The Impala was introduced in 1958 as a new, upmarket, sporty trim package created for Bel Air coupes and convertibles. From the windshield pillar rearward, the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air Impala differed structurally from garden-variety Chevrolets. Hardtops had a slightly shorter greenhouse and longer rear deck, giving the impression of an extended body, plus bright rocker moldings and dummy rear-fender scoops. Three taillights each side would become an Impala trademark whereas lesser models had two, and wagons just one. Special crossed-flag insignias sat above the side moldings. With a six-cylinder engine, a Chevrolet Bel Air Impala started at $2,586, while $2,693 bought a V-8.
Archive for June, 2010
(photo courtesy ali rahimi) this jaguar XKE coupe was spotted in portland oregon by ali rahimi just as he was firing up his crack-pipe. being the devoted cars-i-have-seen enthusiast he is, he dutifully set aside the crack-pipe and fired up his iphone to apprehend the beautiful automotive scene that was playing out before him. this photo has everything we are looking for here at CIHS… great aesthetic value, motion, and an incredible automobile sporting majestic antlers growing up from the roof. good job and thank you ali !
this vehicle represents a time when “foreign cars” really did look foreign. the saab 95 was a 7 passenger wagon built in trollhättan sweden and was a variant of the saab 96. i remember my friend steve lodefink had a pristine white saab 95 a few eons ago that he bought from a homely boeing engineer in seattle…. it was a beautiful looking specimen. i vaguely recall it languishing in a repair shop for a lengthy time after the acquisition…. now that i ponder, i believe it was more of an instance of incompetent mechanics and not a faulty lemonish car, though mr. lodefink would have more to say on that subject .
i think perhaps the 993 might be the quintessential 911. it represents the last of the revered air-cooled cars, yet it was technologically advanced. my only nit is the shaved head lamps……. the rest of the car looks so pure but the lamp cowls look like they were hastily amputated in a manner that conveys a certain lack of respect for the form. i dunno, maybe its just me……
another venerable brand and iconic car lost along the wayside to prove that as time marches on things do not necessarily improve. if a current car could match the series land rover, citroen 2cv or air-cooled beetle for simplicity, quality, fun and sheer design originality people would buy in droves. i say abandon convention, re-think uni-body and oddly shaped bloated design cues on every panel and build something bloody good for a change.
(photo courtesy of tamerlane) The Volkswagen Beetle was an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003. It used an air cooled rear engined rear wheel drive. Over 21 million Beetles were produced in all. In the 1950s, it was more comfortable and powerful than most European small cars, having been designed for sustained high speed on the Autobahn, and ultimately became the longest-running and most-produced automobile of a single design. In 1933, Adolf Hitler gave the order to Ferdinand Porsche to develop a Volkswagen (literally, “people’s car” in German). Hitler required a basic vehicle capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h. The “People’s Car” would be available to citizens of the Third Reich through a savings scheme, or Sparkarte (savings booklet),at 990 Reichsmark, about the price of a small motorcycle.
i initially had “57 chevy” as the title of this post and then realized within a couple of seconds how hackneyed that phrase is….. almost as played out as a rolling stones or beatle song…. do we really need to hear it again ?? anyhoo, i spotted this example cruising down highway 26 with a creepy robert blake looking guy behind the wheel and a six year old boy riding shotgun….. they did not look happy despite the gregarious color of the car, i reckon the burden of living up to america’s expectations of the 57 chevy mystique takes it toll.