|Chevrolet Impala Super Sport Coupe 1966|
Totally redesigned in 1965, the Impala set an all-time industry annual sales record of more than 1 million units in the U.S., which has never been bettered. All new full-size Chevys eschewed the "X" frame for a full-width perimeter frame, a new body which featured curved, frameless side glass (for pillarless models), sharper angled windshield with newly reshaped vent windows, and redesigned full-coil suspension.
1966 Impala SS Convertible
In 1965 Chevrolet introduced the Impala Caprice, exclusively as a four-door hardtop. Caprices received unique tufted upholstery, wood grained accents on the dashboard and specialty pulls on the insides of the doors. This "halo" model also featured the "spinner" wheel covers from the Impala SS, with the "SS" logo centers replaced by a Chevy "bowtie" emblem. The Super Sport's blackout rear trim strip below the triple taillights was also used, with the "Impala SS" emblem deleted of course. The Caprice Custom was reintroduced as the Chevrolet Caprice in 1966, taking the top position in the full-size Chevrolet lineup. Engine choices included the inline six-cylinder as well as the famous Chevy small-block and big-block V8s. Automatic buyers were given the option of the newly introduced three-range Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission for the newly introduced Mark IV big-block engine, displacing 396 cubic inches. The old 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L) "W" engine was discontinued early in the 1965 model year, so early-production '65s got the 409, as well as 1/10 of 1% had the 396 CID big-block. Moreover, other later-built cars had the 396-cubic-inch (6.5 L) as the big-block option with significant horsepower drawback. Two-range Powerglide, as well as Synchro-Mesh 3- and 4-speed manual transmissions were available. As with previous years, Impalas featured more chrome trim inside and out, with pleated tufted upholstery and door panels. The Impala would be the #2-selling convertible in the U.S. in 1966, with 38,000 sold; it was beaten by the Mustang by almost 2:1.
|Impala Super Sport Coupe|
The 1967 model was redesigned with enhanced Coke bottle styling. The curves were the most pronounced with the 1967–68 models. In keeping with federal regulations, safety features were built into Impalas during the 1967 and 1968 model years, including a fully collapsible energy-absorbing steering column, side marker lights, and shoulder belts for closed models. A black 1967 Sport Sedan 4-door hardtop was used in the television series Supernatural, and as such, this model has seen a substantial increase in value to collectors.
1968 Impala Sport Coupe
The 1968 model was facelifted with a new front end, The new rear bumper housed triple "horseshoe" shaped taillights. 1968 also saw a new Impala model, the Custom Coupe. This two-door hardtop featured the same formal roofline as the Caprice Coupe. It was a huge commercial success and would be continued right through 1976.
|Chevrolet Impala 1961|
The vent windows had provided excellent ventilation at highway speeds, but at the expense of wind noise. Eliminating them saved money on each car produced, kept the interiors quieter at highway speeds, and no doubt encouraged more check marks on the order sheets for the high-profit air conditioning systems that were becoming increasingly popular. The ignition switch was moved from the instrument panel to the steering column, and when they key was removed, the steering wheel and shift lever were locked. All 1969 GM cars except the Corvair got this change, one year ahead of Federal regulations. The hardtop Sport Coupe got a new, crisply styled notchback roofline, replacing the "fastback" C-pillar from 1967–68. During the 1969 model year Impala production topped Caprice production by 611,000 units. The similar 1970 Impala got a minor facelift featuring a more conventional under the grille bumper replacing the wrap-around unit used in 1969 along with new triple vertical taillights in the rear bumper. Canadian buyers got the choice of a lower priced companion to the Impala Sport Coupe, the Bel Air Sport Coupe, which used the same body but featured Bel Air trim.
