1959 Chevy Impala Custom Hardtop / Photos, Specs, Styling, Engine Details

The 1959 Chevy Impala design was the first year of a new two year design that lasted through the 1960 model year. These two years represented Impala’s second generation.

59 chevy impala
1959 Chevrolet Impala

The Impala was Chevrolet’s top trim level for full sized automobiles. The other two Chevrolet full sized models were the Biscayne and Bel Air.

The three Impala models for 1959 were a two door hardtop, two door convertible and four door sedan.

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala Styling

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala was the last model designed under the supervision of the legendary Harley Earl, the head of General Motors styling prior to his retirement.

Almost all 1959 Chevrolet models received all new sheet metal. A totally new design flat tail fins, quad headlights which were seven inches lower than in 1958, flat grille, and tail lights in a cat’s eye style. While the 1959 Impala teardrop shaped tail lights, the 1960 model sported three separate tail lights.

The new 59 Impala was lower by three inches, longer and wider by two inches than it’s predecessor. The flat tail fins gave the 59 Impala a unique look. Instead of fins extending upward these extended horizontal.

Differences Between the 1959 Chevy Impala and the Biscayne and Bel Air

The 1959 Impala was the highest trim level for the Chevy full size cars. The Biscayne model is considered the basic trim. The Bel Air was the middle trim level.

One interior difference between Chevy’s 1959 full size Impala compared to the full size Biscayne and Bel Air was that the Impala model has chrome trim covering the lower half of the dashboard. This is not seen with the Biscayne or Bel Air.

In regards to the exterior, the Biscayne lacked additional chrome as seen with both the Impala and Bel Air models. The Biscayne was available in only a two and four door sedan. Although the Chevy Biscayne was the lowest trim level, buyers could opt to have any of the V-8’s available.

1959 chevy impala

1959 Chevrolet Impala Specifications

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala offered a wide choice of engines. Standard was the Blue Flame 235 cubic inch six cylinder with it’s 145 HP.

Options were the Super Turbo-Fire/Turbo-Fire 283 cubic inch V-8 with configurations from 185 to 290 HP. Also, the Super Turbo-Thrust/ Turbo-Thrust 348 cubic inch V-8 with configurations from 250 to 315 HP.

This particular Custom Impala Hardtop featured in this article has a fuel injected 409 cubic inch V-8 along with a 700R4 transmission.

As is evident, the 1959 Chevy Impala could pack plenty of power.

Transmissions available for 1959 included a three speed manual, a four speed floor mounted manual, and a two speed Powerglide and Turboglide.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums.

Power Steering was offered as an option.

Dimensions for the 1959 Chevy Impala include a 119.0 inch wheelbase, 210.9 inch overall length, 79.9 inch width, 56.0 inch height. Curb weight 3,860 lbs.

1959 Chevrolet Impala production totaled about 473,000 vehicles.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

1960 Chevrolet Impala

1961 Chevrolet Impala

Reference material for this article includes…Chevy Impala & SS Muscle Portfolio 1958-1972 Road Test BookClassic Cars 1931-1980 by Norm Mort…American Classic Cars by Michael Thornton.

59 impala

The 1959 Chevrolet Impala Collector Car

Chevrolet automobiles from the 1950’s are very popular collector cars, especially from the Tri-Fives to the end of the decade and beyond.

Chevrolet introduced some terrific and unique styling during these years. The Tri-Fives from 1955-57 introduced tail fins and the 1958-1960 Chevy Impalas did something entirely different with those fin designs. The 1959 Impalas have that two year tail fin styling and really was the last year that fins were on Chevy’s.

Another attribute for the 59 Chevy Impalas was the wide choice of engines available with a few of the V-8’s putting out serious horsepower.

1959 Chevy Impala Coupe examples in excellent condition with a high degree of originality have recently sold at auction in a range of from $40,000 to $55,000. 59 Impala Convertibles have realized auction sales prices over $100,000. What one of these Impalas will sell for has a lot to do with both condition, originality, degree and age of any restoration and engine.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)