Hot Rod|February 2021
We take a look back at the introduction—and road test—of the 1958 Chevy Impala.
Steven Rupp 

To contemporary eyes, nothing seems small about 1958 Chevrolets. But put the car next to the imposing figure that was HOT ROD’S technical editor Ray Brock (all 6 feet, 2 inches of him), and the magazine can rightly say the all-new Chevy Impala “displays a low silhouette,” even with a roof height of 41⁄2 feet.

Automakers like to throw around the phrase “all new” every time they make even a few refinements to a model. But in this case, Chevrolet’s sedans were truly redesigned from the frame up. The previous ladder-style chassis was replaced by framerails with a central X-member that was “very resistant to the twisting forces that are transmitted to it,” wrote Brock in HOT ROD’s December 1957 issue. In addition, the new frame’s “low-slung design permits minimum overall car height while also providing plenty of foot room for rear seat passengers.”

The front suspension “is about the only part of the new Chevy that resembles the ’57 models,” he said, describing the unequal-length A-arms and coil springs. New for the year was a front stabilizer bar for all V8 models—but noticeably absent from six-cylinder cars.

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