My 1958 Chevy Impala Convertible

I bought this car in 2005 from Bill Oldenburg in Galina, IL. Bill had done the complete restoration on the car and was his own personal car for 3 years. I heard about the car at a cruize night in Plainfield, IL from Carl Bryant who had a summer home in Galena, and knew of the car. He got me in touch with Bill and after three months of talking (his main concern was what I was going to do with the car) he agreed to sell it to me because I was going to put it in my collection and show it. This car in my opinion is one of the best 1958 Impala's in the country thanks to Bill's workmanship.

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1958 Chevy Impala Convertible

1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala Convertible

The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala Convertible displayed in the Ken Nagel collection features unique and very rare options (i.e. Vacuum Ash Tray) making it a highly desirable collectable.  Finished in flawless Rio Red, Kens Impala was the recipient of the prestigious “Carl F. Benz Award in 2008 at the Geneva Concours D’Elegance and the Senior Class 33 award from the Antique Automobile Club of America fall meet in 2007. 

The public introduction of the Chevrolet “Impala” name actually took place in 1956 when the one-of-a-kind Impala show car debuted at the General Motors Motorama. The Impala was originally conceived as a Bel Air executive coupe. The sporty four-passenger coupe had a strong Corvette flavor and was referred to as the “Corvette Impala” in some of the motoring press of the time.

In 1958 General Motors celebrated its 50th anniversary. This was the first and only year Chevrolet offered the luxury Impala option level on the Bel Air model line.  It was the most exciting new shape in a generation of cars!  It was offered only as a 2 door Sport Coupe or convertible.  The “Impala” was the only full-size Chevy model to offer a convertible body style for 1958.  Production consisted of 43,000 2 door hardtops and 17,000 convertibles.  The number of convertibles still in existence today is unknown.

The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala was lavishly equipped and soft-riding.  Trim features for the Impala included Impala Script, ribbed body sill panels, chrome plated air scoops located ahead of the rear wheel wells, two-spoke deep hub steering wheels, and standard rear radio speaker grill. The new twin driving lights were a first and there was a new wrap around windshield.  Chevy also redesigned their chassis into a rugged new frame that was actually "X-built". A new longer lower wider wheelbase featured coil spring suspension front and back or an optional Level-Air suspension to make riding on air a reality. When it came to get up and go, that's where the 1958 Chevy really shined.  A new 283 cubic inch V8 engine coupled to an automatic transmission with triple-turbines was like nothing seen before. 

In 1959 the Impala shed its Bel Air affiliation and became its own model.  Unfortunately the ’58 styling was scrapped along with the Bel Air designation.  The radically restyled 1959 model received a cool reception by the public.  For this reason the ’58 Impalas one-year-only styling continued to be more desirable and sought after than ever, a status that it still enjoys today.

In spite of 1958 being a recession year, consumers made Chevrolet No.1 and the Impala was at the center of Chevy's popularity.  From 1958 through 1996, Impala sales were in excess of 13 million, more than any other full-size car in the history of the automobile.

 

 

SOURCES:

GM Media/Corporate Archives- Larry Kinsel & Julie Fiegal, GM Public Relations- Virginia Beaty (File #1-63524074), NAISSO World Headquarters-“History of the Impala”, Impala 1958-2000 by Dan Burger & Robert Genat, Chevrolet SS Muscle Car Red Book by Peter Sessler, Chevrolet SS by Robert Genat, Impala & SS: 1958-1972 a Musclecar Portfolio by R.M. Clarke, Standard Catalog of American Cars 1976-1999 by James Flammang & Ron Kowalke, Chevrolet Chronicle –The Complete & Colorful Story of Chevrolet from 1904 by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide

Third generation (1958)

Assembly

Arlington, TexasUnited States
Oshawa, OntarioCanada

Production was recorded by body style only: Sport Coupe = 164,901, Convertible = 72,765. Chevrolet did not offer a breakout of numbers by series, model or engine

 

 

Details on My 1958 Chevy Impala Convertible

Rio Red 923
Cost New: $3261.50
348 Cubic Inch
280 Horse Power Tri-Power
Turbo Guide Transmission

Options:

Factory Air Conditioning
Dome Light
Power Steering and Brakes
Courtesy Lights
Under Hood Light
Dual Rear Mount Antennas
Electric Windshield Washer
Continental Kit
Power Seats
White Wall Tires
Autronic Eye
Dual Exhaust Ports
Factory Power Windows
Dual Exhaust
Wonderbar Radio
Spinner Nos Hub Caps
Rear Speaker
Emergency Brake Indicator
Tissue Dispenser
Door Handle Shield
Vacuum Ash Tray (Very Rare)
Cigarette Lighter Light
Day-Night Rear Mirror
Fender Skirts
Accessory Floor Mats
Traffic Light Viewer