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1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

This 1959 beautiful Chevrolet Impala in Snowcrest White (code 936) was part of Chevrolet’s all-new slimline design for ’59. Bodies were wider and had more room and, with the taller wraparound windshield provided more light and visibility.

It nearly didn’t happen that way as early designs were based on the 1958 models. During the early design process the GM designer Chuck Jordan got a sneak peak at the new 1957 Chryslers that were about to be released and realised a change of direction was required.

At the rear of the Impala we can see the new, and very unique, batwing style tail fins and the cat’s-eye / teardrop style taillights introduced that year. These were probably the most identifiable feature of the 1959 Chevrolet models and nothing quite like it had been seen before.

Rear view of a 1959 Chevy Impala convertible with the top down
rear view

1959 saw Impala become its own series. When it was introduced in 1958 it was top of the Bel Air line-up.

front view of a 59 Chevy Impala
front view

Impala enjoyed such external luxuries such as: a special, full body length side trim with painted insert area that carried Impala emblems, crossed racing flag emblems, extra brightwork trim that travelled down the deck lid center crease and it came with full wheel covers.

Inside there a tri-tone nylon and vinyl interior and a dashboard that had a brand new look for 1959.

 Three-tone interior of a 59 Chevy Impala
Three-tone interior

The instruments were now round and were praised for their readability and were a drastic improvement over the 1958 models that were criticized for their poor legibility.


Option Price
Power windows $103
Heater and defroster $80
Deluxe push-button radio $84
Tinted Windows E-Z-I $43
Power steering $75
Power brakes $43
Powered front seat $102

The base V8 for full-size Chevrolet’s in ’58 was a 283 cubic inch engine with a 2-barrel carburetor outputting 185 horsepower. This cost an extra $118 on the base price. For $147 you could get the 283 with a 4-barrel carburetor which gave a further 45 horsepower.

However, the original owner of this Impala opted to get the most powerful engine Chevrolet had on offer that year – a 280 horsepower, 348 cubic inch V8 with Tri-Power (3 x 2-barrel carburetors). Pair with a 4-speed manual transmission it was a combination that cost an additional $478.

1959 Chevy 348 cubic inch V8 engine
348 V8

A 3-speed manual transmission was standard on full-size Chevrolets and it cost a further $199 if you wanted a Powerglide automatic transmission.

Chevrolet sold 72,765 Impala convertibles during the 1959 model year which was a 30% increase from the year before. This car was built in the St. Louise, MO assembly plant. Prices started at $2,849 for the base 283 cubic inch Turbo-Fire V8 mentioned above.

This ’59 Chevy Impala is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for lots more photos)

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