|Impala Hardtop Sedan 1966|
Impala SS (1961–1969)
|Chevrolet Impala 1962|
In 1961, the Impala SS (Super Sport) was introduced to the market. The SS badge was to become Chevrolet's signature of performance on many models, though it often has been an appearance package only. The Impala's SS package in 1961 was truly a performance package, beginning with the 348-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8 engines available with 305 horsepower (227 kW), 340 horsepower (250 kW), and 350 horsepower (260 kW) or the new 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L) V8, which was available with up to 425 horsepower (317 kW). Unlike all other years, the 1961 Super Sport package was available on any Impala, including sedans and station wagons (the sales brochure shows a 4-door hardtop Sport Sedan with the SS package). The package also included upgraded tires on station wagon wheels, springs, shocks and special sintered metallic brake linings. Only 142 '61 Impala Super Sports came from the factory with the 409, making it a most rare and desirable collectible.
|Chevrolet Impala 1962|
1964 Impala SS Hardtop Sport Coupe
|Impala Convertible Super Sport 1966|
The Super Sport was known as Regular Production Option (RPO) Z03, from 1962–63, and again in 1968. 1962–64 Super Sports came with engine-turned aluminum trim, which was replaced by a "blackout" trim strip in '65 which ran under the taillights. 1965 Super Sport exteriors differed only slightly from regular Impalas. Rocker panel trim was deleted. "Super Sport" scripts replaced the "Impala SS" badges. The new center console housed a rally-type electric clock, and full instrumentation now included a vacuum gauge. A total of 243,114 Impala SS coupes and convertibles were built for 1965.
|Chevrolet Impala 1962|
The 1966 Impala SS was face-lifted with a revised grille and new rectangular taillights that replaced the triple round units. A chrome beltline strip shared with regular Impalas was added in response to complaints about door dings on the clean-lined 1965s. Inside were new Strato bucket seats with thinner and higher seatbacks, and a center console with an optional gauge package available. Sales of the 1966 Impala SS dropped by more than 50% to around 117,000 units; this was mainly due to the sport/performance car market switching from full-sized models to intermediates (including Chevy's own Chevelle SS396 and Pontiac GTO), along with the emerging market for the even smaller pony car market created by the Ford Mustang in 1964 that Chevrolet would respond to with the Camaro for 1967.
|Chevrolet Impala 1962|
The 1967 Impala SS was less decorated than other Impalas; Super Sports had black grille accents and black-accented body-side and rear fender moldings. Lesser models leaned more toward brightwork inside and out. Buyers could choose either vinyl bucket seats with a center console, or a Strato-Bench seat with a fold-down center armrest. Of the 76,055 Impala SS models built, just 2,124 were ordered with RPO Z24, a special performance package that included RPO F41 heavy-duty suspension and other performance goodies, RPO L36 (385 brake horsepower (287 kW) Turbo-Jet 427-cubic-inch (7.0 L) V8, as well as a special trim package that replaced the "Impala SS" badges with large "SS427" emblems on the front grille and rear trim. The Z24 package also included a special hood with chrome-plated intake. Only about 400 Super Sports had a six-cylinder engine. in 1967–1968, 390 brake horsepower (290 kW) in 1969) or L72 (425 brake horsepower (317 kW)) in 1968–1969. Special SS427 badging, inside and out, was the rule, but few were sold since muscle car enthusiasts were looking toward big-block intermediates such as the Chevelle SS396 and Plymouth Road Runner.
|Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe 1961|
In 1968 as Caprice sales escalated, those of the Impala Super Sport suffered a decline. Much of this drop in sales was no doubt due to the availability of big-block engines in the mid-sized (and lighter) Chevelle, and even Novas could be special-ordered with the 396-engine with the new-for-'68 body. No longer a separate series, the Super Sport was a mere $179 option package for the two Impala coupes and the convertible. Only 38,210 Impalas were so-equipped, including 1,778 with the Z24 package, which was carried over from 1967. In 1968 only, SS427s could be ordered without the Z03 SS package, which meant SS427 equipment but no bucket seats or center console. The Impala SS could be identified by "Impala Super Sport" badges on the front grille, rear fenders and trunk lid. Z24-optioned cars included "SS427" emblems to replace the "Impala Super Sport" badges, a special layered "pancake" hood, and three "gills" mounted on the front fender aft of the wheel well.
|Chevrolet Impala 1960|
|Chevrolet Impala 1972|
|Chevrolet Impala 1969|
The 1965–70 GM B platform is the fourth best selling automobile platform in history after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T and the Lada Riva.
