1962 Chevrolet Biscayne, Bel Air, and Impala

The 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air remained the mid-level full-size Chevy.
The 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air remained the mid-level full-size Chevy.

The 1962 Chevrolet Biscayne, Bel Air and Impala full-size cars got a cleaned-up, squared-off restyling, were a bit bulkier than before, and featured a trailing body creaseline. Ads positioned full-size Chevrolets at airports, under the theme "Jet-smooth Chevrolet," lauding their "room, zoom and a road softening ride" as well as the smooth new shape.

Continuing their role as the posh Chevrolets, Impalas wore full-length upper bodyside moldings (with contrasting-color inserts), ribbed body sill moldings, stainless steel window reveal trim, and special rear-fender script. Each Impala model had its own distinctive roofline, including the slim-pillar four-door sedan. Sport coupes got convertible-like rear roof creases, while new inner fenders protected against rust.

Impala output totaled a whopping 704,900 cars, versus 365,000 slim-pillar Bel Air sedans and 160,000 Biscaynes, the latter minimally trimmed but promoted for its "beautiful simplicity."

This year, the big 409-cubic-inch V-8 could be installed in any full-size model, not just the Super Sport, developing either 380 or 409 horsepower. The 409-horsepower edition breathed through twin four-barrel carburetors, while its less-potent mate made do with a single carb. Both had solid lifters and dual exhausts, with 11.0:1 compression. All-out enthusiasts could even order lightweight aluminum front body panels.

The 1962 Chevrolet Impala offered a Super Sport Trim Package.
The 1962 Chevrolet Impala offered a Super Sport Trim Package.

The 348-cubic-inch engine was gone, replaced by a 327-cubic-inch option that delivered 250 or 300 horses. The 283-cubic-inch V-8 came in only one guise, at 170 horsepower, as the standard V-8 powerplant.

The Super Sport option was now a $156 trim package for the Impala Sport Coupe or convertible, available with any engine -- even the Hi-Thrift six-cylinder. That extra outlay bought front bucket seats of "leather-soft" vinyl with aluminum edging, a passenger assist bar, a console with locking compartment, aluminum molding inserts, and knock-off-style wheel covers. Hard drivers could add sintered-metallic brake linings, heavy-duty springs/shocks, 8x14 tires, and a tachometer.

1962 Chevrolet Biscayne, Bel Air, and Impala Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Biscayne3,400-3,845
$2,324-$2,832
160,000 (approx.)
Bel Air
3,405-3,895
$2,456-$3,029
365,000 (approx.)
Impala
3,450-3,925
$2,662-$3,171
704,900 (approx.)