Original 348 Engine Included: 1960 Chevrolet Impala

I’m not sure what to make of this one. This 1960 Chevrolet Impala four-door hardtop is not a more desirable model like a ’65 or ’66 SS version. It is a four-door, thought at least a hardtop and not a sedan, and it’s not in the best of condition. That said, it is trending well in the bidding, here on eBay, with a current bid of $6,800, twenty-five bids tendered so far. This Impala is located in Everest, Kansas, and is certainly worth a closer look.

There is no reason to retrace over the territory of the unique “bat-winged” ’59 Impala that took so many auto observers by surprise in the autumn of ’58. And of course the ’60, like this example, is just a more toned-down version but the interest in this four-door flat-top is pretty brisk.

First up is the motivation department. This Impala originally came equipped with a 348 CI V8 “W” head engine of unknown, but probably, a 250 HP range of output. It is technically still “equipped” with it though it has gone ala Corvair with a rear-end placement. Actually, the motor is completely apart and lollygagging in the trunk. Hard to say but the future operation of this original powerplant may not be in the cards.

Instead, the seller has installed a small-block V8, of undisclosed size and power to take up daily operation. There is a caveat though as the seller states, “HAS SBC IN CAR THAT YARD DRIVES ****BUT SMOKES TO BEAT THE BAND, ID SAY ITS SHOT”. He further adds that he thinks the engine is strong enough to trailer load this Chevy, but no guarantees. There is an automatic transmission in place and it’s probably a Powerglide though there is no disclosure.

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The body of this Impala is listed as being pretty solid though the rear floor and lower quarters are rusty. But then, no worry, the body has been clear-coated to preserve the “patina”. It actually looks pretty straight and is completely presentable as is. Cars of this era possessed an enormous amount of stainless trim and it all appears to be in place and in good nick in this instance. Of note are the crossed flag emblems in the grille centerpiece and, in particular, mounted on the trunk lid. They denote the original 348 CI engine and the trunk piece frequently goes missing. There seems to be a small problem in the security department as the lock cylinder for the driver’s door and trunk are missing – minor issues but could be indicative of a key problem. One of the benefits of this era Impala is the open, breezy, panoramic view provided by the hardtop/slim pillar design. Compare this arrangement to a modern automobile with its bunker mentality, things have really changed!

The interior is, as the seller states, “shot”. There is no image provided of the dash and instrument panel so that’s out of judgment territory but the floors (rear), door cards, and seats will require a major redo. It wouldn’t be surprising to find the same kinds of issues inherent with the headliner.

As stated at the outset, this Impala is trending well for a not particularly collectible Impala, with a less than desirable body style that is in fair condition and possessing the power conundrum that is present. If the trunk-bound 348 engine is the original motor, that will help with the value though what would really matter is the ability to return that engine to prime mover status. It would be nice to know what banished it to the trunk in the first place. There is something automotive for everyone and twenty-five bids like this ’60 Chevy four-door hardtop. How about you, any interest on your part?

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Comments

  1. TimM

    Nice looking four door version!!

    Like 12
  2. Turbo

    Neat car (love the color and the hardtop versions of the 59/60 Impalas). Maybe not a money maker when you consider what it is relative to the costs to restore it, but it seems like a worthy candidate.

    Like 8
  3. RobA

    This may come as a surprise to a lot of people, but I think these are way more attractive and desirable than a 2 door. The flat tops on these just have that look that defines this era. I think more people are starting to think this way as well, and I can see a time where these overtake 2 doors in price.

    Like 16
    • nlpnt

      The flattop really makes this car. Early Corvair too, with the added bonus there that the four-door is much better proportioned while the rear engine gives the coupe a pickup-truck profile.

      Makes me wonder why GM didn’t make the two-doors flattops as well.

      Like 2
      • terry brundage

        they did, 61-2 bel airs or biscaynes

      • local_sheriff

        GM somehow tweaked the flat top design for their ’61 2door post offerings. That roof style was replaced with firmer lines the next year, I guess they found curved panoramic glass too much of a 50s thing

  4. gbvette62

    Neat car! I’ve always been a fan of the 60 Chevrolet’s. My mother had a new 60 wagon, in the same color combo, Suntan Copper/Ermine White, and my father had a Shadow Gray 60 Biscayne 4 door sedan company car. In the 70’s I had a Tuxedo Black, red interior 60 convertible (I sold it in 80 to paint my 62 Corvette). I tried for years to buy a Roman Red 60 El Camino from a friend, only to have him sell it to someone else, without even telling me. I found out later from his son, that he’d sold it for less than what I had offered him for it?

    Like 5
  5. local_sheriff

    Sooo… it has the 348 rear suspension drop…? Yes I’ll admit the 1st gen BB looks unique however I really don’t get all the fuzz about them. They didn’t really get serious until the 409 came around. Today one can build a SB with more cubes and less weight that’ll be superior to a 348.

    While I PERSONALLY prefer 2doors I have nothing against 4doors – particularly when we’re talking GM ’59-’60 4dht. IMO it’s one of the prettiest ways to create a unique design specifically for the spare door bodies and to me it looks like it’s had a roof chop from the factory. If one wants a ’60 Impala hardtop, can live with the extra doors and (like I do) love the heavy use of Houndstooth interior pattern this could be a very sweet cruiser without costing a fortune

    Like 5
  6. Mtlieb

    Rebuild the 348, nothing looks like a W head big block when the hood is opened. This car will never be zillion $ collectable.

    Like 2
  7. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking car. I’ve always loved the 1959-60 Chevy Impala. $6800 sounds like a good asking price. I hope whoever purchases this car can fix it up enough to be driveable. :)

    Like 1
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    What a looker…….

    Like 2
  9. Stevieg

    I had a 1960 4 door sedan, sure do like the hardtop body style better lol.
    I sold my sedan to fund other projects, but really regret selling it. It rode smooth, and I found it to be a blast to drive.

    Like 1
  10. Joe

    I once had a 60 vert black over red with white top 348 tri-power 3 speed manual. I purchased it for the engine to put in my 55 Nomad… what was I thinking!

  11. John S.

    What a beautiful car. My Gramma had the 283 version of this car with the exact same color scheme. She offered it to me for $500.00, but I bought a ’64 Impala SS instead. She traded the ’60 for a ’70 Impala. Later on when she passed, I inherited the ’70.

  12. David R Member

    That color is spectacular. Great looking car!

  13. PJH

    4 door or not, these 60 Chevys are the coolest ever design!
    Those designer’s knew what they were doing.

    BTW- Didn’t they have a different version called the sport coupe?
    Seems I remember seeing that version that the rear roof overhung the glass more or something like that??

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