The First Chevrolet Impalas

This advertisement for the 1958 Chevrolet, made in conjunction with the Kansas City Auto Show, describes the 17 models available in ’58:

Note that the lineup includes Impala models as part of the Bel Air series:

This marked the first opportunity for a member of the car-buying public to purchase a Chevrolet Impala, but it was not the first time General Motors utilized that particular name. A “dream car” presented at GM’s 1956 Motorama car show was a futuristic five passenger sport sedan that was, believe it or not, called a Corvette Impala.

Like the production Corvette, the Corvette Impala had a fiberglass body. It was almost the same width as a Chevrolet sedan, but four and a half inches longer and six inches lower. The power plant was a 225-hp Super Turbo-Fire V8 with 9.25-to-1 compression ratio, high-lift cam shaft and a four-barrel carb. Being a GM product, it naturally had a Powerglide transmission.

In a departure from the typical more-is-more styling of the 1950s, little chrome was used. It did have a toothy, Corvette-like grille, however.

So, would you have been in the market for this Impala concept car, described as having “fleet, buoyant lines that accent motoring adventure with safety and luxury?” Or do your preferences in motoring adventure run more along these lines?

Show and Shine in the Fourth of July City

We spent Independence Day in Seward, Nebraska’s Official Fourth of July City. This town takes America’s birthday very seriously and has hosted a celebration virtually every year since the town was established in 1868. The town is located in Seward County, and both were named for William H. Seward, a Republican and strong opponent of slavery who served as President Lincoln’s Secretary of State during the Civil War.

Seward has less than 7,000 residents, but the number of attendees at this annual festival is estimated at an incredible 40,000. This year it included everything an American could want for the country’s birthday celebration such as an anvil firing; flag raising complete with reveille and the firing of an historic cannon; parades and fireworks; an apple pie eating contest; a craft show with vendors covering the entire courthouse square; live music and blocks of food trucks; Revolutionary and Civil War era soldier encampments; actors portraying Presidents Lincoln and Grant mingling with folks at the Nebraska National Guard Museum, and so much more. Happily for me, there was also a car show, so here are a few pictures of some of the entries. Note that the ’54 Willys Jeep is for sale, priced at $19,995 obo!

1936 Chevrolet Coupe
1972 Dodge Charger
Rat rod with Punisher grille
1954 Chevy Bel Air
1953 Chevy Bel Air Gasser
1959 Dodge Coronet
1954 Willys M38A1
1937 Pontiac
1930 Model A