348 With A/C: 1959 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe

Perhaps the wildest looking Chevrolets ever made had to be the 1959-60 models, with the requisite tailfins (aka batwings) of the era. They were certainly slimmer and more aerodynamic than the 1958 models which lasted just a single year before being restyled again. This 1959 Impala Sport Coupe was probably the “cat’s meow” when new, with its youthful looks and 348 V-8 under the hood. The car is defined as a project and we don’t know if it runs, but it’s located in Addison, Texas and available here on craigslist for $8,000.  Thanks go to Chuck Foster for sending this one our way!

Chevrolet won the sales battle for 1959, selling 86,487 more automobiles than Ford or nearly six percent more. That’s likely because the Chevies were new for 1959 whereas Ford was in its third year of the same design. The look of the cars was referred to as “slimline design styling” and the Impala would finally become a line of its own. The Bow-Tie boys built nearly 165,000 Impala Sport Coupes similar to the seller’s car. Thanks, Hagerty, for some background info.

It’s hard to understand the logic used in placing an ad asking for sizeable money for an old car and then saying practically nothing about it and including only a handful of photos. That’s the case with this Impala, which looks like it’s been well-used. There were six ways you could get the 348 motor that year, with horsepower outputs from 250 to 335; we’ll assume it’s the lower rung big block at 250 hp. We’re told it has a manual transmission. but its actually an automatic. We’re also told it’s a diesel, but that’s not right either. From the one side of the exterior we get to see, it looks like rust is brewing in several places along the bottom of the car, so likely the same holds for the other side and the undercarriage. On the plus side, the interior might not be bad with new seat covers needed for certain. The car has air conditioning, which was not common in the day and if it were factory air it would add 10% to the car’s value according to Hagerty.

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Right now it’s a 348 without AC. Would be nice to find out what else is missing. Money is way too high for a car that looks to need about everything. These are great looking machines and with the full up 348 they were pretty fast.

    Like 16
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Guess you’ve seen a lot of these so equipped lately ?

      Like 1
  2. GP Member

    Very sharp cars, A lot of style. It looks like a automatic to me. If I was at least 20 younger.

    Like 2
  3. daniel wright

    That is an automatic. You can see the shift indicator on top the column..

    Like 4
    • Russ Dixon Russ Dixon Staff

      I agree that it’s an automatic. Will change the review. The seller said its a manual, but he also said its a diesel!

      Like 4
  4. Jon

    First car I bought with my own money was a ’59 two-door Bel Air, 283 2bbl, three-on-the-tree … paid $75 for it with change I had saved … belonged to the local druggist’s wife and she had ridden the clutch so much it wouldn’t move when you let out the clutch, gradually gaining speed when given gas … paid $20 for new cluth, pressure plate , and throw-out bearing … after that people couldn’t believe it was the same car … that 3-speed had long legs – coul;d wind out second gear to 85-90 mph … got stolen and stripped in Chicago …

    Like 12
    • Greg Y

      I had a 61 Bel Air with a 283 2bbl 3 on the tree and it was the same way….2nd gear would go forever it seemed.

      Like 1
  5. Ken White

    Scam. People have been caught before with this one and it’s time the authorities made it a simpler deal to catch these thieves.

    Like 11
    • gbvette62

      That ad gave me the same feeling.

      Beyond that, that car is gorgeous. The 59-60 Chevy’s really are a love em or hate em design, especially the 59. I’m part of the love em crowd. I’ve had a couple 60’s, but never a 59, though I came real close to buying a 59 sedan delivery years ago.

      Unfortunately the 59-64 are among the worse Chevy’s for rust, with almost all having serious floor, floor support, rocker and quarter panel rust. Even in dry climates, rust can be an issue.

      That’s not an original Chevrolet Cool Pack AC system, but instead one of the many early aftermarket hang on systems, like the Mark IV.

      Like 7
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Actually no not a scam – it was up before a few weeks ago with more pictures – guess the family that is selling it got tired of the hicks that were making offers on it.

      You don’t see many 1959’s along with the 1958’s because most were crushed back in the day because they were not popular cars.

      I’m currently trying to get a 1959 sedan delivery back on the road and I can find dozen’s of 1960’s to maybe one 1959 if I’m lucky.

      Like 2
      • Guy Blessing

        Which is too bad because I have always thought the ’59 was better looking. Had an opportunity to drive a brand new ’59 with top 348/4spd when I was a kid working at a garage.

        Like 1
      • Mcl23aren

        Yes its, 100% a scam. They got me for $500, and Police told me one guy for $15,000. I drove two states away to a fake address they gave me.

        Like 5
      • KS

        This is a SCAM!! ..I know someone that lost $8000 with this clown, Police are involved!! This guy sent his license and copy of title and he also did this to another guy!! Buyer Beware!!

        Like 1
      • Scam alert

        His real name is Thomas clay Finto

  6. Fin Guy

    Best year for looks on Chevy, 1959. We never called them bat wings. We called the 59, oriental eyes.
    60, was ruined.
    Add on air. Needs to be a two tone.

