Prosperity in America was hitting new highs, and one of the ways we
expressed it was in our cars. Throughout the fifties they became faster and
flashier, and sales of mid and upper range models were booming.
Low priced Chevy addressed the trend by creating a new top-of-the-line
model, the Impala, for 1958. Available only as a 2dr hardtop or convertible,
the Impala was trimmed to the nines and available with all the options
normally associated with higher priced cars.
For a time, the ‘58 flirted with overtaking the ‘57 in value, but that has
eased off a bit the last few years, although they are still pretty close.
The big blocks (348ci V8, especially with the triple carbs) are the most
desirable, and the more options the better. The majority come with the
ubiquitous 2-speed powerglide automatic, though the more complex turboglide
is not uncommon. Rare equipment includes the 283ci V8 with fuel injection,
overdrive, and the troublesome air suspension.
It’s doubtful that as a group the ‘58 will make another run at the ‘57 as
far as values go. The older model just has too much going for it, not the
least of which is its iconic stature in American culture. Still, these will
remain desirable cars and we believe they will outperform the fifties sector
overall in the coming years. (photos courtesy of General Motors)
(note: this profile
appeared in the Oct. 2005 issue)