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1968 Chevrolet Impala 2

ENGINE front, 4 stroke, slanted at 3 degrees 54'; cylinders: 8, Vee-slanted at 90'; bore and stroke: 3.88 x 3.26 in, 98.5 x 82.8 mm; engine capacity: 307 cu in, 5,030.81 cu cm; compression
ratio: 9; max power (SAE): 200 hp at 4,600 rpm; max torque (SAE): 300 lb ft, 41.4 kg m at 2,400 rpm; max engine rpm: 4,600; speciflc power: 39.7 hp/I; cylinder block: cast iron; cylinder head: cast iron; crankshaft bearings: 5; valves: 2 per cylinder, overhead, in line, push-rods and rockers, hydraulic tappets; camshafts: 1, at centre of Vee; lubrication: gear pump, full flow filter; lubricating system capacity: 8.27 imp pt, 10 US pt, 4.7 l; carburation: 1 Rochester 7028101 downdraught twin barrel carburettor; fuel feed: mechanical pump; cooling system: water; cooling system capacity: 28.34 imp pt, 34 US pt, 16.1 l.

TRANSMISSION driving wheels: rear; clutch: single dry plate (diaphragm); gearbox: mechanical; gears: 3 + reverse; synchromesh gears: I, II, III; gearbox ratios: I 2.540, II 1.500, III 1, rev 2.630; gear lever: steering column: flnal drive: hypoid bevel; axle ratio: 3.080.

CHASSIS perimeter box-type; front suspension: independent, wishbones, lower trailing links, coil springs, anti-roll bar, telescopic dampers; rear suspension: rigid axle, lower trailing arms, upper torque arm, transverse linkage bar, coil springs, telescopic dampers.

STEERING recirculating ball; turns of steering wheel lock to lock: 5.80.

BRAKES drum; area rubbed by linings: total 328.30 sq in, 2,117.53 sq cm.

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT voltage: 12 V; battery: 45 Ah; generator type: alternator, 37 Ah; ignition distributor: Delco-Remy; headlamps: 4.

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT wheel base: 119 in, 3,023 mm; front track: 62.50 in, 1,587 mm; rear track: 62.40 in, 1,585 mm; overall length: 214.70 in, 5,453 mm; overall width: 79.60 in, 2,022 mm; overall height: 55.80 in, 1,417 mm; ground clearance: 5.90 in, 150 mm; dry weight: 3,740 lb, 1,698 kg; distribution of weight: 50.2% front axle, 49.8% rear axle; turning circle (between walls): 43.5 ft, 13.3 m; width of rims: 5"; tyres: 8.25 x 14; fuel tank capacity: 20 imp gal, 24 US gal, 91 l.

BODY saloon/sedan; doors: 4; seats: 6; front seats: bench.

PERFORMANCE max speeds: 47 mph, 75.7 km/h in 1st gear; 79 mph, [127.2 km/h in 2nd gear; 105 mph, 169 km/h in 3rd gear; power-weight ratio: 18.7 lb/hp, 8.5 kg/hp; carrying capacity: 1,058 lb, 480 kg; speed in direct drive at 1,000 rpm: 25.8 mph, 41.5 km/h.

PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS fuel: 100 oct petrol; engine sump oil: 6.69 imp pt, 8 US pt, 3.8 l, SAE 5W-20 (winter) 10W-30 (summer), change every 6,000 miles, 9,700 km; gearbox oil: 2.46 imp pt, 3 US pt, 1.4 l, SAE 80; final drive oil: 2.99 imp pt, 3.50 US pt, 1.7 l, SAE 80; greasing: every 6,000 miles, 9,700 km; valve timing: inlet opens 28 degrees before tdc and closes 72 degrees after bdc, exhaust opens 78 degrees before bdc and closes 30 degrees after tdc; normal tyre pressure: front 24 psi, 1.7 atm, rear 28 psi 2 atm.

VARIATIONS AND OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES limited slip final drive; 3.700 3.550 3.360 2.730 axle ratios; power-assisted steering, [4 turns of steering wheel lock to lock; adjustable tilt of steering wheel; servo brake; front disc brakes (diameter 11.75 in, 298 mm), internal radial fins, servo, total area rubbed by linings 368.80 sq in, 2,378.76 sq cm; G70 x 14 8.45/G70 x 15 tyres; 6" wide rims; cleaner air system; overdrive/top (0.700 ratio), 3.700 3.550 3.360 axle ratios; 4-speed mechanical gearbox (I 2.850, II 2.020, III 1.350, IV 1, rev 2.850), central gear lever; Powerglide automatic gearbox, hydraulic torque convertor and planetary gears with 2 ratios (I 1.820, II 1, rev 1.820), max ratio of convertor at stall 2.1, possible manual selection, 3.700 3.550 3.360 3.080 axle ratios; 6-cylinder standard engine, 155 hp, max speed 90 mph, 144.9 km/h (for further mechanical elements see Biscayne 2-door Sedan); V8 engines, 250 hp (max speed 108 mph, 173.9 km/h) and 275 hp (max speed 109 mph, 175.5 km/h), for further mechanical elements see variations Impala Convertible; V8 engines, 325 hp (max speed 112 mph, 180.3 km/h) and 385 hp (max speed 121 mph, 194.8 km/h), for further mechanical elements see variations Caprice Custom Coupe, Impala Sport Sedan, dry weight 3,825 lb, 1,735 kg, Impala Sport Coup6, dry weight 3,735 4b, 1,694 kg, Impala Custom Coupe, dry weight 3,750 lb, 1,701 kg, 6-passenger Impala Station Wagon, dry weight 4,050 lb, 1,837 kg, max speed 103 mph, 165.8 km/h, fuel consumption 16.8 m/imp gal, 14 m/US gal, 16.8 l x 100 km, 9-passenger Impala Station Wagon, dry weight 4,105 lb, 1,862 kg (for further mechanical elements see 6-passenger Impala Station Wagon mentioned above).

