Cohort Pic(k) of the Day #2: 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS – The Tarted-Up Biscayne

Having taken a double-dip into the rather drab and dull world of 1964 Biscaynes, how about we cleanse the palate with the other end of the ’64 Chevy spectrum, an Impala SS coupe, as shot by William Rubano. Unlike so many of its kind, it’s bone-stock; that alone is refreshing, even if the rather dull styling that year can only be perked up so much, especially in that beige color. Pass the hot sauce, please!

I think we’ve all agreed here over the years that the ’64 is the least visually pleasing of the ’61 – ’64 generation (clockwise, from top left). As someone said the other day: it looks like the box the ’61 came in. Well said. The ’64s suffered from two accounts: Not only were they the end of the line, and after four years, the basic shape was bound to be getting old, especially in a time when we expected rapid change. And then of course they were the most visually boring ones, with that very generic front end, side trim that made them look flatter than their predecessors, and equally dull rear end.

Pity the poor designers: while the hot-shots were cooking up the radically different ’65s, the second-stringers had to do something to differentiate the ’64 from the ’63. They did that, but not in a good way. Oh well, it made the ’65s even that more exciting. Maybe that’s why they did it, to create an even bigger contrast. If so, it was very successful.

1964 was the first year for the Impala SS as a separate series, thus we know that some 100k of these V8 coupes were sold, this one with the popular 327 ci V8 option, either in 250 or 300 hp form. And all of 1,998 six cylinder coupes. But that was just the warm-up act; in 1965 a total of 243k Impala SS were sold, very much the high water mark, as by 1966, it was half that, and quickly dropping.

But then the ’65 Impala SS coupe was everything the ’64 wasn’t, and then some.



CC 1965 Impala SS Coupe: The Peak Chevrolet Experience; The Peak Big Car Experience  PN