Bubble Top Barn Find: 1961 Chevrolet Impala

This 1961 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe is a barn find that the current owner has brought back to life. Now that all of the seeming hard work has been done, he has now decided to part with the car. This could be a case of his loss being your gain, as it does look like it has revived extremely well. The Impala is located in Kansas City, Missouri, and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Impala has reached $22,061 in a No Reserve auction.

I’m not sure what sort of barn this Impala was parked in, but I need to park my car there as well. You look the Impala over, and it is remarkably well preserved. I don’t see any signs of rust issues, and the Almond Beige paint is really consistent, with a healthy shine to it. The external trim and chrome also appear to be in good condition, while the factory tinted glass also looks to be free of cracks or major scratches. I really love the “bubbleback” styling of the Impala. It is a very clever trick that helps to make what is a very big car look light and airy.

I don’t want to come across as one of those people who says, “back in the old days,” but I feel like saying it with this car. The interior is just something special, and car makers of this era really went to a lot of trouble to make the interior of their cars look like a piece of art. The combination of the seat upholstery, that amazing steering wheel, and the styling and finish of the dash must have made the new owner feel like a king. The interior on this car is also in pretty impressive condition. There are some marks at the bottoms of the kick panels, and I can see a few pulled threads on the seat upholstery, but these are nothing major. A good upholsterer could fix those threads, and then the interior would look a million dollars.

The owner seems to have done a pretty good job reviving the Impala. I can see that the 283ci V8 sports an array of new hoses and everything looks bright and clean. The car has also received some general maintenance and is sitting on a new set of radial tires. I noticed that the Impala is also fitted with power brakes, which should help to haul this 3,550lbs beast to a halt fairly effectively. The owner doesn’t mention how well the car runs and drives, but if it has been sitting for an extended length of time, there may be one or two little things to attend to before the car could be classed as being 100%.

I can’t help but think that the new owner of this Impala Sport Coupe is going to experience many years of enjoyable motoring in this car. Its striking appearance will certainly mean that it will attract plenty of admiring glances as well. This is a special car from when style was king in the automotive world, and this particular car has survived the past 58-years exceptionally well. I’d love to think that one of our readers will finish up owning this Impala because it deserves to be owned by someone who is passionate about their cars.


  1. Howard A Member

    The ’61 Chevy,, I feel, was the nicest Chevy style of the ’60’s, perhaps because, as a kid, my grandfather had a ’61 Impala 4 door. Giving Adam the benefit of living outside the USA, these were referred to as “Bubbletops”. All the GM cars had their version, and it was the nicest feature of these cars. This sure is a nice car.

    Like 19
  2. NotSure

    I’m so ashamed… the first picture brought tears to my eyes! Embarrassing for a doofus my age, I know. This car is stunning! And now a message for the new owner. I pledge to be at your house every Saturday or Sunday morning to wash this for you. Every week!! I don’t need to drive it. I don’t need to borrow it. I won’t even ask if I can back it out of the garage to put it on the driveway to wash it. Just please please please let me run the wash mitt and towels over it! Please!

    Like 31
    • glen

      If that falls through, I have some work for you!

      Like 5
  3. PatrickM

    I like the ’60, ’61 and ’62 Chevy’s best. This is a great looking car. However, I doubt the mileage, there are no underside pics and the lack of “running condition” statements from the seller leaves me a little skeptical. With the bidding is over $20,000.00, I am afraid I will not get in on this one. There are just too many variables to suit me. Thanks for the find. I hope the beige baby finds a good home.

    Like 3
  4. KSwheatfarmer

    So similar in style to the Starliner, I’m sure Chrysler had one with about the same look also,just can’t remember it’s name right now. Those thin roof pillars must have been the thing at this time.

    Like 2
  5. Steve

    I think the 61/62 “bubbletops” were the best of this body style. I like the “SS” of 62/63 and even 64, but this roof line really made the cars look sporty. My “middle” brother (there were three of us) rescued a 61 Impala like this from a pasture near Lexington Tx in the early 90’s. The story was the Chevy dealer in Lexington closed down in the mid 70’s and the owner hauled all of the unsold and broken down cars he had taken in as trade, etc over the years. The light blue/ blue interior Impala had a 283 and powerglide, but the heads intake carb, etc had been pulled and were sitting in the trunk when we found it. Not sure what was wrong with it, but nothing a crate 350 wouldn’t have solved. My brother wasn’t married yet, and had a pretty good hoard going. His soon to be wife took care of that (later ex wife). He cleaned it up some and later sold it for a little profit. (It wasn’t as nice as the one in the attached photo, but not far off. No rust or major body damage. He also had a gold 62 Bel Air bubbletop, original 283/ 3ott that had been allowed to freeze due to lack of antifreeze. He went to look at a dual quad 409 a guy had for sale and ended up selling him the 62 instead.

    Like 5
    • Boatman Member

      There’s that lesson again. Keep the cars and send the women down the road.

      Like 1
  6. Steve

    This is somewhat off topic, but when we went to Lexington to look at “a pasture full of cars, any available for $500”, the car we wanted was a white with red interior (complete with rear seat delete 57 Chevy 150 2 dr sedan with a power pack 283 and 3ott.(I have never seen another on like it- have you?) Unfortunately, someone had removed the wheels and tires, allowing the car to sink into the dirt, and all of the lug studs were too rusted to hold nuts. Only having $500, we took the 61 Impala. We returned with more parts in hand a few weeks later, but all of the cars were gone!

