1960 Chevy Impala Hardtop / Photos, Specs, Styling Details, Model History

The 1960 Chevrolet Impala shown here represents the second year of the second generation of Impalas. The first Chevy Impala was produced for the 1958 model year and was a one year only design, totally different than the 1959 and 1960 models.

1960 impala
1960 Chevrolet Impala Hardtop

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. The most significant styling detail on the 1960 Impala, just like the 59 model before it, were the flat tail fins that didn’t extend upward but extended horizontally

The name Impala was first introduced at the GM Motorama show in 1956 as a terrific looking show car. When the Chevy Impala did come out in 1958 it was a big success for General Motors. Of note, it was the first Chevy automobile with dual headlights and triple tail lights.

60 chevy impala

Differences Between the 1960 Chevy Impala and 1959 Chevy Impala

The 1960 Chevrolet Impala was the second year of a two year only design. As a result, there were very few styling changes for the 1960 models.

The most significant change for the 1960 models was the elimination of the “cat eyes” tail lights. These were replaced by round lights, three on each rear fender. This new taillight arrangement would be an Impala signature from 1960 to 1965.

A few other exterior changes for 1960 were that the eyebrows were removed off the front edge of the hood and the quad headlamps were now put into the grille.

Chevrolet Impala Trim Level

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 Biscayne and Bel Air has the same platform as the Impala and employed the same engines as well. The Biscayne is considered the basic model with the Bel Air in between and the Impala is the top of the line.

When the Impala originally came out in 1958 it was placed as the top line Bel Air. One year later the Impala was made a series itself.

As a side note, the Impala SS which was introduced for the 1961 model year was then placed one trim level higher than the Impala.

1960 Chevy Impala Hardtop Specifications

Buyers had a choice of three engines for the 60 Chevy Impala. These included one straight six and two V-8’s. Chevy’s 235 cubic inch straight six had one Rochester carburetor and delivered 135 HP.

60 chevy impala

There were two versions of a 283 cubic inch V-8. One was equipped with a Rochester two barrel carburetor that put out 170 HP.  The other, 283 cubic inch V-8 equipped with a four barrel carburetor that delivered 230 HP.

Transmissions offered for 1960 included a three and four speed manual and a two speed Powerglide automatic. Overdrive was offered on the three speed manual.

Brakes are four wheel hydraulic drums with a power brakes as an option.

Independent front suspension is comprised of long and short control arms equipped with ball joints and coil springs. Rear suspension used coil springs that included an upper control arm.

Dimensions on the 1960 Chevy Impala Hardtop includes a 119.0 inch wheelbase, 210.8 inch overall length, 79.8 inch width, 58.1 inch height.

Total Chevrolet 1960 production was 1.6 million vehicles. Impala models totaled just under 512,000.

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

1959 Chevrolet Impala Hardtop

1963 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible

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.

1960 chevrolet impala

The 1960 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. The 1959 and 1960 Chevy Impalas have that unique two year tail fin styling and these were the last years that fins were on Chevrolet automobiles.

Current prices being asked for a 1960 Chevy Impala Hardtop in excellent restored condition with a high degree of originality fall in a range of about $50,000-$90,000.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)