Clean Driver: 1994 Chevrolet Impala SS

It’s not hard to understand the appeal of the Chevrolet Impala SS sedan, given its slightly sleepy personality and La-Z-Boy accommodations. The car combined a powerful drivetrain with sharp looks and surprisingly decent handling, all wrapped up in the veneer of a limited production model. GM didn’t spend a lot of time building high performance sedans in the early 90s, and the Impala was certainly one of the least likely contenders given most buyers were content to see them used as police cars and taxis. The Impala SS offered here isn’t a time capsule with 82,000 miles but it remains in very nice condition, at least in photos. Find it here on craigslist in Fayetteville, North Carolina, for $12,900.

The SS features a slick monochromatic look, accented by killer five-spoke wheels. The overall appearance left little doubt the General had upped the performance capabilities of its bread and butter sedan, giving buyers with Corvette fantasies but family car realities a place to put their money. The Impala SS sat an inch lower than the standard model, and received an assortment of goodies formerly reserved for the police-spec models. The 5.7 liter LT1 was right at home in the Impala’s roomy engine bay, and firmer suspension components combined with a limited slip rear end ensured the power made it to the ground without getting too squirrelly.

This is a first year SS, which means it comes with the classic column shifter and full-length center console. Later cars moved the shifter to the floor in a conventional T-handle set up. Regardless of your preferences, you’ll get highly comfortable leather bucket seats up front and a generous bench in the rear. The Impala SS seen here appears to remain in excellent condition inside and out, with the only obvious wear-and-tear evident on the center armrest. The seller notes the only modifications you’ll find are inside, in the form of an Alpine headunit and a subwoofer in the trunk.

Truthfully, this is the kind of car that strikes me as appropriate to have a more powerful stereo than stock, as it’s equally adept at cruising the strip, slowly. The engine bay shows no modifications with no signs of a cold air intake or headers, which would certainly amplify the SS’ burly drivetrain. We’ve seen a number of these come to market lately, some with very low mileage and very high price tags. This example, which remains in very nice shape but has enough miles under its tires that won’t be scared to drive it, looks like a smart buy given the upward trajectory these high performance sedans have been on.


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  1. DrillnFill

    That’s a very fair price for an unmolested SS from the salt-free south. I always liked the ‘96s better with the console shifter and analog gauges, but prices of ‘96s reflect that. A little cleanup and some Flowmasters and you got a sweet performance cruiser 😎

    Like 13
  2. KDogg

    I would like to purchase it and take Tom for a ride in it.

  3. jerry z

    Add a 2800 stall TC and 3.73 and this will wake it up! Rebuilding a 1995 9C1 now and hope to have some with it before end of year.

    Like 6
    • Skorzeny

      How about throw the automatic in a dumpster where it belongs and install a 5 speed?

      Like 8
      • TimS Member

        All well & good unless one physically can’t row his/her own gears.

        Like 5
      • jerry z

        There is or was a kit to put a T56 in the Imp. It was called F2B, using Z28 parts to change to the 6 speed.

  4. CCFisher

    “Lord Vader, your car is ready.” In my opinion, one of the best car ads ever.

    Like 12
  5. David

    Still kicking myself, I’m the guy who ordered a 95 crown vic black/bbs , when I should have walked on to a lot and bought the Impala SS.

    Like 4
  6. Pete

    If you want a lower price just as good and in some ways better ride look for a 94 to 96 9C1 cop car. Handles a bit better than the SS. Fit it with 94 to 96 Roadmaster or Cadillac Brougham seats. Or find a 94 to 96 Roadmaster with Gran Touring suspention a real sleeper. I sold my Calloway Supernatual SS the suspention mods ruined the ride but it dd GO.

    Like 1
    • wcshook

      Actually, I read somewhere, long ago, that the front seats were pulled from the Buick Roadmaster bin. The General didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on it knowing it was a short production run before it faded into the sunset.

      Like 1
  7. markp

    Very fair price. This will be gone soon. Wish I could go pick it up.

    Like 3
  8. Utes

    These ALWAYS had analog gauges, but Chevy skimped & omitted voltage & oil pressure gauges in ’96. Ignorant move when the Z28 cluster was an off-the-shelf, bolt-in answer to having them ALL!

    Like 1
  9. Utes

    @ DrillnFill….True, but “gauges” wasn’t referring to the speedo per say. The engine indicator meters lacked the oil pressure & volts in ’96…a simple & inexcusable oversight on the part of Chevrolet.

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