1958 was a busy year for Chevrolet. Turmoil beset the American auto industry with the decline of brands such as Nash, Hudson, Studebaker, and Packard, leading Chevrolet to revamp nearly its entire lineup. New for 1958 in the Chevrolet lineup was the Biscayne, the Yeoman, and, of course, the Impala. The Corvette had recently received a V8 engine, and the Bel Air became one of America’s favorite cars. Although the budget-friendly Delray and Yeoman wagon wouldn’t make it to the 1960s, the Impala would go on to be one of the brand’s most successful models ever.

While the Impala survived its first model year, it was thoroughly redesigned shortly after it arrived, leaving the inaugural Impala as a single-year model, which makes it very rare. It is shaped and styled very much like a product of the ’50s, which means curvy surfaces are abundant, along with shiny chrome trim and bright paint colors. Those who opted for more than the base inline-6 engine could choose between the 283 or 348 V8 with choices of carburetors, including a triple 2-barrel setup, or Ram-Jet fuel injection, which was a rarely chosen and expensive option that cost $488 in 1958 dollars.

You should expect that a single-year model of a now cherished automobile would command high prices, and it does. The convertibles are particularly valuable, especially when equipped with the 348 and triple carburetors. The most meticulous restorations sold at prestige auctions are likely to attract the highest bids, but on the pages of Autotrader Classic, the average hits $102,659.

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