Original 348: 1958 Chevrolet Impala Hardtop

This 1958 Chevrolet Impala Hardtop has been sitting since 1972. It is a relatively solid classic with only minor rust problems. Returning it to its former glory should be a rewarding undertaking for its next owner. Its original 348ci V8 hides under the hood, and once returned to a roadworthy state, it should provide an ideal blend of performance and stunning good looks. If you find this one extremely tempting, you will find the Impala located in El Paso, Texas, and listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $18,500, but he leaves the option to make an offer.

I can’t imagine having a stunning classic like this Impala sitting in a shed for five decades. We don’t know the back story of this car, but it is probably an interesting one. When it rolled off the production line, it wore Onyx Black paint. However, somebody has performed a color change to its current shade of Tropical Turquoise. For me, the jury is out on that. I think the car would look fantastic in its original shade, but I really don’t mind the current color. That leaves the buyer with the choice of returning it to its original specifications or following their own path. The panels look remarkably straight when you consider this car’s age, with no significant dents or marks to address. However, the biggest news with this car is its general lack of rust. Before reaching Texas, it spent most of its life in sunny California. That means that the only rust that the buyer will need to tackle is a small amount in the trunk pan and the spare wheel well. With replacement steel for these areas readily available and affordable, returning the body to a 100% rust-free state will be relatively easy and inexpensive. The original owner ordered the car with tinted glass, and while the windshield has a hole punched in it, the rest is in good condition. It appears that all of the trim and chrome is present, and while some of it will require a trip to the plaiters, much of it should respond positively to some hard work with a high-quality polish. Overall, I believe that whipping this body into shape ready for a new coat of paint should not be a complex undertaking.

It seems that the original owner of this Impala wanted their car to have genuine performance credentials. Therefore, they ordered it with the 348 ci V8 engine backed by two-speed Powerglide transmission. They also elected to specify the car with power steering to make the driving experience more effortless. With 250hp on offer, this classic would’ve covered the ¼ mile in 17.3 seconds. It appears that this Hardtop is a numbers-matching vehicle, but it seems it also has not run since it was parked in 1972. The state of the drivetrain is unknown, so it isn’t clear whether the engine turns freely. If it does, breathing new life into it may not be difficult. However, the buyer will probably need to be prepared to have the motor rebuilt as an integral part of this restoration. This Chevy will undoubtedly require other work, but it will take an in-person inspection to determine what this will be. Once it returns to a roadworthy state, this car should have the power to match its stunning good looks.

The Impala’s interior is one of those “what you see is what you get” propositions. It appears that a previous owner had the interior removed and sent to an upholsterer for restoration. Unfortunately, the upholsterer lost it along the way. Therefore there is no interior trim, no seats or frames, and no steering wheel. However, the dash appears to be complete and in a decent state. The buyer will face a long shopping list of parts to whip the interior into shape, and many of the items like seat frames and the wheel may be easier to find on sites like eBay. Upholstery kits in the correct materials and patterns are readily available and affordable, but depending on the path the buyer chooses to follow, they may decide that custom trim is a better option for them.

Classics like this 1958 Chevrolet Impala Hardtop are what Barn Finds is all about. This is a classic that has been largely forgotten and neglected for nearly five decades, but somebody has finally brought it into the light of day. Returning it to its former glory would be a rewarding undertaking, and I hope that one of our readers will be the person to do this. If you find it tempting to make a play to own this classic, I hope you will keep us updated on how the restoration is proceeding. I’m sure that all of us would be interested to see the final result.

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Comments

  1. Terrry

    The best looking ’58 Impalas are either all black or all white, IMHO. And was the PowerGlide the only automatic offered that year? It seems to be a waste, behind that big motor. Chevy should have had a Hydramatic option like the other GM divisions did.

    Like 2
    • al

      i had a all black one 348 3speed stick factory loved that car

      Like 1
    • Harold C. Griffin Sr.

      58 had a transmission with a GR grade retarder where the L was on the powerglide.

      Like 1
      • al

        that was called turboglide was real slow worst than powerglide

        Like 1
    • John S Dressler

      If you weren’t going to be religious about an original restoration I’d use a different transmission unless you were going to rebuild the Power Glide with race components. Never saw a guy with a Power Glide behind a chesty motor that didn’t eventually burn up the bands and clutches using their right foot more than their left foot. Had that problem when I was young and dumb in my 63 Impala 327 Power Glide. A problem my Uncle Jack fixed for me when he rebuilt it with race components and took out a few of the springs so it would shift quicker and harder, making the transfer from low to drive easier on the internal components.

      If I were the restorer of this car, I’d rebuild the 348 and put a hotter cam in it, backed up by a 2004R four-speed transmission with the replacement pilot shaft so you don’t have to worry about snapping it off near the spline where the stock shafts always broke off when you poured the coal to it. I’d finish it up with a 342 posi and maybe some traction control to manage any wheel hop. It would look stock, be the beautiful car it could be in black again, be affordable to drive as far as gas goes and would stand all the abuse you could give it using that engine and transmission.

      Like 3
  2. David Townsend

    58 Chevrolet’s had a turboglide automatic transmission avaliable also.The radiator shroud is a 283 not a 348 in this car. Either the motor is wrong or the shroud. 58 Chevy’s are such beautiful car’s.

    Like 5
  3. wd62vette

    58 Chevrolet’s had a turboglide automatic transmission avaliable also.The radiator shroud is a 283 not a 348 in this car. Either the motor is wrong or the shroud. 58 Chevy’s are such beautiful car’s.

    Like 2
  4. 62 shortwide mike

    Is this an auction or a sale? What’s the asking price?

  5. Joe

    Hands down the best roofline GM ever produced!

    Joe

  6. healeydays

    If I was looking for a project, I’d be all over this one. I like the aging of the body and wouldn’t change that by much, just address the rust mentioned and stabilize the rest of the body. As for the drivetrain, don’t hate me, but I would upgrade it front to back keeping the stock appearance with a updated but tasteful interior.

    Like 1
  7. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Normally I don’t go for restomods, but this car is screaming for someone to build it to their hearts desire. I would keep the 348 but put a tremec 5 or 6 speed behind it full custom interior and add a/c, p.s, power disc brakes. My color choice for these cars is either green or red in candy apple. Would keep original wheels and covers.
    But that’s just me.

    Like 1

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