Car: Chevrolet Impala Convertible
What makes it special: The fourth generation Chevrolet Impalas are full-sized models produced for the 1958 through 1970 model years. Throughout the 1960’s, Chevrolet’s basic body designs became increasingly subtle, while the bright trim that was part of the Impala package added more than a touch of luxury to the look. The same pattern was followed in the interiors, where the best materials and equipment Chevrolet had to offer were displayed. In short, the Impala was on its way to becoming a kind of junior-grade Cadillac.
What made it famous: The 1968 model’s front end received a facelift similar to the 1965 model, while rear bumpers held triple “horseshoe” shaped taillights. The formal Custom Coupe, previously a Caprice exclusive, became available as an Impala. Most Chevrolets got hidden windshield wipers. Plush new interiors also helped attract buyers. Impala overwhelmed the sales charts, as it had for years. Full-sized cars could have a 250 cu-in six, a 307 cu-in V8, either of a pair of 327’s of 250 or 275 hp, or a 325 hp, 396 cu-in V8. Topping the list was the big 427, rated at 385 or 425 hp. The 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission was still available with the 250 six-cylinder and 307 or 327 V8’s, but the 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic could be ordered with all V8 engines on the Impala Sport Sedan and Custom coupe. “Astro Ventilation” was an option for the Custom Coupe that included fresh-air vents, the same units that were used for the optional air conditioning, sans the center upper vent. Cars equipped with this option got full-length door glass minus the vent windows.
Why I would want one: We had one, a fastback model. I always loved the look of the taillights-in bumper look of the ’68.
Fun fact: The Impala was Chevrolet’s most expensive passenger model through 1965 and had become the best-selling automobile in the United States