If you've been paying attention to auction results lately, you know that the Tri-Five Chevy values are sagging, and the 1958 Impala is red hot. A car very similar to this gorgeous black on red '58 convertible sold at the 2011 Barrett-Jackson auction for nearly $200,000, and you may remember an almost identical car we sold last year for more than $150,000. Honestly, it's not unusual for these to be six-figure cars today, and those numbers are only going up from here. When they're as nice as this one, it's certainly easy to understand why. Fresh off a frame-off restoration with a correctly coded Tri-Power 348 under the hood, this stunning Impala will be the highlight of any show you attend.
These are not easy cars to restore, and as a one year only body style, many of the parts are exceptionally rare. Clean sheetmetal makes this one super straight, and with Onyx Black on its flanks, it had better be right. Panel gaps are impressive, and even the big hood fits like it should with no misaligned trim or wide spaces on the sides. The workmanship is so good, it's almost impossible to say whether there was any replacement metal used in the bodywork, but a thorough inspection turns up no issues or hidden damage. The two-stage urethane paint is as deep as the Atlantic Ocean, and the maintenance on it since it was completed has kept it show-worthy in every way. If you're a fan of the '58 Impala design, there are few nicer than this.
The 1958 redesign also brought a lot of extra chrome and trim, all of which is unique to the car so reproduction items are scarce. Fortunately, someone spent a new Lexus' worth of cash getting all the trim restored, and the chrome glitters like quicksilver on the car's curvaceous flanks. All the stainless, including the windshield surround and the long strip that runs the length of the body has been fully polished to new condition, with no dents or dings. The intricate grille is crisply detailed, and all the emblems are bright and colorful, especially against that Onyx Black paint.
Power comes from a correctly coded 348 cubic inch V8 topped by three two-barrel carburetors called, of course, Tri-Power. Chevy wasn't stamping matching numbers on engines in '58, so it's completely impossible to know whether any of these are matching-numbers cars, but it is correctly coded and tagged as a Tri-Power car. The engine was rebuilt and runs beautifully, with a muscular rumble and impressive performance, even for a car that is approaching 55 years old. The engine bay is immaculately detailed with bright Chevy Orange paint on the engine, an original Tri-Power intake and correct 2-barrel carburetors, and the unique satin black air cleaner. And forget about cars that have been “upgraded” with things like alternators and dual master cylinders, this one is correct and accurately restored with a generator and the original brake system fully intact. Hoses and clamps are reproductions that duplicate the originals, the wiring harness is new, and everything works as it should, including the power steering system integrated into the back of the generator itself!
The transmission is a 2-speed Powerglide automatic, as original, driving the original rear end. The chassis deserves to be on a lift when you park the car, just so passers-by can take a look at the highly detailed undercarriage and accurately restored componentry. Floors are solid and not hidden by a layer of undercoating, the frame is straight and almost entirely devoid of pitting, and the suspension, front and rear, has been completely rebuilt. The Impala uses a unique X-frame design, and the new dual exhaust system hugs the frame's contours, using massive mufflers to give the 348 a hushed tone. The brakes are actually very good for a car of this vintage, and the shocks are new all around, giving this cruiser a true luxury car ride. The finishing touch are a set of original 14-inch steel wheels with spinner hubcaps and a set of new wide whitewall radials that are an almost invisible upgrade that pay big dividends in ride and handling.
As gorgeous as the Impala's exterior styling is, the real appeal of these cars is the stunning interior design. The tri-tone red/black/silver interior looks absolutely smashing against the Onyx Black paint, and is perhaps the most striking combination available. The seats are new, the carpets are new, the beautiful door panels with their color-matched anodized aluminum inserts are new, and, well, you get the picture. That beautiful stripe of textured aluminum that spans the dashboard is bright and shiny with no dings or damage, the gauges have been fully rebuilt and are completely functional, and even the original AM radio works as it should. Even the clock keeps accurate time! The two-tone steering wheel matches the body and interior perfectly, and includes one of the coolest horn buttons ever invented. Overhead, there's a fresh white convertible top that folds effortlessly and hides under a matching red vinyl boot. IN back, the trunk is accurately restored with a new mat, full-sized spare, and jack assembly.
Documents include a cam card for the engine rebuild and receipts from some recent service work.
There's little to fault on this lovely Impala. Arguably the most desirable Chevy of the '50s, in the most desirable color scheme, with a top-flight restoration—what's not to love? Everything works, and the car runs and drives better than new. Pulling into a show with one of these is always an event, and the iconic looks of the Impala makes it a celebrity anywhere it goes. With no stories and a restoration that surely cost twice the asking price, this car is a bargain compared to where the market is heading. Mark my words—in two years, this is going to be the going rate for a #3 car, not a show piece like this one. Call today!