Automobile manufacturers have long used animal names for their products. From Cobra to Cougar, Ram to Raptor, and Stag to Stingray, it’s the fiercest and most dangerous of the animals that seem to catch the eye of marketing departments.
However Chevrolet decided not to go down the deadly-animal route when picking a name for their new luxury sedan in the late ’50s, instead choosing to name their new car after a medium-sized antelope from Africa that’s the favoured food of lions and cheetahs.
Despite Chevrolet’s new car not being called something big and scary, nor sharing a single characteristic with the light and nimble Impala that provided its name, it was a roaring success, becoming the best-selling car in America in the mid-60s. Although powered by a typical inline-6 or a V8 engine the Impala was uncharacteristically forward-thinking for an American barge, and included such developments as cruise control and fuel injection.
Of course in the ’80s and ’90s the Impala had become – like every American car from the time – total crap, but let’s not dwell on that automotive wasteland and instead focus on the Impala’s golden age, with this wonderful sky-blue 1960 example from Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg.
Featuring opening doors, hood and trunk, and a detailed engine-bay and interior there’s lots to see – click on the link above to visit Ralph’s photostream for all of the images.