"The Super Sport Era Begins"
1961 was a transitional year for Chevrolet. There were changes in the upper management at GM with Ed Cole moving up in the ranks and Bunkie Knudsen being named the new general manager for the Chevrolet division. The U.S. economy experienced a mild recession early in '61 but by the end of the year things turned around.
For 1961 Chevrolet introduced its new, slightly smaller, full sized cars. The wings were merely body character lines outlined by chrome along the quarter panel and across the deck lid, ending in a crisp "V". Clare MacKichan designed the bob-tailed rear deck.
A new designation was introduced, the Impala SS was born to promote the new sporty image of the Impala. The Super sport option was a late addition to the '61 lineup, so late it didn't make it into the original sales brochures. A special brochure was made up after the introduction of the cars. The engine choices were one of three 348 c.i. models and the new 360 hp 409.
1962 was a good year for the U.S. economy and carried over into the automobile industry. GM auto sales were up 34 percent over '61 sales.
The 1962 Chevy Impalas featured a single thin body molding with a color-keyed insert. The color of the insert was coordinated with the color of the interior trim. The body differences were subtle and some noted changes were in the area of the engine and transmission. The Turboglide transmission gave way to the Powerglide. Chevy offered a "Delcotron" (alternator) as an option. Another option was a dual-quad 409 engine.
1962 also saw the release of an automobile built to fill the gap between the full sized Impalas and the compact Corvairs. This new model was called the Chevy II. This car was designed to fill the need of the American families for reasonable transportation.
Enjoy your visit with the first of the Super sports.
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