|1958 Chevrolet Impala|
This year also marked the introduction of a legendary Chevrolet model: The Impala. Whereas the Bel Air was aimed at being luxurious, and could be had as a coupe, sedan or wagon, the Impala was more sporty. The only options were the "Sport Coupe" and the convertible, with the Impala being the only convertible in Chevrolet's lineup other than the Corvette. Impala models were also characterized by a slightly different roofline, a longer wheelbase, sportier interior trim, and the three-taillight setup that would become an iconic characteristic of the Impala throughout the 1960's.
This particular car was spotted on a side street in Austin not far from the Capitol, and I cannot stress how perfect it is. For a car that's over 50 years old, this Impala is incredible. No scratches or dings, no rust, no imperfections of any sort. The interior is essentially a time capsule, and the chrome was so polished it looked like liquid metal. The fact that it was parked on the street is especially noteworthy, as that means it does get driven, as opposed to being a trailer queen found only at car shows.
The Impala is one of Chevrolet's most iconic marques, and this car sums up the appeal nicely. It's a dashing and sporty automobile for the motorist who enjoys driving. Sadly, the current-gen Impala is a shadow of its former self, found mostly in rental car lots or as a fleet car. That said, at least there's still an Impala at all. The same can't be said for models such as the Cadillac Eldorado, Ford Thunderbird, or Lincoln Continental. The Impala still exists, and maybe one day it'll be as impressive as it once was.