36k Mile Cruiser: 1971 Chevrolet Impala

The Impala was a key player in Chevrolet’s line-up on and off between 1958 and 2020. This included the fifth generation which was built between 1971 and 1976. The car was all-new in the Fall of 1970 but got off to a slow sales start due to an extended strike against General Motors. This Impala sport coupe with semi-fastback styling was a product of that abbreviated model year and looks as though it’s been lightly used. With under 36,000 miles on it, this beauty can be found in Mount Sterling, Ohio and is available here on eBay where the seller has set $22,500 as the amount needed to take it home.

After its stylish debut for 1958, the Impala quickly replaced the Bel Air as the top-of-the-line Chevrolet. That lead would continue for a few more years until the Caprice came onto the scene in 1965. Throughout its run, the Impala would be not only be one of Chevy’s best-selling cars, it was also among the better selling American-made automobiles. Due to that strike, 1971 Impala production shrunk to about 427,000 cars, with almost all of them equipped with V-8 engines.

This 1971 Impala is a one-owner car that’s travelled only about 725 miles each year since it was built. Cars like this have a history, but unfortunately don’t know what it is. The body and Lime Green paint look in nice condition, although you’ll find a few scratches here and there. Surface rust is present on the undercarriage, but nothing that suggests anything needing attention. The vinyl top presents no issues like bubbles under the material. The chrome and glass all look good and the optional fender skirts make an otherwise large car look even bigger.

The interior all looks good, although the photos taken are mostly local rather than showing the seats, dash and door panels all in one shot. The carpeting may be faded with age, but it’s hard to tell. But nothing here seems to be screaming for attention. The ad refers to the car as having AWD (all wheel drive), but that’s in error as these large Chevrolets were always rear-wheel drive until 2000.

Under the hood is the usual Impala fare, a 350 cubic inch V-8 with a 2-barrel carb that put out 245 hp (down 5 hp from 1970). The transmission is an automatic, which could be a 2-speed Powerglide but more likely a 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic. The seller says the car runs great and has recently benefitted from getting new brakes and Goodyear tires. Power front disc brakes were standard for the first time in 1971 and the car also has power steering. We assume the Impala has factory air conditioning, but we aren’t given a photo of the engine compartment to verify.

This generation of the big Chevrolets hasn’t become as collectable as, say, the 1965-70 Impalas. Hagerty says a Concours edition of the ’71 would top out at $16,000, with Excellent around $12-13,000. However you judge the condition of this car, it would appear the seller has overstated what it’s worth, even with only 36,000 miles. Looks to be a fine machine and would make a good addition to someone’s collection, but I’d try using the Make Offer option.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    The “fastback” roofline on this car gave it a more sporting look (IMO) than the more formal hardtop roof. This appears to be a very nice one, and someone’s going to be happy with it! GLWTA! :-)

    Like 2
    • Milton Camp

      What does GLWTA mean???

      Like 2
      • On and On On and On Member

        Good luck with the auction.

        Like 4
    • Dave Brown

      I agree that this is not a fastback roof but just a hardtop design. I remember when the all new GM designs came out. I wanted the Caddy Eldorado. The 1971 GM car were impressive if for nothing else but size.

  2. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Making me scream and holla about this Chevy Impala!

    Like 3
  3. GMoparman

    Non-a/c car. Waaay overpriced IMHO.

    Like 14
    • bone

      most cars didn’t have a/c back then, unless you had a luxury car .

  4. Rabbit

    It does have a TH350, you can see it on the dash photo. There is no A/C, as the left hand vent in that shot is a dummy. Mom had a ’71 & ’73 Caprice, I know that dash well.

    Like 3
  5. Jranders Member

    No A/C, you can see the vent knob lower left side of the IP

    Like 3
  6. normadesmond

    Any ad that claims a ’71 Impala has AWD is an ad I look at v e r y closely.

    Like 2
  7. Frank M

    No A/C. On the interior photos, you can see the kickplate floor vent knobs. Fine car though. I’d drive it. :-)

  8. CCFisher

    At this price, I would expect four matching wheel covers.

    I was curious about the fender skirts, so I checked the ’71 Chevy brochure. Not only were fender skirts available for Impala, they could also be ordered on a Bel Air. Another surprise: even the top-of-the-line Caprice came with a black steering wheel and column. The brochure lists a “Custom Steering Wheel,” but makes no mention of whether it’s color-keyed or not.

    Like 1
  9. MathieuB

    Dash is cracked at the left and around the speaker.
    I think I never seen a perfect dash from this era (71-76).
    Still a very nice car.

  10. David G

    No A/C kills the value, and severely limits the number of potential buyers at any price point. Priced more than double what it’s worth at minimum.

