First published October 24, 2013 in Old Cars Weekly
1959 CHEVROLET IMPALA BILLBOARD – By: M.J. Frumkin
High above major metropolitan roadways during 1959 were General Outdoor Adv. Co. billboards featuring larger-than-life Chevrolet models, including the Impala convertible pictured here.
With the upper half of the billboard back panels removed, and the remaining boards painted in a pale white tone certainly added to the visual illusion that the 1959 Chevy was cruising the wild blue yonder and coming in for a landing.
The “ all new, all over again!” message was absolutely true, and stunned the automotive world with another completely restyled offering – the third in as many years – this time with an overall bigger, longer and lower look than previous models.
Elongated air scoops above the grille and quad headlamps set off the frontend, while the rear fenders formed a shallow “V” and worn horizontally mounted teardrop-shaped taillights – affectionately called, “cat eyes.”
From the GM chemists’ laboratories came “the most revolutionary car finish in years”: Magic-Mirror acrylic lacquer, “tougher, more elastic primer and offered in an array of gem-hard colors.”
The lovely owner behind the wheel of this lithe traveler ordered her car with a whopping 348 cid Turbo-Thrust V-8, as indicated by the crossed-flags over “V” on the hood.
She had her choice of nine engines, even with fuel injection; five transmissions, two suspension systems, regular or Positraction rear axles, special cams, solid or hydraulic value lifters, and two air-conditioning systems. On commenting about her 1959 Impala convertible, she said, “ Wind through the Grand Tetons just one glorious morning with the top down, and you’d know why I wouldn’t have anything else.”