1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala
The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala was the new top-of-the-line Bel Air model, lavishly equipped and soft-riding, and offered only as a Sport Coupe or convertible.
From the windshield pillar rearward, the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala differed structurally from garden-variety Chevrolets. Hardtops had a slightly shorter greenhouse and longer rear deck, giving the impression of an extended body, plus bright rocker moldings and dummy rear-fender scoops.
Simulated extractor vents on the uniquely contoured roof were inspired by Mercedes-Benz. Three taillights sat on each side, whereas lesser models had two, and wagons just one. Special crossed-flag insignias sat above the side moldings.
With a six-cylinder engine, a Chevrolet Bel Air Impala started at $2,586, while $2,693 bought a V-8. Naturally, options pushed typical total prices far higher. In all, 55,989 ragtops and 125,480 Sport Coupes were built, 15 percent of production. Stunning interiors held a competition-inspired two-spoke steering wheel and color-keyed door panels with brushed aluminum trim. No other series included a convertible.
Introduced in a blaze of publicity, Impala signaled Chevrolet's entry into the mid-price field, even if the design was less radical than planned. In addition to style and vigorous performance, ads pushed its "quick, eager-to-please handling that lets you know you're the boss." As an exclusive model, the Impala name would soon become almost synonymous with Chevy.
Longer, lower, and wider--a recurrent theme--all Chevrolets had full-coil suspension, displacing the old rear leaf springs. A new "Safety Girder" X-type frame reduced height without headroom loss. A 283-cubic-inch engine was now the standard V-8, with ratings that ranged from 185 to 290 horsepower.
Drivers who yearned to be "boss" had a new option, though: a big-block 348-cubic-inch Turbo-Thrust V-8, descended from a truck engine and tossing out 250, 280, or 315 horsepower.
The 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala helped Chevrolet regained the number one production spot by a wide margin in this recession year that saw nearly all makes lose sales.
1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala Facts
| Model|| Weight range (lbs.)|| Price range (new)|| Number built|
| Bel Air Impala|| 3,458-3,523|| $2,586-$2,841||60,000 (approx.)|