The Impala was restyled on the existing GM B platform for 1961. The new body styling was more trim and boxy than the 1958-60 models. Sport Coupe models featured a “bubbleback” roofline style for ’61, and a unique model, the 2-door pillared sedan, was available for 1961 only. It was rarely ordered and a scarce collectible today. The rare Super Sport (SS) option debuted for 1961.
The 1962 model featured new “C” pillar styling for all models except the 4-door hardtop “Sport Sedan.” Sport Coupe models now featured the “convertible roof” styling, shared with other GM “B” full-size hardtop coupes. This style proved extremely popular, and contributed to the desirability of the ’62-’64 Impalas as collectibles. The “overhang” roof style of the sedans was replaced with a more attractive, wider “C” pillar with wraparound rear window. Engine choices for ’62 settled down, the 348-cubic-inch (5.7 L) V8 discontinued and replaced by the 340 brake horsepower (250 kW) 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L), which could be ordered with any transmission. The small-block 283 was enlarged to 327 cubic inches (5.4 L), which added more engine choices for small-block fans. The Beach Boys produced a hit single, “409,” referring to the Chevy, which became an iconic song for these cars. Impalas again featured premium interior appointments, plusher seats, and more chrome trim outside, including a full-width aluminum-and-chrome panel to house the triple-unit taillight assembly. Super Sport (SS) models featured that panel in a special engine-turned aluminum, which was also used to fill the side moldings, making the SS more distinctive in appearance. Due to reliability problems, the optional Turboglide automatic transmission was discontinued, leaving Powerglide the only autobox available until 1965.
mong collectors, the 1963 Impala is the most popular for its body style, even though it was almost mechanically identical to the 1962 Impala. The 1963 Impala’s distinctive body style has crisp lines with pointed front and rear fenders which emphasize the long, low style of car design popular in the early 1960s. The rear taillight panel was aluminum, and was surrounded by a chrome border with the engine-turned surface on SS models. Engine choice was similar to ’62, with the small-block 283-cubic-inch (4.6 L) and 327-cubic-inch (5.4 L) V8s the most popular choices. The Sport Sedan featured a new, creased roofline that proved popular. A new “coved” instrument panel was good-looking, but replaced the temperature gauge with “idiot lights” for hot and cold engine conditions. An optional factory tachometer was built into the dash, just above the steering wheel. It was rarely ordered, but gave the Super Sport models an extra feel of sportiness.
For 1964, the Impala was slightly restyled, reverting to a more rounded, softer look. Out back, the signature taillight assembly had an “upside-down U” shaped aluminum trim strip above the taillights, but the lights themselves were surrounded by a body-colored panel. The 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L) returned as the big-block option, but the 4X2 carburetor setup was no longer on the option list. SS models continued to feature the engine-turned aluminum trim. Rooflines were carried over from ’63 unchanged. The 1964 model has been praised by Westcoast rap groups since in the 1990s, with endorsers such as Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Skee-Lo and The Game among many others.
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