348 Tri-Power! 1960 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe

The 1960 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe was not just a stunning looking car, but it was available with a variety of engine options. The 348ci Tri-Power V8 was undoubtedly the pick of the bunch, and that is what we find under the hood of this car. Barn Finder Pat L spotted the Impala for us, so thank you so much for that Pat. It is located in Orange, California, and has been listed for sale here on craigslist. If you want to take this classic home, all you need to do is hand the owner $28,500.

The Impala is finished in Fawn Beige, and the owner claims that it is rust-free. The photos that he supplies are quite limited, but there are no corrosion issues visible in them. There are a few minor dings and marks on the panels, but nothing of any significance. There is some primer visible on the passenger side, but the owner will attend to this and a spot on the left front fender before the vehicle heads off to its new owner. The vehicle would benefit from a full detail, and I believe it would present well once this is done. One of this car’s defining characteristics is the styling of the “glasshouse.” Enormous windows and thin roof pillars give the car a light and airy appearance. That glass looks like it is in good condition, while the same appears to be true of the trim and chrome.

I know that this is what you really want to see. This Impala features its original 348ci Tri-Power V8 under the hood, which is backed by a 3-speed manual transmission. A Posi rear end, power steering, and power brakes are all part of the package. This V8 should be capable of churning out 335hp, which is enough to send the Impala through the ¼ mile in 15.1 seconds. That would have rated as pretty handy performance back in 1960. The engine bay looks quite clean, and this is a car where looks don’t deceive. The owner states that the Impala runs well.

The Impala’s interior has a classy look about it. The upholstery on the seats presents beautifully. The carpet appears to be in excellent condition, and the same seems to be true of the headliner. The dash is faultless, and a retro-style stereo is mounted in place of the original radio. Speakers for this have been fitted into the kick panels and the rear parcel tray. However, there are no signs of the door trim or rear seat trim on the passenger side. I’m not sure if their removal is related to the panel-work that we spotted earlier, but I suspect that it is. Once again, what this interior now needs more than anything is some time spent with quality cleaning products to make it really shine. I can’t see any items that would need to be replaced, so the interior is not going to cost any money to whip into shape.

This 1960 Impala Sport Coupe offers the buyer a wonderful compromise. It would be an effortless cruiser that would comfortably seat an entire family. It would certainly attract attention wherever it went and would be a great conversation starter at a Cars & Coffee. If its appearance alone didn’t do the trick, then popping the hood should seal the deal. This classic hasn’t been on the market for long, and I believe that someone will probably snap it up fairly quickly. I hope that it is one of our readers because I would love to see some better photos of this beauty.



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  1. Miguel

    I don’t even consider a car that has a big asking number that is not only damaged but incomplete.

    Like 6
    • Jim

      What is it that you think is missing?

  2. jokacz

    That’s not Fawn beige and the 348 is a converted truck engine. A lot of iron for not much displacement.

    Like 6
    • Stan Marks

      Sure looks white to me. Craigslist has the color white.
      Too bad the interior isn’t red. I’m not crazy about the roof color. Back in the early 60’s, my cousin had a 1960 white Impala conv. with red interior. Beautiful……

      Like 2
    • David Montanbeau

      348 was not a truck engine. 348 was installed in trucks 4 months after the car. 348 were put into 57s as test cars for the 348. My dad was one of the engineers on the W. It was on the boards in 56. GM said to come up with a bigger engine because the cars were going to bet bigger and heavier.

      Like 3
      • Terry Melvin

        The only difference between the truck engine and the car engine was..nothing! However in Chevy trucks the Turbo Glide 3 speed auto was available, but in GMC trucks the Hydramatic was used.

      • David Montanbeau

        Terry Melvin.
        There is a difference in the car and truck blocks.
        Truck blocks have a notch in the cylinder bore to lower compression alone with lower compression. Turbo Glide was used only in cars. The W was never installed in any truck the was under 1 ton.

        Like 1
      • ACZ

        David, this guy can’t know much about the W engine. He thinks the Turboglide transmission was a three speed, when in fact it was a one speed. He needs to do some reading, not rely on hearsay. My old 58 with a 348 was a fire breather.

  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    One of my HS classmates had one similar to this one, big difference the whole car was white and IIRC it had a red interior. It was a bit of a beast, especially since he also had a 3 speed which isn’t that significant. What was, he had had polio as a child and wore a leg brace and used sticks to walk. I saw him drive the thing and was always amazed how he could work a manual transmission that way.