ENGINE CAPACITY 307 cu in, 5,030.81 cu cm
FUEL CONSUMPTION 17.1 m/imp gal, 14.2 m/US gal, 16.51 x 100 km
SEATS 6 MAX SPEED 105 mph, 169 km/h
PRICE IN USA $ 2,929

Chevrolet Impala SS

Definitely not to be confused with the plain Impala, Chevrolet's Impala SS was the first of the 1960s muscle cars...and the best, many would argue. Chevrolet then revived the name in the 1990s for a modern version of a muscle car...perhaps the last of the Michigan muscle cars.

The 1960s

The story of the 1960s Impala SS actually begins in the 1958 model year, when Chevrolet debuted the Impala name as the top trim line available on the Bel Air coupe and convertible. The Impala package was popular enough that, for 1959, Chevy produced a new model called the Impala, available in coupe and convertible versions, both with really, really wide tailfins.

For the 1961 model year, Chevrolet introduced the Super Sport option package on the Impala, or in shorthand, the Impala SS. The package cost $53.80 extra with the Impala's standard 348 cubic inch engine, but came standard with the new top of the line Chevy engine, the legendary 409.

Fewer than 500 Impala SS's were made and sold in 1961, but production was drastically ramped up in 1962. 100,000 SS's were produced in 1962, about 15,000 of them with the 409 engine, which had been improved to put out 409 horsepower, up from 1961's 375. The 409 Impala SS was a hit at the drag strip, with times in the quarter mile of about 15 seconds.

The Bel Air coupe was discontinued in 1963, leaving the Impala as Chevy's only coupe option, so sales increased further that year. About 150,000 Impala SS's were produced in 1963, with the average Joe preferring the new 340 cubic inch engine with Powerglide automatic transmission, but performance enthusiasts sticking with the 409.

In 1964, the Impala SS became a completely separate model from the Impala. Over 185,000 were built during the model year, about 8,600 of those with the 409 engine. Meanwhile, Pontiac introduced its smaller and lighter muscle car, the GTO, which turned out to be the beginning of the end for the Impala SS.

The body of the Impala SS was redesigned for 1965, and halfway through the model year, the 409 engine was replaced by the new Mark IV, which had a 396 cubic inch displacement, although it still provided plenty of power, rated at 425 horsepower. This was the largest production year for the Impala SS, with about 239,500 produced.

Meanwhile, on the regular 1965 Impala sedan, a new top of the line option package was available, named Caprice. In 1966, the Caprice was spun off as a separate model, and it began to cannibalize sales of full-size Chevrolets from the Impala and the Impala SS. Meanwhile, drag racers increasingly went with the Pontiac GTO and other smaller performance cars, despite a new 427 cubic inch engine being available as an option on the Impala SS.

Production of the SS was about 119,000 in 1966, and 75,000 in 1967. In 1968, the Impala SS lost its status as a separate model, returning to being a mere option package on the Impala, available on only about 5% of the 710,000 Impalas produced that year. 1969 was the last year for the Impala SS package, now available only with the 427 engine; only 2,425 were produced in the final year.

Chevrolet continued the Impala model through most of the 1970s, and the Caprice continued as a high-end full-size sedan into...

The 1990s

In 1994, the Impala SS name returned. Chevrolet no longer made an Impala, and so the new Impala SS became the top trim line on the Caprice. Available in any color as long as it was black, the Impala SS boasted a Corvette-type 350 cubic inch engine (5.7 liters) putting out 260 horsepower, plus the suspension and power steering from the Caprice's police car package. There were also, of course, features unimaginable in the days of the original SS, such as antilock brakes and an electronic speedometer. The Caprice name appeared nowhere on the Impala SS, just the Chevrolet logo on the front grille, Impala logos on the trunk lid and rearmost roof pillars, and "Impala SS" on the rear fenders. It was completely different from the original Impala SS, and yet had a traceable lineage.

The Impala SS went through only minor cosmetic changes in 1995 and 1996, and was now also available in dark green and what Chevrolet called dark cherry but was actually a weird shade of purple. The biggest changes were in 1996, when the instrument panel went analog and the shifter moved to the console.

1996 was the final model year for the Caprice, and with it went the new Impala SS. The Caprice was a victim of declining sales for full-size cars as potential buyers went with minivans or SUVs. Total production of the new Impala SS over its 3-year history was about 70,000.

The Footnote

For the 2000 model year, Chevrolet introduced a new medium-size sedan carrying the Impala name. A version of this car with the Impala SS name is expected to appear in the 2004 model year, but with only a 3.8 liter V6 engine (horsepower rating to be determined) instead of the V8's of Impala SS's past.


  • musclecarclub.com, impalaclub.com, and edmunds.com
  • My father's black 1996 Impala SS, which he's actually let me drive from time to time; it's a little faster from 0 to 60 than my Nissan Altima

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