    Like 5
    • Jim S.

      One of my all time favorite cars is that ’57 150 coupe!

      Like 4
  7. Larry Member

    Here is a 61 Bubbletop that I found a few weeks ago in a lean to shed. At some point in time, she was hit in the front passenger corner, but luckily I have most of the parts to repair her. Even more lucky, the frame is not bent

    Like 23
  8. Shawn Fox Firth

    Bubbles are nice .. I like ’61 Biscayne’s with post cantilever roof-line .

    Like 17
    • Jim

      Very cool, indeed. Clean and understated. I always liked the unusual models of Chevrolet; the Biscayne and Belair, etc. My favorite year for the Impala was 1965. So many unique and stylish changes came about. I loved the taillights up over the trim bar, on the boot lid.

      Like 7
    • CaCarDude

      I also like the ’61 two door post version. My younger brother had a very rare ’61 two door post Impala a dozen years back and sold it before he knew it was such a rare beast, he still kicks himself for that mistake. It was a factory burgundy CA built car also.
      Back in my younger days in the 60’s my father had a beautiful ’61 Impala White on Blue Bubbletop, I did enjoy driving that on many occasions. The ’61 thru ’64 are my favorite of the Impala lineup.

      Like 1
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Almost reminds me of my first car, a Biscayne 4 dr 6 cylinder with 3 on the tree. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t cool but it was still a car.
      Personally I like the Bubble Top, that’s one I could see in the garage though I assume it will go for a lot more than my budget or garage will handle.

      Like 1
    • Miguel

      I had that same car in the Bel Air trim. I loved the roof over hang in the back.

      Like 1
  9. Jim

    The 1961 Impala was a gorgeous car, and I was saddened to see the Impala go, even though it wasn’t quite the car it was in the 50’s-60’s. This one seems a fine example of the Impala as an automobile featuring subtle elegance, power, comfort, and styling, all in one package. IMHO, 1960-1972 were the golden years of the Impala.

    Like 3
  10. mainlymuscle

    Bubble tops have replaced the tri 5 Chevies as the ones to have.This one has a real survivor vibe,and as such ,will be attractive to a wide audience.I wish you well with your project Larry,but there is no way that you will get your project to this car’s level for less than the current bid.Bright side,of course, is that you get to build it “your way” which is priceless !
    Look for this feature car to sell for $30-35k.

    Like 3
  11. Del


    Like 1
  12. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    I finally got lucky getting a bubbletop, but it’s a Pontiac, being a Chevy guy I still think the 61 Pontiac front end looks better, although Chevy wins the rear end appearance. The 61 to 62s didn’t seem to be long cars, especially compared to 63-64s.

    Like 14
  13. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Bubble tops were never my favorite, in the Northern California heat where I lived they just got too hot inside. My favorite is the 64. I liked everything G.M put out in that year. My favorite ofcourse is my 64 Buick Riviera.
    God bless America

    Like 3
  14. Ted

    This car ticks all the right boxes, and 61’s hold a special place in my heart as I fell out of the backseat and onto the pavement when the door swung open in my Auntie Di’s 61 Bel Air 4 dr in around 1965 going around a left hand corner in Richmond………..don’t think affected much it me too………….

    Like 5
  15. Angrymike

    Sexy car ! One of my all time favorites, my father had a 61 convertible and sold it cheap because of floor rot. Not my favorite color, pops was silver with a red int, it was a beaut.

    Like 1
  16. Larry Member

    I am looking about getting one in the near future. I sold the one that I used to have because it needed too much work. The one that I found is totally rust free but needs paint and upholstery. It is in primer, so I don’t know what the original color was

    Like 1
    • John Deebank

      The vin will tell you or unbolt something attached to the frame, it will show the colour Larry.

  17. Mark

    The steering wheel of the ’61 SS was the best looking of any car.

    Like 2
  18. Bob S

    In 1962, one of my buddies got an offer he couldn’t refuse for his 58 SS, 348 tripower ht, and bought a 61 409 4 spd, powered Impala SS bubbletop. It was done in the bright red with white trim, and to me, it was one of the prettiest cars I had ever seen.
    Since then, I have been madly in love with the bubble tops. Ten years ago, I had a chance to buy a low mileage (40,000) 283 Impala, but I didn’t have any inside storage, so I had to pass on it. It was only $2500, and I still have regrets on not picking it up. The same person with this car, also had a 61 SS shell, but it was not for sale and would have required a ton of work to restore it.
    Coming home from the store yesterday, I saw a pretty powder blue bubbletop going in the other direction. It made my heart pound.
    I hope this car finds a good home.

    Like 1
  19. TimM

    Car is super clean and the bubble top Impala is the best one they ever made!! I’m not super crazy about the color of this one but it might grow on me if I were to own it!! Beautiful ride!!

  20. Al

    There was a white ‘61 Impala parked curbside in Lake George, NY the summer of ‘62. Beautiful red/white interior. I can still see that car. If I could find that model or red at a reasonable price I’d sell my 2001 red on red Vette convert in a heartbeat.

  21. Larry Member

    Al, I have a white 61 bubbletop that I am going to sell but it has the fawn interior

    Like 1
  22. Jack

    I have always liked the ’61 Chevies, especially the bubble tops. Back in 1979-80, I had a Bel Air 4 dr. sedan, green with a 283/Powerglide. It ran like a top. I always wanted a bubbletop, just havent gotten one yet.

  23. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Auction ended without a single bid.

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