Down memory lane with the Chevrolet Impala
|   Tuesday, January 08, 2013
The Chevrolet Impala was one of the biggest rear wheel drive hits when the vehicle was first introduced in the 1960s. However, the vehicle has lost its credibility in due course of time and is now a front wheel driven family sedan which has lost its glory days and performing ability. The production of the greatest Chevrolet Impala vehicles were stopped post 1996 and no front wheel drive Impala can ever match up to the performance that was present in the rear wheel drive version of the vehicle.


Chevrolet initially launched the Impala as full sports vehicle and it was big, heavy and an outright muscle car from all angles. However, post 1996 Chevrolet stopped producing the original muscle car called Impala and the vehicle was transformed more into a sedan for family use. The name Impala was originally used for a show car back in the days and the perfect balance between performance and luxury made this vehicle the greatest of its days.

The concept show car Impala sported a hard roof and the designs were borrowed from the Corvette, with the help of Pontiac. The car was an instant hit and the green light for production was given in 1958. The first vehicle was almost like the show car and the basic idea of the Impala was not conceived back then.

The second generation Impala, developed in 1959 – 60 was the first classic designed Impala from Chevrolet and this vehicle had the protruding taillights and the huge fins for the first time. However, these design changes were borrowed from the Cadillac Eldorado, launched the same year but the protruding elements were less noticeable.

The actual revolution in the Impala lineup came in 1961 with the designing of the third generation of the vehicle. This time Chevrolet did not launch just any Impala, it was the Impala SS, the Super Sports. The SS came with a variety of power train options which ranged from a 5.7 liter 305 HP V8, 7.0 liter 427 HP V8 to the 7.4 liter 454 HP V8.

Chevrolet sold the Impala SS in different models with same power train options and the 427 engine was used in the SS427 since 1967, which was used as the standard post 1969. The third and fourth generation Impalas was also high on demand and these were the best selling Impalas in Chevrolet's history. Since its third generation, the Impalas had grown smaller and the compact size of the vehicle actually was the major reason for this vehicle's high popularity.

The Chevrolet Impala maintained a balance between size and comfort, not to mention performance. It was the dream machine of the performance freaks back in the days and was a fashion statement that people liked to sport. Chevrolet also had a lot of engine options for people with different needs and as a result everyone could have an Impala of their own, as per their personal choices. This is what took the vehicle so far down the road.
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