Fifth generation (1971–1976)
Main article: Chevrolet Impala (fifth generation)
1972 Chevrolet Impala Convertible Coupe
Model years 1971–1976
2-door Sport Coupe (hardtop)
2-door Custom Coupe (formal hardtop)
4-door station wagon
250 cu in (4.1 L) 250 Inline Six
350 cu in (5.7 L) Turbo Fire V8
400 cu in (6.6 L) Turbo Fire V8
402 cu in (6.6 L) Turbo-Jet 400 V8
454 cu in (7.4 L) Turbo-Jet V8
|Chevrolet Impala Super Sport Coupe 1966|
The Impala remained Chevrolet's top-selling model with the fifth generation. A high-performance big block V8 was still available in the form of the Turbo-Jet 454, which produced 365 hp in 1971, but power decreased as the years went along. The 1971 redesigned B-body would be the largest car ever offered by Chevrolet. The hardtop Sport Coupe continued to be offered; it was a smoothly sloped semi-fastback reminiscent of the 1961 "bubbletop" styling. A three-speed manual transmission remained standard at the beginning of the year, but in the spring of 1971 all V8-equipped full-size GM cars got Turbo Hydra-Matic as standard equipment. Interestingly, Power-glide remained optionally available for six-cylinder cars until the 1973 models.
|Chevrolet Impala 1968|
The 1972 model introduced a grille which extended below the bumper. Powertrains consisted of mostly V8 engines. The 250 inline six was still standard for Sport Coupe and 4-door sedan models; the 350 2bbl V8 became the standard engine from 1973–1976, with 350 cubic inches (5.7 L), 400 cubic inches (6.6 L), 402 cubic inches (6.6 L) (through 72) or 454 cubic inches (7.4 L). The best-selling body style was the Custom Coupe. Beginning in 1972, all engines were designed to run on unleaded gasoline. 1972 saw the last Impala convertible; it sold 6,456 copies, placing fourth with just under 9 percent of the market, right behind the Corvette 6,508, ahead of the Mustang's 6,401.
1973 Chevrolets featured a larger, shock-absorbing front bumper due to new federal mandates which required 5-mile-per-hour (8.0 km/h) impact protection. New taillights were mounted in the (still) conventional rear bumper. This was the first year of the Caprice Classic convertible. Tweaks to the suspension and frame gave better roadability, according to Chevrolet general manager John Z. DeLorean. Steering wheels and instrument panels were color-keyed to interior colors, as opposed to the matte black used in 1971–72. The inline six-cylinder engine was now offered on the Bel Air 4-door sedan only, and only with the 3-speed manual transmission.
|Impala SS Coupe 1967|
In 1974, the rear bumper was redesigned with shock absorbers to meet the upgraded standards and new tail lights were featured. The front end was also freshened as in previous years, with a new grille and headlight bezels, a new header panel, and a bumper with a drop down center section. The marker lights moved back up beside the headlamps once again. This was the only year of the 1971–1976 models the Impala had a different front end design than the Caprice Classic, as other years used either a grille insert or previous year Caprice front to distinguish the two. The rooflines of the Impala coupes were also revised. For 1974 the Custom Coupe was no longer a hardtop, with large fixed rear quarter glass and a thick B-pillar. The Sport Coupe, still a pillar-less hardtop, now used larger roll-down quarter glass like that of the 1971–73 Custom Coupe, and had a narrower, fastback style, flat back window. Sedans used carryover body shells from previous years.
|Chevrolet Colors 1966|
A limited-edition Spirit of America package was offered in 1974 on Sport Coupe models; primarily an appearance package, it featured white or blue body paint, a white full vinyl top, white upholstery with red or blue trim, color-keyed seat belts and floormats, special wheel covers, optional white rally wheels, sports-styled dual remote outside rear view mirrors, a vinyl body side molding insert, and red pin-striping. Special fender and dashboard badges announced the package to passers-by and passengers. Chevy also offered Nova and Vega Spirit of America versions as well.
|Chevrolet Impala 1973|
|Chevrolet Impala 1975|