Definitely A Barn Find? 1959 Chevrolet Impala

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With one of the most recognizable designs of all time, the rear end anyway, the 1959 full-size Chevrolet, like this Impala, is the one 1950s car everyone seems to know. And no, the bat-winged rear-end will not reach lift-off at 60 MPH in spite of the urban legends. The listing on this Chevy is a little unusual so let’s take a look at it and see what’s here. This Impala is located in eastern Pennsylvania and is available, here on craigslist for $25,000. Thanks to Ikey H. for this tip!

The seller states, “I have owned this car for 40 years. Clean NJ title, and 99% complete. I know it’s a barn find, as it’s been in my Barn and has not seen daylight in all these years“. Hmmm, if you know you own it, and you’ve known it all of these years, how can it be a find, regardless of where it is parked? Isn’t it more like a barn resident that you just happen to own? And, can it be a barn if it looks pretty recent and is built from cinder blocks? Ok, ok maybe I’m digressing on that one a bit. The seller further states, “Solid as a rock, not one body panel will need to be replaced, 99% complete“. It’s hard to tell, considering the quality of the images, there isn’t a single one of the car in its entirety and nary a glimpse of the famous fins! Of note, is what looks like rot in the lower passenger-side fender that doesn’t exactly instill a “solid as a rock” assurance. OK, only one noted potential rust-through, so far, but the body, in places, besides the obvious surface rust, looks to have a close association with Bondo, at least from a skim coating perspective; why else all of the primer? To add to the excitement, this big Chevy is missing some of its very extensive stainless trim. Obtainable? Probably, but at what cost? The seller states that the floors are solid and there is one image attesting to that claim.

One might consider this Impala to be rare but not for the right reason as it is powered by a 135 HP, 235 CI, in-line six-cylinder engine. The seller adds, “The engine turns and has not run in close to 40 years“. So it’s not seized at least but I have to imagine a prospective buyer will probably consider chucking it for something more sporting – this is a lot of steel to move with a 135 HP lump. A two-speed Powerglide handles the lone gear change.

The interior is fair, the upholstery is worn out and the collection of detritus strewn about makes viewing difficult but the seat pattern is visible and it is another neat styling touch from the ’50s – one we certainly don’t witness today. There are some stainless trim pieces in the backseat, perhaps the missing components identified earlier? Cars of this era had rather spectacular dashboards and instrument panels and this second-year Impala is no exception. Chevrolet opted for a circular speedometer in 1959, as opposed to 1958’s horizontal read-out, and subjectively, I think it’s an improvement. The gauge cluster has a nice balance and it is just cool looking; this one appears to be pretty complete.

Finally, the seller admonishes, “Serious only, the price is 25K, not 18, not 19, its 25K, if you can find a better one, please, please buy that one“. I’m not a ’59 Chevy fan but I’ve owned quite a few ’60s vintage Impalas, some with big-block engines and tops that go up and down, and $25K, for a six-cylinder engined version, in this condition, seems like a stretch. What do you think, am I being too harsh, or does this seller now what he has and what it’s worth?

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  1. Rustytech RustytechMember

    Jim. I agree with you. I like the 59’s, my first car was a 59 Belair with the 283 V8. These things properly restored have at time brought six figures, but they have been big block cars ( 348 ) and pristine. I would first want to see this in person, and wouldn’t go one penny over $15k.

    Like 10
    • Jim ODonnellAuthor

      Interesting, I had that exact same number in mind.



      Like 2
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    A second here on the amount to spend. If I was in the market for this car, with some history in them, I couldn’t keep from putting in a 348 3 carb engine and a four speed box which, in a black with red convertible, was my first experience with these cars. You just don’t forget that kind of stuff.

    Like 1
  3. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    I couldn’t have this car in my possession for forty days without getting it running, let alone 40 years. My wife is right, I have no patience.

    Like 2
  4. EPO3

    JIM your wright up was really funny but spot on.You had me going until the hood shot. RUSTYTECK gave a good number offer him 13.000

    Like 2
  5. DENNIS H Pratt

    What’s the Mopar sitting next to it?

    Like 0
    • local_sheriff

      No Mopars on neither sides – looks like those are a pair of ’66 Impalas, one HT (RH) and one ‘vert (LH)

      Like 0
  6. Peter Smith

    There seems to be something odd in the picture of the front. It looks to me as though there is a pretty hard hit to the driver’s side front. It is hard to tell from the supplied photo.

    Like 0
  7. Joe Machado

    Fav Chev ever, but not bat wings. Never were called that back then in L A.
    $200., in 1968, 348 4 bbl, and crappy turboslush.
    Med met body, white top, couple tones blue interior.
    Can’t stay, headin to Florida to get a Nascar restored race Challenger.

    Like 0
  8. 370zpp 370zppMember


    Like 1
    • Poppy


      Like 0
    • Gray Wolf

      Hey 370 that’s audiophile slang!! LOL! I think that means they finished the job and going home!!🤣

      Like 0
  9. Poppy

    With that firm ask, my guess is this will stay in his barn for another 40 years.

    Like 10
  10. Joe Haska

    I agree to a point the price seems, a little high, however it is a 59 bubble top.
    The asking price is for the buyer that wants this car, it is not priced to flip. I have always wanted one of these and this one checks all the boxes ,if you want to build it and keep it. You could do what you like with it and not be upside down.

    Like 0
  11. Bob C.

    I remember hearing it was 85 mph when the rear end started lifting.

    Like 0
  12. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    Where is one for sale for $13,000? Not that I think $25k isn’t high, it’s just that 58 to 64 Impalas are very scarce, and a lot of people are looking for them.

    Like 0
  13. jt

    Can’t get a straight six running, one of the easiest to work on engines ever? Nah.

    Like 2
  14. Kenn

    I think it’s Adios.

    Like 0
  15. Jim

    Cavet Emptor

    Like 0
  16. stillrunners

    The one in Dallas a month or so back had a running 348 and got down to around $6000 – it was nice and the owner was going into assisted living.

    Like 0

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