    Like 1
    • bone

      Many old cars didn’t have A/C ordered when they were new, so I dont think it hurts the value too much . If its a real problem today, a buyer could install the A/C . Most tri 5 Chevies and nearly all early Mustangs weren’t equipped with A/C and the prices are still sky high.

  11. Bob C.

    I had two 1973 Impalas with the concave backglass . I always liked that look better. What I never understood about the 1971s. What was the purpose of the vent ports on the trunk? I can only imagine it led to leakage.

    • bry593

      Vents were a new idea to add performance to the Astro-Ventilation. Note the drain holes at the bottom of the deck lid. Unfortunately, the inside of the deck lid is raw steel and so over time the rear lip of the lid would rust out. As such, the vents in the deck lid got axed after a few years. You will also find these on the Buick Riviera of 1971 and 72. I believe those were also axed in 1973.

      • Larry

        Buick only used them for one year in ’71 and chopped them from the block.

        Like 1
      • Chuck Dickinson

        71 GMs only (exc. for Vega).

  12. JoeNYWF64

    Was this gen(or its sister division cars) ever avail with bucket seats – & a floor shifter? I don’t think so. Maybe because they are too wide a car?
    (Imagine the reach for the passenger trying to adjust the silly LEFT side heater controls. lol)
    Gone for ’71 was the 4 speed manual too. & tachometer, i believe.
    I guess there were not even any CAFE mpg rumors yet, because why would GM build such huge guzzlers?
    Also looks like Chevy did not want to tool up a non a/c dash, because the center vents are still there, with the outboard ones plugged …
    http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/RTEAAOSwzoJfZk3n/s-l1600.jpg
    There is a vent control for fresh(?) air from the center vents, tho i would prefer vents that open on the upper dash at both ENDS, like on the ’70s non a/c f-bodies.

  13. geoff

    Nice car but way over priced. This model of Impala with the fastback is very popular with the low rider crowd.

  14. JOHN PHILLIPS

    Gotta be a Turbo-Hydramatic as the last year for the Powerglide was 1969.

    • JoeNYWF64

      According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Impala
      “Powerglide was optional on 1971–1972 six-cylinder and small-block V8 engines Impalas” !!!!!
      &
      “3-speed manual was standard on 1971–1972 on all six-cylinder cars” – I assume the shifter was only avail on the column.

  15. Larry

    Wow!! Just look at the fit on that trunk lid!! I know it is GM but still.

  16. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Not the same body style, but this generation Impala always reminds me of Harry Dean Stanton and the movie Repo Man.

    Like 2
    • 370zpp

      Repo Man – one of my favorites. But the real four wheeled star of this classic film was the so surreal 1964 Chevy Malibu.

      Like 1
  17. Kevin Wicks

    Interesting. My father and I have had six Chevys of this 71 to 76 generation (Caprice/Impala)and every one of them had a crack right down the middle of the dashboard. To this day every time I see this generation I look at the dash to see if it’s cracked.

  18. bikefixr

    $22K for a stripped Impy in a horrid color? Maybe time to sell my 40k mile 454-4v ragtop. It must be worth a gajillion dollars if this is worth 22k.

    Like 2
  19. Mike Adams

    No engine pictures and the underside looks way too grimy for 36,000 miles. I’d mark this down as yet one more bogus mileage claim.

    Like 1
  20. Larry

    I see low-mileage claims all the time now with NO support or proof! I promise you I will never sell a car with such a claim unless I can prove it. AND conversely I will never buy a car due to low miles unless the seller can prove it. Those numbers on the odometer don’t mean a damn thing without paperwork.

    Like 2
  21. Ross

    Way over priced. Its not a fadtback. Its a Sport Coupe because of the rear window and how it rounds out. No a/c. It not a Big Block car. It’s just a nice looking old 70’s Chevy. Nice car no doubt about it. But way over priced. I have a 73 Impala Custom Coupe sbc 400 a/c tilt steering column and power seat. I wouldn’t dare put a price it up that high. Mine’s is clean and it’s Highway ready!

  22. Joe

    While I agree the asking price is high, I believe this era of Impala/Caprice is beginning to appreciate in value. I have a ‘71 Caprice 2 door hardtop. When I bought it the odo showed 42k miles and I believe it. As for the undercarriage, it’s a 50 year old car so it’s gonna be grimy.

    Like 1
  23. P. Wentzell

    Regarding A/C and luxury cars…As far back as 1967, my Dad had a slew of company cars, they all came equipped with A/C (full size Ford/Chevrolet/Dodge-Plymouth). Whenever any State had mandatory equipment, it was added to that car, as well as A/C. And yes, that is a horrid color. Why is that so many of these survivor cars from GM are this awful green?

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