The 1961 Chevrolet Impala, already a star in its own right, received a significant update from Chevrolet in that model year. Recognizing the need to sustain and boost sales, the GM brand decided to give the Impala a makeover.

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1961 Impala in a very rough shape

The Birth of the Super Sport

In 1961, Chevrolet unveiled the very first Super Sport (SS) package for the Impala. This SS package was available to anyone interested, and it came at an affordable price of just $53. It’s important to note that this wasn’t the high-performance Super Sport that we’re familiar with today; rather, it marked the initial step towards a more exhilarating driving experience in a Chevrolet.

Recently, a 1961 Chevrolet Impala appeared on Craigslist. While this particular Impala is not a Super Sport, it does have the potential to impress enthusiasts due to its solid foundation for restoration.

A Rusty Situation

This Impala, however, is no stranger to rust. Anyone looking to undertake its restoration should be prepared for some serious metalwork. The rust has taken a toll on the floors and trunk pan, leaving substantial holes that allow the elements in. The extensive rust on the undersides suggests that this car may have spent a considerable amount of time exposed to the elements, possibly causing similar damage in other areas.

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The Interior Remains Promising

Despite its external condition, the interior is a major selling point. It appears largely complete, including seats, door panels, and the dashboard. However, the extent of any modifications or alterations is unclear from the provided pictures.

Regrettably, the original engine and transmission are absent. Nevertheless, this may not necessarily be a setback. The lack of these components opens the door to the possibility of installing more powerful engines. In 1961, the top choice was the 409, which boasted 360 horsepower thanks to a four-barrel carburetor. However, it’s difficult to determine if the car originally came with a V8 powerplant, as no VIN code details were shared.

Rescuing this Impala won’t be a task for the faint of heart. In all likelihood, the best fate for this car is to become a donor for other restoration projects. Given its condition, the seller understands that a high price won’t be justified. They are willing to part with this rust-ridden hardtop for $2,200.

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For those interested in taking on this project, it’s important to note that, due to the absence of an engine, the car cannot be driven. If you wish to inspect it in person and take it home, you’ll need to bring your own trailer to Springfield.

**FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions**

**Q1: What was the significance of the 1961 Impala Super Sport?**
A1: The 1961 Impala Super Sport marked the first step towards a more performance-oriented Impala. It was introduced as an affordable option package for enthusiasts seeking a more thrilling driving experience.

**Q2: Is this Impala in good condition for restoration?**
A2: Unfortunately, this Impala has extensive rust damage, especially in the floors and trunk pan. Restoring it will require significant metalwork.

**Q3: What is the status of the interior?**
A3: The interior appears mostly complete, including seats, door panels, and the dashboard. However, the extent of any modifications is unclear.

**Q4: Can I install a different engine in this Impala?**
A4: Yes, the original engine is missing, providing an opportunity to install a more powerful engine. The 409, with 360 horsepower, was a popular choice in 1961.

**Q5: What is the asking price for this Impala?**
A5: The seller is willing to let go of this rust-ridden Impala for $2,200, recognizing its condition.

**Q6: Can I drive the car home after purchase?**
A6: No, the absence of an engine means the car cannot be driven. If you purchase it, you’ll need to bring your own trailer to transport it.

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