Most noticeable on the 61 Impala was the lack of tail
fins, however the options fitted to the SS and the enormous
size of the 6704cc V8 were what really put the car ahead
of its time.
Featuring leather-grained vinyl bucket seats and special
wheel trims, you could order the Impala with one of
5 different V8 motors, ranging in size from 283ci
(4639cc) to the whopping 409ci (6704cc) and, in the
latter configuration, the Impala was capable of 0
to 100 km/h in around 6 seconds!
SS models were fitted with power brakes and steering,
although drums all-round meant stopping the beast from
high speeds could be tricky.
But it was in 1963 that the most exotic of the Impala's
were to be manufactured - the "RPO-Z11". The 409ci engines were bored out to 427ci and fitted
with an aluminum front end.
decided to almost double the price of the car to cover
the cost of the modifications, and so only 57 were
ever produced. Though officially rated at 430 hp, one of 7 known examples
was recently restored to factory specifications and
produced an enormous 580 hp.
Interestingly, this car
is probably the ultimate sleeper - they didn’t
come with any high performance markings, gaudy trim,
or even full hubcaps, and even wore the fender badge
of a 327!