In an age where car designs can easily hang around for a decade, it’s hard to imagine an automaker turning out jaw-dropping but completely different styling five years in a row. Between 1955 and 1960, Chevrolet did just that and, over time, each model has climbed the ranks to become an exalted American classic. The 1959 Impala is one of the most sought after cars of Detroit’s golden era, and examples like this professionally restored convertible are great reminders why. There’s absolutely nothing like it in dealer showrooms. It’s an iconic package that includes a Turbo Thrust V8, a Powerglide transmission and a black on red color scheme that’s guaranteed to turn heads. And every one of its parts is fresh and ready for the show field. Want to get your name engraved on a few trophies? Get to know this awesome Chevy drop-top!
Longer, lower and wider were predominant buzzwords in the late 50s and Impala marketing touted all three. The car’s roof line was lower, its chassis wider and fins that once grew upward now extended rearward. With that in mind, there is a lot of metal to contend with on these cars during the restoration process. And there’s also a lot of continuous lines, meaning getting that work right is especially important. The beneficiary of a frame-off restoration which utilized the best parts available, this classic Impala is a top notch cruiser that makes no excuses. Undoubtedly, the first thing you’ll notice when you walk up to the car is a spectacular coat of Onyx Black urethane, which has been massaged and buffed to a fantastic shine. Take a longer look at its solid flanks and you’ll see large and highly detailed panels, which create a near seamless profile. Study the car for hours and it becomes very apparent that whoever performed its restoration knew exactly what they were doing. There’s no filler, no hacked-up patches, and the straight and solid body presents a virtually perfect silhouette that highlights everything great about American design!
As Chevrolet’s first mid-market offering, the Impala took flash and extravagance to new extremes. At the front of the car, a stainless, body-width grille hangs four halogen headlights between pointed parking lamps, an ornate bumper and a proper Chevrolet hood crest. Above that grille, small fender fins lead the eye to like-new glass that’s framed in clean chrome trim, bright stainless wipers and a fresh black top. Below that glass, straight stainless spears, which visually connect the car’s front fenders with its rear fins, are molded around bright Impala inlays. At the edge of those spears, a fresh bowtie mirror and traditional chrome door handles combine with Onyx fender skirts and stylish exhaust ports to detail an otherwise weighty profile. And at the back of that profile, thin stainless trim, which traces a ’59 Impala-exclusive decklid, perfectly complements dual antennas, a second chrome bumper, ‘cat’s eye’ tail lights and a fancy continental kit.
Lift this Chevy’s long hood and you’ll find a 348 cubic inch Turbo Thrust V8 that’s branded with a correct 3755011 casting number, stated as a May (E) 8th (8) 1959 (59) casting date and detailed with a correct “G” suffix stamp. A staple of working-class luxury, this sturdy 250 horsepower big block is one of the many reasons the Impala model enjoys fantastic name recognition. And absolutely every item, from its thick coat of Chevy Orange paint to its unique, bowtie-branded valve covers, has at one point been rebuilt, refinished or replaced. At the top of the bright block, a Satin Black, single-snorkel air cleaner funnels wind into a big Carter carburetor. At the sides of the block, restored exhaust manifolds allow oversquare cylinders ample breathing room by funneling spent gases into correct, true-dual exhaust pipes. At the back of the block, a traditional points distributor shoots fire through fresh AC Delco Packard TVR Suppression wires. Cooling is provided by a correct radiator, which circulates water through a series of pliable hoses. Charge comes courtesy of a Delco yellow cap battery, which jolts a tagged Delco-Remy generator. All the right details, including a stainless fuel line, correct decals and a rebuilt brake booster, have been fitted between standard silver hinges. And the car’s Satin Black engine bay serves as an ideal backdrop for the engine’s many different textures.
Park this topless full-size on a lift and you’ll find a solid undercarriage that’s hardly seen any road time at all. The car’s straight floorpans are covered in a traditional coat of Oxide Red paint, which perfectly contrasts its Satin Black X-frame. A rugged Powerglide transmission, which hangs a correct 3742349 casting number above a June (F) 24th (24) 1959 (9) casting date, spins a beefy GM drop out that literally sails the engine through its power band. Under that capable drivetrain, a completely rebuilt suspension is equipped with factory power steering, which makes turns easy, and power drum brakes that successfully counter torque. At the center of the floors, a stainless, true-dual exhaust system utilizes correct turbo mufflers to weave an aggressive, full-throttle rumble into a subdued and classy idle. At the corners of the chassis, great looking 8.00-14 BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls frame deluxe factory spinners. And everything from this Chevy’s stiff shocks to its shiny fuel tank is fully sorted and ready to hit the pavement.
Stylistically, there’s a lot to admire about this Impala’s interior and, best of all, it’s just as great to use as it is to look at. At ground level, Fisher sill plates anchor plush red carpet under thick, rubber floor mats. Firm bench seats wear retro plaid covers that remind of family picnics. In contrast to the exterior of the car, the stainless-trimmed dash dons an even coat of Roman Red paint; playing host to factory instrumentation, a correct radio and chrome accessory pulls. In front of the driver, a traditional Impala steering wheel spins speed-drilled spokes around a storied cross-flag emblem. At the sides of the car, expressive door panels found simple exit handles. And behind the passengers, a cavernous trunk features a correct jack and fresh mats.
This highly polished cruiser is an all-American piece of jet age magic that’s ready to be shown and celebrated. With its sturdy 348/Powerglide drivetrain, reliability won’t be an issue. And the car’s luxurious interior is every bit as welcoming now as it was when new. If you’re looking for an impressive, first-rate classic to round out your collection, snag this Impala today!