Folded Glass: 1977 Chevrolet Impala

Bent Glass

A late seventies Impala may not seem all that interesting, but did you know that this was one of America’s top selling cars when it was new? That, and the fact that the Caprice version won Motor Trend’s car of the year award in 1977 prove that it couldn’t have been too bad. The big Impala was in its sixth iteration by time this one was built and it was much smaller than previous versions. That’s not to say it was cramped by any means though. V8 engines were still on the option list, but the big-blocks were gone. This ranch found example is fitted with the 305 V8 which landed right in between the inline-six and 350. The cosmetics could use some freshening up, but it has had some work done recently and is claimed to run and drive very well. It’s located in Eureka, Montana and is listed here on craigslist for $3,495. The best part though – that cool folded-corner rear glass!

1977 Chevrolet Impala

This car may look dated now, but this was pretty cutting edge stuff at the time for Chevrolet. Fuel economy had become a major concern by the late seventies so most cars were downsized in both the power and size departments. The full-size Impala was no different. According to an old Consumer Guide, curves were pushed in and overhangs were cut. Smaller engines were favored and manual transmissions were dropped. Mass went down and miles per gallon went up as a result. Chevrolet did not want their customers to think that they were losing comfort though, so much attention was paid to the interior dimensions. In fact, even with a shrunken body, the seats were the same size as the previous model and the available headroom and trunk space actually went up. These cars provided years of comfortable and reliable service for many Americans so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone picks this up to relive a few memories…

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Comments

  1. Tom

    I had a 78 Malibu with the 305. It had lots of intake manifold like. To get it to idle you had to turn up the idle speed. If you didn’t turn it off in park it would diesel. It also had the turbo 200 trainee, That need to be overhaul at about 40K. The car looked great went do the road fine. It was my second worst car with problems. The first worst was a Rabbit diesel pick up. You could go 85 mph downhill if lucky. The air work for crap at idle.

  2. Dan Farrell

    I drove a late 80’s caprice when I was a deputy sheriff in Wa. state. It was like the starship Enterprise compared to the Dodge Diplomat I had before it.

  3. anthony

    These are really cool. Put a nice set of big and littles on it . Weld Drag stars would be my choice. Add a nice strong small block and you are good to go. These are great driving cars and built well,much better than anything the other 2 guys had in 78.

  4. Chebby

    I had a 1977 Caprice sedan, the door tag said it was built in late 1976. Mine was nicer than this car and only cost me $500 back in 1992. These first-year models felt way more solid and substantial than the ones they built into the ’80s which had that loathsome GM cheapness to them.

    The 305 had decent power if you caught it in the right gear, and while the TH200 transmission was junk and had to be rebuilt twice, it was smooth when it worked. Like this one, I got my car with 100k on it and a rebuilt trans, and put another 50k of hard driving on it with one trans rebuild. It was a great driving car, very comfy and tons of room.

  5. MH

    There are several cars like this near where I live. Most are lifted with 30″rims. There called boxes. Most of them are frame off restorations.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      If this one doesn’t find a buyer here, it will probably suffer a similar fate as a donk or a lowrider. I would rather they use these then the sixties Impalas though.

  6. Thomas

    My mom bought one off the show room floor at the Chevy dealership in Plains, Montana in 1979, the Impala Landau model…I wish I had that car today. Fun to drive, cruised down the road great and did pretty good on gas too..

    • rumpfox

      we had one of these at our shop for years. it was a landau too. it sat at our shop so long the top rotted of of it. ended up going to the crushed

  7. Doug

    Heh – heh–wonder which came first–the body by Farina used on the most expensive production car of it’s time, the ’77’ Rolls Royce Camarque or this ’77’ Chevy. Hmmmm. Wonder if Farina had a hand in both. I doubt the “body by Fisher” was hand made though, and I doubt the Chevy cost close to 200,000.00.

  8. Charles

    As the prices of true muscle cars continue to skyrocket, I am surprised that these models have not starting gaining some interest. The range of crate engines and transmission combonations are endless. It will not take much to make a sleeper out of one of these.

    • John

      I agree Charles I think these are going to rise up at some point. If I don’t sell it this summer I’ll have a nice paint job and a 350 thrown into her.

  9. grant

    Only thing missing is Jimmy Carter and his sweater. About the only thing more boring than this malaise Chevy.

  10. JW

    I must be in the minority because I had always liked the look of these cars, simple, kind of squared like me and just enough power to get me and the family where we wanted to go. At the time these were new I was in to big 4×4 trucks so a nice cruising car for the family was all I was concerned with.

  11. Charles H.

    I really liked these….I bought a ’77 Caprice Coupe at an auction back in 1996 it was a 1owner with 80,000 miles….I put a set of Corvette Rally’s on it….which really made it look great! I drove it for several years then sold it….but have regretted it ever since!

  12. John

    Well Charles you can buy this one and have no more regrets haha!

  13. JW454

    First time I ever saw one of these I couldn’t believe it was the “New Impala”. Compared to the 1976 it looked so small and boxy. Over the years I’ve become more fond of them.

    One interesting fact about these… This was the only year the intermediate car (Monte Carlo) was bigger than the full size car. The M/C was longer and wider by several inches.

  14. John

    Hi JW. Yes you’re right! Chevy cut the impala by 700 lbs give or take a few. It was thanks to the so called gas crunch of the time. I do like the potential of this body style. It could be awesome with a bigger V8, some wheels and paint.

  15. Dave

    My grandma bought a 78 Caprice brand-new in 78. Fully loaded with a/c, power seats, power windows, power steering, power brakes, 8-track stereo, and a landau top. She drove it until 1996 when she bought a Caddilac and gave the Caprice to my dad who drove it for 5 more years. It had 245,000 miles on it when it was parked. It had a 350 with a 2-barrel carb and it was the most trouble-free car I’ve ever seen.

  16. fred

    My dad had 78 Caprice Classic and it was one of my favorite cars. Roomy but felt very compact, not at all like a land barge. The ultimate value of these cars is yet to be determined, but I suspect they will go up. I remember for many years after they were made, used car lots in my area had signs proclaiming that they were looking for them to buy. They were extremely well liked in their time, kind of like the 55-57’s.

  17. Charles H.

    Would love to buy this one John if I had the funds!…..would you give me a loan?….Haha!

  18. rumpfox

    pic of the one we had. if you look past the 440 4 spd. chal. you’ll see it in the coner. it’s green

  19. Woodie Man

    The world spins out of control. People actually LIKE these lame seventies boxes. Whats next? Fox bodied Mustangs? ( I know I know)

  20. Jeff Mac

    I almost brought a 77 Caprice in the mid ninetees.
    I’m sure this one would be a nice driver.
    I drive a rattley old 1929 hot rod as my dailey and I’m looking for something just like this.
    I’d buy it if I wasn’t living on the underside of this rock.

  21. John

    Yes this would be a great driver. I’ve decided to put some wheels/tires on it, drop a 350 with a 4 barrel and some new cool sounding exhaust. I’ll drive it like that this summer and if she doesn’t sell I’ll paint it this winter.

  22. rumpfox

    you’ll be surprised how great a driver these cars are and if you fix the air how compy they are too. great handlers.

  23. John

    FYI I reduced the price of this car to $2750. I’ve decided to sell it as is for less so I can purchase a Caddy I’ve had my eye on. My loss is your gain!

  24. Aaron

    They are tough cars. I wrecked way to many in my demo derby and circle track days. Still got 2 impalas and one caprice bent window out back, and 2 spare bent windows already out of the cars with many other parts. Going to fix one for a driver someday.

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