Chevrolet Impala 1961-1964 Third generation
The 3rd generation Impala retains as much or more popularity now as when they first rolled into showrooms for the 1961 model year. The Impala is now on the GM “B” platform it is sporting an all new body style looking a lot leaner, sleek, with squared up, symmetric lines. There was a two door pillared sedan offered only in ‘61, but it was not a popular choice making it a treasure sought after by collectors nowadays. This is also the last year for the Nomad wagon nameplate. The two door coupes have a bubble back and if you liked there are power brakes optionally offered for an extra forty-three bucks. They were a controversial item when they first appeared and not always ordered .
The whole of the 3rd generation Impala retains as much or more popularity now as when they first rolled into showrooms. The Impala for 1961 is now on the GM “B” platform and it is sporting an all new body style looking a lot leaner with squared up lines now. There was a two door pillared sedan offered only in ‘61but it was not a popular choice making it sought after by collectors now and it is also the last year for the Nomad wagon nameplate. The two door coupes have a bubble back and if you liked there are power brakes optionally offered for an extra forty-three bucks but they were a controversial item when they first appeared.
New for ’62 is a broad “C” pillar design and is used for all but the four door hard tops while the roof overhang used previously is replaced with the wider pillar and the rear windows now wrapped further around each side. The Sport coupe is a popular model this year and remains to this day as a very sought after collector’s item with the newly offered “convertible roof hard top”. There is no more 348 engine-it has been replaced with the 409 cu in (6.7 L) V8 engine which produces 340 bhp (250 kW) and the 283 is still a choice or you could purchase a bored to 327 (5.4 L) displacement version that will develop either 250 hp or 300 hp depending on the carburetor option you chose. The song “409” was a big hit for the Beach Boys in ’62 which GM used in their ad campaigns. The Impala interior has been again up-scaled and is plusher and more finely appointed than ever while there is now an AM/FM radio on the options sheet. There is more chrome trim on the exterior of all Impala’s but the Super Sport SS has the triple tail light configuration housed in a full width aluminum and chrome panel with the same treatment given to the side moldings giving this version its own distinct appearance. The Nomad station wagon was discontinued so the uptown wagon is now an Impala. GM was having some problems with the two speed Powerglide transmission so for an automatic the only available one is the Turboglide.
For 1963 the car is longer and lower with the pointed fenders front and rear highlighting the length. The tail lights on the SS are the same as last year with the full width chromed panel. The entire fleet of Impala has sharper lines while the sport sedan version gets a new crease in the roof line making it a very popular model in ’63. There is still a six cylinder available if you want to order it but the base is the 283 V8 with and the bored 327 option are the biggest sellers partly because the 409 is not available this year. The dash board features a covered instrument cluster in ‘63 but the temperature gauge has been replaced with an “idiot light” although there is a factory option of a tachometer which fits directly above the steering column.
The 1964 Impala has a softer rounder look than last year with the triple tail light assembly against a painted rear fascia featuring an upside down aluminum “U” shaped trim strip on the upper portion. The roof lines all stayed the same as last year and back up lights are basic equipment on all Impala’s. The good news for the muscle car fans is the 409 (6.7 L) is back but this year is available with two four barrels carburetors which will deliver 425 hp.