1960 Chevrolet Impala Has Been Sitting for Decades, Turbo-Thrust V8 Still Runs


Chevrolet produced almost 500,000 Impala in 1959 and 1960, so the second-gen full-size is far from rare. However, many of them have been abandoned in barns and junkyards, so unrestored and unmolested survivors are hard to come by. This 1960 Impala is a true barn find that’s been sitting for decades and even though it doesn’t look all that special inside and out, it hides a somewhat rare V8 engine under the hood.

Specifically, this Impala draws juice from the very first big-block V8 mill built by Chevrolet. It goes by the name W-series and it debuted in 1958 with a 348-cubic-inch (5.7-liter) block under the Turbo-Thrust moniker. Chevrolet initially offered a four-barrel version with 250 horsepower and a 3×2-barrel unit with 280 horses. A Special Turbo-Thrust variant cranked out an even more appealing 305 horsepower.

In 1960, it was offered as an optional upgrade to the base 235-cubic-inch (3.9-liter) Blue Flame inline-six and the mid-range 283-cubic-inch (4.6-liter) Turbo Fire V8. It was available with either 250 or 320 horsepower, but Chevrolet also offered a Special Super Turbo-Thrust variant with no less than 350 horsepower.

This Impala seems to feature the 250-horsepower 348, but that was enough for the long and heavy sedan to cover the quarter-mile in less than 18 seconds when new. The mill seems to be of the matching-numbers variety, a big plus when it comes to abandoned cars. Unfortunately, the ad doesn’t say whether the V8 mates to a two-speed Powerglide or the four-speed Turboglide. Either way, the engine looks surprisingly good compared to the overall state of the car and the seller says it runs when connected to an external fuel source.

As for the rest of the car, it needs a lot of TLC. It has been sitting in storage for decades and it shows. It appears that the car has been repainted a couple of times, with signs of red and blue paint under the black coating. The upper body has a lot of surface rust, but the lower side doesn’t look too bad. Of course, there’s a lot of dust to clean and the chrome trim needs a good polishing.

But it’s not all good news. While the interior seems to be complete, the floor is too rusty to be saved, so the new owner will need to replace it. The same goes for the trunk pan, which has holes big enough to stick your hand through them. But I’ve seen cars in worse shape being brought back to life, so this Impala is definitely salvageable. Assuming that the frame is still solid, of course.

If you want to bring this 348 V8 beast back to life, the coupe is auctioned off by eBay user “marybethth” at no reserve. Bidding is at $7,100 with two days ago and it shouldn’t go much higher than that given that 1960s Impalas in good condition usually go for around $12,000.