Work began on the five-place Corvette project, known internally at GM as XP-101, in July of 1955, and the Impala made its first public appearance in the General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on January 19, 1956. GM stylists Carl Renner and Bob Cadaret included key elements of the two-seater production Corvette in the Impala’s look, including the large, Italianate radiator opening in the front, filled with a chrome grille bar with 13 sparkling teeth. (Production 1953-1957 Corvettes used the same number of teeth, coincidentally.) Discrete badging on the front header panel and rear deck indicated that despite the rear seat, the Impala was indeed a Corvette.
As we know, there would never be a production Corvette with a rear seat, though there were a few more experiments. However, two of the show car’s features did find their way into Chevrolet showrooms in 1958: the novel reverse-angle C pillar and the Impala nameplate, which is used on Chevrolet passenger cars to the current day.