When 1959 rolled around, the Chevrolet Impala was in its second year of production, and already received a redesigned. In a move to cut costs, GM was sharing body shells through its divisions, so the Impala, some Buicks and Oldsmobiles, and even some Pontiac cars used much of the same structure. A new X-frame was utilized, the roof line was 3 inches lower, the bodies were 2 inches wider, and curb weight increased from 1958. But, the design feature that stands out to this day are the car’s tailfins. Previous automotive designs had the fins standing up, but the ’59 Impala fins laid down like a pair of wings, and the taillights were now the shape of an elongated oval. These sleeker, pointed taillights became known as “cat’s eye” taillamps.
Sport coupes featured a shortened roof line and a wrap-over back window that that not only complemented the compound-curved windshield, it promised a virtually unlimited rear sight line.
The Impala became a separate series this year, adding a four-door hardtop and four-door sedan, to the two-door Sport coupe and convertible line up. The standard engine was an inline six-cylinder, while the base V8 engine was the 185 horsepower 283 cubic-inch engine. There was however an optional 283 cubic-inch engine delivering 290 horsepower. The W-headed 348 cubic-inch V8 was the top-of-the-line engine choice.
The upscale car offered standard interior features like front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front vent windows. A contoured and hooded instrument panel held gauges that were recessed into the dash, and in keeping with the upscale theme, the driver enjoyed the new Flexomatic six-way adjustable power seat. With the flick of a switch, the driver could move their seat forward or backwards, and up or down. In an attempt to help keep drivers conscientious of how they were driving, a Speedminder alarm was installed. The Speedminder allowed the driver to set a needle at a specific speed on the speedometer, and a buzzer would sound if that speed was exceeded.
If purchased with a six-cylinder engine the ’59 Impala convertible cost $2,849 but a V8 engine added $118 making it $2,967.
The ’59 Impala is a beautiful car, and any fan of the brand would enjoy ownership of one of these car, so we have to ask, “If you had a spare $3,000 dollars burning a hole in your pocket, what color would your convertible 1959 Impala be painted?”
Article courtesy of Rod Authority, written by Randy Bolig.