would make its first appearance.

The typical Chevrolet Bel Air Impala had a six-cylinder engine and started at $2,586 USD a piece, while an option for one with a V-8 brought up the price to just $2,693 USD. In total, 55,989 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala convertibles and 125,480 sport coupes were built, which counted for 15 percent of total production. With such a great performance in terms of sales, the Chevrolet Bel Air Impala helped Chevrolet get back to the number one production spot during the recession period of 1958.

Although its run lasted only a year, you can't deny the fact that the first generation Chevrolet Bel Air Impalahelped the Chevrolet division of General Motors make an impact during the late 50's. That's why it's no surprise that it's still considered a classic by today's automobile enthusiasts.

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William Jason has admired classic cars ever since he was a young child and you can read his blog at: http://musclecarmonster.com

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