    Like 6
    • ken tilly UK Member

      We called them “China eyes”

      Like 4
      • Steve Clinton

        As a child, my wife called them ‘eyebrow cars.’

        Like 3
      • Jcs

        Funny all of the different takes on the taillights. Ever since i was a child I always called them cat’s eyes.

        Certainly controversial.

        As is often the case with cars from our childhoods, many of those that were considered flat out ugly at the time look killer now when super clean and standing tall.

        Like 9
    • JoeNYWF64

      I would think the tailights on the 1960 comet would be even more controversial today. Even the exotic(IMO) word “oriental” is.
      I’m surprised in Star Trek’s “Space Seed” when Scotty uses the word, that it is not changed to “asian”, or bleeped out, or the scene cut entirely.

      • Bill McCoskey

        Joe,

        Ever looked closely at the taillight assemblies on the 1960 Edsel, and the first Comet? They are the same. Ford was planning on downsizing the new 1961 Edsel into a compact car.

        Plus if you also look at the first year Comet “C” emblems, they are the same shape as the Edsel “E” emblems, but the center part of the letter E is missing. At the last moment Ford wised up and called it a Comet.

      • DON

        Actually, the Comet was going to be the Edsel lines compact car , to be sold alongside the full size Edsel , like the Falcon was to the full size Ford . Once Ford decided to pull the plug on Edsel , the Comet became an orphan , and eventually became part of the Mercury line .

  7. Roy Stauffer

    after looking at the photo this is not a manual trans
    i’d offer 4500.00 and if taken restore this beauty

    Like 1
    • Jack M.

      Let us know if he takes your offer Roy.

      Like 1
  8. Arthur Henry

    Most likely a Turboglide transmisson.

    Like 1
  9. Steve Clinton

    Would anybody believe ANYTHING the seller says when he describes this car as having a diesel with a manual transmission?

    Like 4
  10. Dewey Gill

    Maybe it just sounded like a diesel when he started it

    Like 9
  11. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    It drives me “nuts” when people have or drive a car they know nothing about. And selling it without knowing a damn thing about it is even worse!

    Like 5
    • ACZ

      And want 5x what it’s worth in the process.

      Like 4
  12. Arby

    Thats got more rear overhang than Kim Kardashian.

    Like 16
  13. larry

    I bought a similar 59 Impala in H.S in 1965 for $150, the body was in alot better shape. The engine was worn out, the ol man who sold it to me loaded the engine up with STP to seal the worn out rings, at least till I for it home, then it smoked like a mosquito fogger. I was only 16…young and dumb.

  14. CaCarDude

    The ’59’s in the rear was always referred to as the “cat eyes’ look. At least that was on the west coast. I have owned a couple 59 El Caminos for a few decades and they area a real head turner today and draw several curious lookers at car shows. The rear lift thing as mentioned was such a farce IMO.
    This listed 2 dr hardtop could be a very nice car redone but it could wipe out your 401k real quick. Good luck to the seller and buyer on this one!

    Like 2
  15. Steve

    Would love to see this sitting in my driveway Christmas morning

  16. Vic Lucero

    I’d pay the $8,000 to my door. Not a problem. Tx to Id

  17. karl

    Actually Ford outsold Chevy in 1959 , and its largely blamed on the 59 Chevys style .Ford basically stayed with its 57-58 style ,and may the Chevy was just too different for people.

    Like 2
  18. Jcs

    Funny all of the different takes on the taillights. Ever since i was a child I always called them cat’s eyes.

    Certainly controversial.

    As is often the case with cars from our childhoods, many of those that were considered flat out ugly at the time look killer now when super clean and standing tall.

    Like 4
  19. Jcs

    Are you serious Stan Marks? That is a ridiculous statement. Virtue signaling at it’s best.

    The only thing that I see that could be classified as racist is your comment.

    Like 20
    • Jim

      It’s what you call political correctness run amok.

      Like 8
    • Stan Marks

      You have your opinion, I have mine.

      Like 5
  20. Ike Onick

    Saw one yesterday while hiking near Lake Ontario in Webster, NY. Buried up to the tail fins in the back and the front end was relatively intact. Have no idea how long it has been in the woods.

    Like 1
  21. Stan Marks

    That’s your opinion. I have mine.

  22. Ken White

    Regardless of whether you prefer 59s or 60s, these people are scammers. I spoke to both a woman and a man regarding this car when it was advertised on Craigslist in Fresno California maybe 6 weeks ago. The woman told me she was the daughter of the elderly owner of the 59 Impala and the man, on another number purported to be her husband. They were convincing enough for me to send a $500 deposit and send a transporter with the balance to the address they gave me in Arlington Texas. Nobody arrived to meet the transporter and it turned out to be a vacant house. They were even brazen enough to answer the phone and to tell me that they hope I die lol. I spent hours on the internet trying to find a way to report these people so they don’t find more victims, unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any recourse that doesn’t involve jumping through a thousand hoops and any follow-up by the authorities likely to be in the distant future if ever. If anyone knows of a hotline or similar that actually might take action to stop these criminals and possibly even bring them to justice, I would be very pleased to hear.

