Observations, photos, quotes, and jokes. But, mostly cars and bikes.
Friday, January 18, 2013
The Impala was the brainchild of Chevrolet's chief designer Ed Cole. Cole envisioned the Impala as a "prestige car within the reach of every American citizen." The Impala was first introduced in 1957 as an up-level trip line of the Chevrolet Bel Air coupe and convertible. It was in this model that the trademark signature design of six taillights on each side appeared. When the car was introduced, it was Chevrolet's most expensive full-size car.
The Impala was introduced as a separate model in 1959. Originally, the second-generation Impala featured a two-door or four-door option. The third generation was introduced in 1961, modeled on the popular GM B platform. Thisvehiclefeatured new design appointments, as well as some notable engine choices, including the W-series Turbo Thrust V-8, which would give rise to the Beach Boys song "409." The fourth generation led to a complete redesign again, with a more angled vehicle style. This generation took the Impala more upscale with the Impala Caprice, which had more luxurious appointments than the baseline. The Impala would become the best-selling automobile in the United States starting in 1960 and continuing on for the next decade. Sales peaked in 1965, with more than 1 million units sold.
GM redesigned the Chevrolet Impala for the 1971 model year. When it was released, it was the largest full-sized car ever offered by GM. However, with the gas crisis of 1973, consumer tastes changed to smaller vehicles and sales dropped to fewer than 200,000 vehicles by 1975. GM attempted to counter the drop by introducing the Econominder package, which kept track of fuel. The vehicle was redesigned in 1977 to meet market demands. The sixth generation was a smaller vehicle that did not compromise on space or power. The vehicle regained its position as No. 1 in sales in the market, and the 1977 Impala/Caprice model was named Motor Trend's car of the year.
Chevrolet reintroduced the Impala in 1994 after positive reviews of the concept car it was modeled after during the 1992 Detroit Auto Show. The car was a more powerful version of the Chevrolet Caprice and built on the aging GM B platform. The car shared similar components and visual cues with its badge siblings, the Buick Roadmaster and the Cadillac Fleetwood. The Impala sold slowly, peaking at slightly more than 40,000 cars sold. It was eventually discontinued because of the age of the B platform and GM's desire to convert its factory to SUV production.