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AJ's Car of the Day '58 Chevrolet Impala 2-Door Coupe
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Car: Chevrolet Impala 2-Door Coupe

Year: 1958

What makes it special: The Impala was introduced for the 1958 model year as top of the line Bel Air hardtops and convertibles. From the windshield pillar rearward, the 1958 Bel Air Impala differed structurally from the lower-priced Chevrolet models. The 1958 models were longer, lower, and wider than its predecessors, and the tailfins of the 1957 were replaced by deeply sculptured rear fenders. Impalas had three taillights each side. Crossed-flag insignias were attached above the side moldings, as well as bright rocker moldings and dummy rear-fender scoops. 1958 was the first year of dual headlamps.

What made it famous: The standard perimeter-type frame was abandoned, replaced by a unit with rails laid out in the form of an elongated "X." Chevrolet claimed that the new frame offered increased torsional rigidity and allowed for a lower placement of the passenger compartment. However, this frame was not as effective in protecting the interior structure in a side impact crash, as a traditional perimeter frame. A coil spring suspension replaced the previous year's rear leaf springs, and an air ride system was optional. A 283 cu in engine was the standard V8, with ratings that ranged from 185 to 290 horsepower. A "W" block 348 cu in Turbo-Thrust V8 was optional, producing 250 hp, 280 hp, or 315 hp. The Ramjet fuel injection was available as an option for the Turbo-Fire 283 V8, but was not popular in 1958.

Why I would want one: Love the 'One-year-only' GM body styles. This car had beautiful sculptured lines, and a nice selection of V8 power available.

Fun fact: The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala helped Chevrolet regain the number one production spot in this recession year.

  • On Air Chaz & AJ 5:30-10am

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