    Like 7
    • Fin Guy

      The phone number should have an address.
      How about that and I pay the address a visit.
      Then you get red meat or green money.

      Like 5
      • Stan Marks

        It’s easy to get personal information, on line, through websites that offer names and addresses.

    • Stan Marks

      These scammers are coming out of the woodwork, Ken.
      It’s the times we live in.
      Last week I received two robo calls, telling me, someone used my Amazon account, to purchase an $895 iPhone. They even gave me my order # and a phon number if I wanted to cancel.
      I passed along the info to Amazon.

      Like 2
    • Amorypaz Amorypaz

      Sorry this happened to you, Ken. You can look here for information https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer-protection

      Like 1
    • Mcl23aren

      They got me for $500 also. Police told me they got one guy for $15,000.

    • Scam alert

      His real name is Thomas Clay Finto. He has mugshots available online. You can call the Texas fraud hotline just google it

  23. Ken White

    If you are offering to follow up Fin Guy, the Dallas/Fort Worth # they are using is 469-594-3057. The previous numbers that they used when I got scammed were, 469-278-2474 & 469-482-8606. As I said these people were very convincing, the woman was surprisingly knowledgeable on 59 Impalas. I think Craigslist would be better advising people to beware of cars advertised far from the actual location rather than creating fear of people calling on a car from distant locations.

    • Mcl23aren

      They are knowledgeable on 59 and 58 Impalas because they keep using the same cars. I got scammed by them.

  24. Matthew Hetman

    If it was originally a 348, it should have Flags above the V on the hood. Car engines were painted red but truck engines were painted blue..The 250 HP engine used a four barrel card while the 285 HP version had 3 two barrel carbs. They both had hydraulic lifters. The 3 speed Turbo Automatic was mostly used with the 348 hydraulic lifter versions.The Higher HP versions had mechanical lifters and came with either a single 4 barrel or 3 two barrels. The mechanical lifter versions had a higher rpm range near 6,000 rpm’s that was only available with a std trans. The mechanical lifter versions also contained a higher performance cam and the horsepower was dependent upon the type of carbs and number of them. They had a 305 hp, 335 hp and a highest one of 350 HP. I believe the 350 version was only available in maybe 60 and 61. In 61 the 350 hp was later replaced by a “SS” flagged 4 barrel 409 rated at 360 hp. Back then SS stood for “Super Stock” and in 62 it stood for “Super Sport”. The 61 SS was very rare and there are more phony ones than were actually sold.

    • Camaro guy

      Your information is all very correct except 1 thing the turbo glide was not a 3 sp it was the same thing as the Buick Dynaflow transmission no shift points and instead of low gear it was GR (grade) i had a 61 Impala 348/250 HP with that trans swapped it out for a 4 speed as soon as i could afford it then it was a fun car to drive

  25. Bimmerbill

    1959 was a great year for Chevrolet on the major race tracks. A fellow named Jimmy Reed won a lot of races that year. By the way he called the cars RAZORBLADES because of the shape of fins.

  26. Phlathead Phil 🇺🇸

    Red flag warning! Check the listing. It says: Fuel: Diesel!!!

  27. Mcl23aren

    These guys scammed me out of my $500 deposit. They keep using this car, a corvette and a 1958 Impala. I drove 12 hours to a fake address, called the cops and when they showed up they told me I wasn’t the first with these guys, most people wired them the full amount, sometimes the amount being $12,000 and more. I made a police report which got nowhere and called the bank which got nowhere. Its crazy no one can stop these people. But this listing needs to be changed to beware this is a scam so none of your readers call and get scammed by these people.

    Like 2
    • Ken White

      Unbelievable that there doesn’t seem to be any way of these scammers dealt with and that they can continue to steal from people whilst the authorities apparently do nothing. There should be regional hotlines with the resources to pounce on these thieves.

      Like 3
    • Ruben

      same happen to me. What police department did you call?

    • Mr. G

      I got taken by the same person on CL. what authorities did you contact?

      Like 2
  28. Dave

    Who wires money to someone they don’t know for something they’ve never seen in person?

    Like 3
  29. Stan Marks

    Gullible people??

    Like 1
  30. J Scott Norris

    I had that car, or one like it. Mine was a 6 cylinder, no power anything. White with the aqua interior. I loved that car.

  31. Martay

    As a young man The 59 60 were my least favorite Chevrolet I preferred the years before and after, But now I think they were a cool looking automobile ,I recently saw and talked to a fellow driving a 59 , he was surprised that I knew what year it was.

  32. Morley Member

    I can not believe so many people have been scammed by the same people and the same car. This is in America , wwere there are more guns than people. Talk about living on borrowed time

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