Cohort Outtake: 1965 Impala SS Coupe – Those Taillights Must Have Been An Afterthought

There’s lots of tempting goodies at the Cohort, but this solo shot of a ’65 Impala SS coupe by Hugo90 caught my eye. The full-size Chevies, as well as all the big GM cars, were of course all-new that year; more new than any Chevy since 1958. It must have been a lot of pressure on Bill Mitchell and company. The ’65s certainly made quite a splash when they arrived; a shockingly big step in a new styling direction. But as I look at the tail of this Impala, I can’t help but think that those tail lights look grafted on, and must have been some sort of painful compromise; they just don’t look organic with the design. And of course they disappeared for 1966, and then on, for more conventional and better-integrated ones. Was it done to keep some single measure of continuity with the ’64s, and the well established tradition of two and three small round taillights? Probably, and unfortunately.