There is a great deal of powerful car nameplates in the automotive industry, and they are all part of one of two categories: cars that were, and cars that are. For the former category, few nameplates are as impressive as the Impala.
Born in the Chevrolet stables at the end of the 1950s, the moniker resisted on the market for almost three decades, becoming one of the best-selling cars on the market, and was revived, with far diminished success, in the 1990s and then again in the 2000s.
The first-life Impalas (generations one through six) are the ones that capture the imagination of car collectors and custom garages in our time. Everywhere you look, everywhere you turn, there’s an Impala lurking in a corner, either freshly restored or waiting in a barn to be found, just eager to once again become the talk of the day.
The above reality would have you believe there’s nothing truly special one could stumble across with this one. Yet here it is, sitting on the lot of cars that will go under the Mecum hammer in January in Kissimmee, Florida, with no reserve.
This is one of those rare Impalas that may end up selling for big bucks. It’s one of 456 SS variants to have been made in 1961 (thus, part of first year of the third generation), but more importantly, one of just 142 to sport under the hood the 409ci (6.7-liter) engine, the second biggest powerplant available, after the mighty 427ci (7.0-liter).
That would be the Turbo Fire V8 rocking a single 4-barrel carburetor and a 4-speed manual transmission, and rated back in its day at a hefty 360 hp.
The car presents itself in some unusual colors, being wrapped in Tuxedo Black over a very in-your-face interior in red and white.
The Chevy is presently part of the over 60-vehicle strong Don Salmon collection (all going on the auction black next year), which includes the Pontiac Star Chief Safari we brought under the spotlight yesterday. There is no estimate as to how much the Impala is expected to fetch either.