Chevrolet Impala

The Chevy Impala went roaring into 1963 as the number one car in America!
General Motors had discovered back in the late 50s that to stay number one they would have to redesign their cars every two years. The ’63 models from Chevrolet took the market by storm and everyone from Corvette to Impala had new lines and new features. Chevy’s Impala was now a full grown luxury car. But it started out as an upgrade to the Bel Air in 1958 and it had now become one of the world’s finest automobiles. Chevrolet was the world’s largest automobile company and they spared nothing to make the Impala into the most popular, best selling car in America.

The ’63 Impala was bigger and heavier by almost 100 pounds, with larger bumpers and more chrome and stainless steel trim. The Super Sport still had plenty of ID and let everyone know that this was top of the line. The re-shaped tail panel still sported Chevy’s usual three tail outs on each side and the very popular Super Sport roof line was carried over from 1962.
The exception was the Z24 option package available in combination with the standard Z03 Super Sport package. Starting in 1967, through 1969, buyers of Z24s Impalas got cars badged as "SS427" models. The SS427 included heavy duty suspension and other performance goodies, as well as a Turbo-Jet 427 in either L36 or L72 variations. Special SS427 badging inside and out were the rule, but few were sold, since "muscle car" enthusiasts were looking toward big-block intermediates like the Chevelle SS396 and Plymouth Hemi Roadrunners, which were lighter and subsequently faster off the line. Interestingly, Z24 cars could be ordered without the Z03 SS package, which meant SS427 equipment but no bucket seats or center console!

The Impala is often credited with starting the muscle car era, although the credit for that really goes to Pontiac when it released the GTO. In the 1960s, gasoline was cheap and consumer demand for power exceeded the need for efficiency. Buyers were clamoring for as much room, performance, amenities and quality as they could get for their dollars. Afraid it would lose out to an in house competition, Chevy released its muscle car, the SS, soon after. 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 has often been an appearance package only. The Impala's SS package in 1961 was truly a performance package, beginning with the high-performance 348 in³ (5.7 L) engines (available with 305, 340, and 350 hp (230, 255 and 260 kW)) or the new 409 in³ (6.7 L), which was available with up to 425 hp. The package also inclued upgraded tires on station wagon wheels, springs, shocks and special sintered metallic brake linings. Starting in 1962, the Impala SS could be had with any engine available in the Impala, right down to the 235 in³ 135 hp inline-6. With one exception, from this point until 1969, the SS was an appearance package only, though the heavy-duty parts and big engines could still be ordered..

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