    Like 5
    • anthony vaccaro

      that is a amazing memory ,is he still with us?anthony

  4. Les biernot

    See an alternator instead of generator

    Like 2
    • Bob C.

      Also a dual master cylinder, two good upgrades.

      Like 3
  5. Alan Bernstein

    The 348 was a truck engine with tremendous torque. It evolved into the 409 in 1961.

  6. Joe

    Is this tri power or one carb.

    • ACZ

      If you look at the underhood picture, you can see it’s 3 two barrels.

  7. ACZ

    I’m in love. What a sweetheart. Although, for the price it should be completed. Also, it appears that it has had an upgrade to the power steering. Possibly a 600 steering gear, but it has hydraulic lines going to the steering box. The original PS for this car was the assist cylinder and valve on the tie rods. Has had a brake upgrade with a dual master cylinder (maybe disc brakes, too). I wonder what else he’s not telling us? Could use an upgrade to a Muncie but that would be the next owner’s option. That 348 was a terrific engine, they would wind up pretty well, but the piston design was side heavy. That can be improved upon though.

    Like 4
    • Stan Marks

      ’60 One of my fave Impalas. Much nicer than the gull wings of the ’59. IMHO

      Like 3
  8. Chuck Dickinson

    I cannot fathom why anyone would paint a dash white, especially on a car with such a huge windshield AND clear glass. Can you imagine the glare if you were driving this car into sunlight? To quote Manfred Mann, you’d be “Blinded By the Light”! That’s why manufacturers never had white dashes (or white package trays–glare in the mirror).

    Like 3
  9. Daniel Rawson

    The 348 isn’t a converted anything…it was the predecessor to the 409 and competed very well against the Ford 352.
    I had a 350 HP, tri-power, solid lifter version in a ’61 Impala with a 4-speed…and it was no slouch.
    More than 1 HP per cubic inch was pretty good back then.

    Like 1
  10. James Havner

    Had one in 1969 ,red inside red strip between Crome on sides .Ran strong

  11. Bill McCoskey

    I also see too many changes to what’s under the hood. In 50+ years of being involved with the old car hobby & business, I doubt this came new with the tri-power engine. If the car came new with the 3-speed column shift, it may well have come thru with the least expensive engine.

    • David Montanbeau

      Tri-power was an option on the 348 from 58 to 61. The 3 speed was the standard equipt trans with the 4 speed and auto up to 300? HP as an option.

  12. Phlathead Phil

    Back in 1964, I sat in the back seat of a ‘56 Dodge with my brother and two sisters on the lot of Fletcher’s Chevrolet in the heat of the San Fernando Valley. It was an ordeal to endure, but the salesman there had to deal with my hard bargaining mother for four incredible hours.

    I don’t know who suffered more, the salesman or us kids. When the demon dogs of patience were called off, my mom, dad and my siblings drove off the lot in a one owner pristine albeit used 1960 Chevy Impala! It was friggin’ GORGEOUS!

    I remember sitting between mom & dad with sibs in the back.

    We rolled home like Olympic Champions!

    That, I believe was a TRULY incomparable design. White with a copper arrow. Copper dash. Copper interior. Insanely beautiful.

    Not to be outdone, the next door neighbor (a barber) spied one and it was a 1960 Impala with a black arrow and black dash.

    There we now 2 on the block.

    Yes, “We put a Dodge in Fletcher’s garage!” Not the other way around!!!

    IMHO, a 1960 Impala is the FINEST and MOST beautiful designed car Chevrolet EVER made!

    P.S. Grandpa had a blue four door ‘59 Biscayne. What a dog.

    Like 3
    • Terry Melvin

      They are beautiful, almost as beautiful as a ’61.

      • Stan Marks

        IMHO, no way. Losing the fins lost style.

      • Stan Marks

        I did like the ’62.

        Like 1
  13. Chuck Dickinson

    White cars came ONLY w/a black stripe from the factory. If yours had a copper interior, I would bet it was Fawn Beige, which was quite a light beige color. Copper was the only interior offered in that color.

  14. Phlathead Phil

    I was very young at the time, so beige could be have been white and white beige to a kid, but thanks for clarification.

    It was still BEAUTIFUL !!!

    Like 1

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