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1958 Chevy - "Serenity...By Design"

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I must admit whenever I see a 1958 Chevrolet Impala I flashback on the movie "American Graffiti" and  that white '58. 

1958 was another design change year for Chevrolet. To understand why such a dramatic change was made from the very popular 1957 models you need to understand the basic auto design process. Decisions for the production models were made years earlier by GM based on customer response to several factors including the GM Motoramas. The design process actually started about 1955 for the 1958 model year. In 1955, Chevrolet enjoyed great success with it's models but the planners saw a demand by the car buying public for larger and more expensive automobiles.

The '58 Chevy was a larger and more rounded car than it's predecessors. Styling changes included the addition of dual headlights and curved corners replacing the '57 fins.

It was a good looking car even though it was ill timed. A downturn in the US economy that started in the summer of '57 than became a full recession by that fall caused the car buying public to seek smaller and less expensive cars. But remember that Chevrolet wasn't the only car company caught off guard - this was also the time that Ford introduced the "Edsel".

The names of the models also changed in 1958 as Chevrolet dropped the numerical designations  such as "150" and 210". The businessman's model was simply called the Del Ray and the mid-priced model is the Biscayne. Bel Airs were still available, but the new star of the lineup was the "Impala". It was offered only as a two-door sport coupe or convertible. It carried all the bells and whistles of the Bel Air line, plus some extra identifying markings. 1958 also saw the introduction of the new Brookwood station wagon.

Chevrolet also introduced a new powerplant to push this model. The 348 c.i. engine was born in response to Ford and Plymouth's larger engines.

Despite the dismal economy in 1958, Chevrolet still managed to outsell its competitors and regained it's title as "U.S.A. Number 1".

That's about all for our intro to the 1958 Chevrolets, please continue to explore this section and learn more about this wonderful car.

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