Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Car Of The Day: April 12, 2011
Today's car of the day comes from Firehawk73's collection and is Johnny Lightning's 1969 Chevrolet Impala.
The Chevrolet Impala is a full-size automobile built by the Chevrolet division of General Motors introduced for the 1958 model year. Deriving its name from the southern African antelope, Chevrolet's most expensive passenger model through 1965 had become the best selling automobile in the United States, competing against the Ford Galaxie 500 and the Plymouth Fury when full-size models dominated the market. The Impala was distinguished for many years by its symmetrical triple taillights. The Caprice was introduced as a top-line Impala Sport Sedan for the 1965 model year becoming a separate series positioned above the Impala in 1966, which itself remained above the Bel Air and Biscayne. The Impala continued as Chevrolet's most popular full-size model through the mid-eighties. Between 1994 and 1996, Impala was revived as a muscular 5.7-liter V8 powered version of the Caprice Classic sedan. In 2000, the Impala was re-introduced again as a mainstream front wheel drive mid-size sedan.
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Chevrolet Impala
A nice model from Johnny Lightning, my only complaint is that it is not true 1/64 scale meaning other, smaller, cars in the Johnny Lightning range dwarf it. Apart from that, this is a fantastic casting!
The Impala name was first used for the full-sized 1956 General Motors Motorama show car that bore Corvette-esque design cues, especially the grille. Painted emerald green metallic, with a white interior, the Impala featured hardtop styling. It is not known to have survived. Ed Cole, Chevrolet's chief engineer in the late 1950s, defined the Impala as a "prestige car within the reach of the average American citizen." Clare MacKichan's design team, along with designers from Pontiac, started to establish basic packaging and dimensions for their shared 1958 General Motors A body in June; the first styling sketch that would directly influence the finished Chevrolet product caught the eye of General Motors Styling vice president Harley Earl in October. Seven months later, the basic design was worked.
From 1958 through 1996, Impala sales were in excess of 13 million, more than any other full-size car in the history of the automobile. The 1964 model year sales of 1,074,925 units (Impala & Impala SS) in the U.S. still stands as a record. 1965 wasn't far behind with 1,046,500 units. In 2008, Impala was the 6th best selling car in the United States and had the distinction of being the top selling American nameplate sedan, according to Reuters Top 20 Best-selling Vehicles Scorecard.
In 1969, the Impala SS was available only as the Z24 (SS427), coming exclusively with a 427-cubic-inch (7.0 L) V8 of 335 brake horsepower (250 kW), 390 brake horsepower (290 kW), or 425 brake horsepower (317 kW). This was the final year for the Impala SS until 1994. The 1969 Impala SS was often considered a "sleeper" in that there was no distinctive SS badging inside the car except for an "SS" logo the steering wheel (again, there was no Z03 offered that year), and a true 1969 Z24-optioned car is the rarest and most collectible of any year with this package available. Like the '68s, the Z24 could be ordered on the Impala convertible, Sport Coupe, or Custom Coupe. 1969 was the last year that the Impala SS was offered with the Z24 package, but the only year in which front disc brakes and 15-inch (380 mm) wheels were standard; that made the 1969 SS427 mechanically better than the previous versions in standard form. Therefore, the potential buyer of an advertised 1969 SS427 that has 14-inch wheels and/or drum brakes in front, would be aware that such a car may not be an authentic Z24 original. Although sales of 1969 Z24-optioned Impalas increased to approximately 2,455 units from the 1,778 Z03-optioned units of 1968, and high-powered big-block V8 engines continued to be available, there would be no Impala SS for 1970. The 427 was also replaced on the engine offerings list by a new Turbo-Jet 454 producing 390 hp for 1970.