READER AD: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS

What Makes It Special? After sitting covered in storage for over 15 years, this one owner family car received a reprieve from a slow death sentence and was mechanically restored back to full health in 2018. The car is bone stock and has been gone through from front to back with the only things not fixed, repaired or replaced were the frame, body paint, and upholstery, which are all in remarkably good condition. So far the documented 2018 – 2019 repairs and replacement total is $21,000, including a top end replacement on the motor. This amazing representation of a ’90s era performance car masquerading as the family limo drives like a dream and attracts attention whenever it is driven.

Body Condition: The body is in very good condition, with only a small door ding and modest paint chipping commensurate with a vehicle in its age group. The overall appearance is remarkable as a result of the car being “covered” for most of its stored life.

Mechanical Condition: Mechanically the car is solid. The motor was pulled and given a top end restore by an authorized Chevrolet dealer. The running gear – (eg. bushings, shocks, springs, sway bars, brakes, tires) – electrical, (eg. distributor, plugs/wires) – fuel (eg. injectors, fuel pump) – cooling (eg. water pump, hoses), and exhaust (full Magnaflow system), have all been replaced with new upgraded components.

Seller’s Listing: Here on eBay

Talk about a sweet machine! Reader James F has decided to part ways with it. All the major work has been done to make it a fun driver and it looks to be clean inside and out. There’s no doubt in our minds that well-sorted examples like this one will continue to rise in value, but we would love to hear your thoughts on these late ’90s Impalas in the comments!

  • Asking Price: $17,998
  • Location: Murrieta, California
  • Mileage: 127,000
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: 1G1BL52P1TR125301

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!


  1. Matt Trummer

    What I never k ea of these cars was:

    Engine Size
    Weght to power

  2. CapNemo

    It’s good that the engine was given a top end restoration.

    Like 2
    • Boatman Member

      Why would anyone pull the motor and only do the top end?! Smh.

      Like 1
  3. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    A terrific car for it’s time. Again, without the SS emblems on it, a sneaky sleeper and a timelessly cool concept; a Superhero in everyday sheet metal in an everybody price range.
    Too few and far between!
    Todays cars have some more horsepower, better fuel economy, and better suspension systems but are built with electronic nannies that become a crutch. That crutch, if used as designed, can replace the survival tool in our brain that tells us to be aware of our surroundings; keeping an edge on that survival tool grants the reward of being in tune and a part of the environment in which we drive, an active component of the vehicle.
    This Impala is of a dying breed-yes it has an automatic transmission, p/s, p/b, AC, etc. but the driver is not as isolated as with the irreversible onboard nanny factor mandated to new machines. The new owner of this car will feel more of the interaction between machine and the road than new vehicles allow.
    So we now can go faster and further more comfortably, but at what cost to the human machine?
    I guess it’s a personal thing..

    Like 6
  4. grant

    What makes it special? Nothing. Nothing at all.

    Like 1
    • TimS Member

      The Barn Finds goodwill ambassador, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s give him a big hand.

      Like 15
      • mike

        Cool cars, but this one doesnt seem that nice condition wise….

    • W9BAG

      Not unlike my Crown ‘Vic Sport, one thing that makes it special, over a regular Caprice Classic, are the super comfortable leather bucket seats, and floor mounted shifter with console. Much more “special” than the standard Caprice Classic. It may seem to be superfluous to some, but I like the sportier look.

      Like 1
    • W9BAG

      Not unlike my Crown ‘Vic Sport, one thing that makes it special, over a regular Impala, are the super comfortable leather bucket seats, and floor mounted shifter with console. Much more “special” than the standard Impala. It may seem to be superfluous to some, but I like the sportier look.

  5. James F

    With new Bilstein shocks, Hotchkis sway bars and coil springs all the way around, it corners as well as any current day BMW and the engine (slightly modified Corvette LT1), has a bark you can’t get from todays, turbo’d 4 or 6 bangers. Not to mention it seats up to 5 large adults (in living room comfort) and you can put your uncle in the trunk along with all his luggage. Simple yet fun,….a great example of a machine brought forward in time to bring out the Dad in all of us!

    Like 5
    • moosie moosie

      CORVETTE LT-1 had aluminum cylinder heads, these are cast iron from the factory otherwise identical, exhaust is different also.I had a low mileage (certified)’95 9C1 Crapice that I loved which was essentially a duplicate of an Impaler SS save for different trim pieces & parts

      Like 2
  6. JOHN Member

    I had a 96 Impala SS also, great car, handled reasonably well, pretty fast car for the overall size and bulk, Tons of interior and trunk space, and they looked really good… I should have kept it to sit with my 87 Grand National, 2 sinister looking cars for sure. I remember talking with cops at car shows, they really lamented over the Impala police cars being dropped by GM, they always talked about how fast they were compared to the Crown Vics!

    Like 2
  7. James F

    A retired former NY police officer recently told me that NYPD used to run their (police version) Impala’s up to 500,000 miles before getting rid of them because they were so reliable and they preferred them over other options that became available!

    Like 6
    • Boatman Member

      When the police version was discontinued, many agencies sent their cars to be completely refurbished. There was at least one specialty dealer (New Jersey, as I recall) that offered rebuild packages, and they did quite a few.

      Like 3
  8. James F

    Only top end was restored, because the bottom end was determined to be just fine and well within vehicle specifications.

    Like 2
  9. bucky66

    I’m wondering why the description on eBay lists the mileage as 127,000 but in going into the detail on eBay, the odometer check under the Experian auto check, it lists the mileage as 199,461 on 4/30/18?

  10. George mattar

    Getting hard to find. A local junk yard owner used to have 50 of these in varying degrees of decay. Today, he has two. He does not buy anymore because mist are hammered to death, the cheap seats baked to alligator skin and useless ghetto boys who put 22s on them. But keep looking. They are out there.

    Like 1
    • Kyngofpop

      Or useless trailerpark trash “boys” that put TransMaro intakes and glass packs on everyone of these thinking they were cool to impress their cousinwives.

      Like 2
  11. Reginald Watkins

    I currently have a 1996 Impala still in immaculate shape with its LT1 engine like the one shown that I purchased from the 70 year old original owner about 11 years ago. The car had 20,162 miles on it when he pulled it out of the garage for me to see and now has 93K on the odometer. When I am out cruising this car or my 1971 Buick GS 455, I am always being asked if I want to sell and my response is always no way!

    Like 3
  12. Nicky

    I always loved these cars (in black)! So comfortable yet so quick. Chevy turned the lights off after this one. A friend used to take his on laps of the lower 48!

    Like 1

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