Although Chevrolet models remained large for 1961, the batwings and sword tails were gone and the flamboyant rear sections with enormous tail fins were replaced by a plainer look. In 1960 Simon E. “Bunkie” Knudsen became the general manager of GM’s Chevrolet Motor Division, and the 1960 development of the 1961 Chevrolets designed in Bill Mitchell’s workshop was revised: cars were reduced by 1.2-inch in length and width, gaining a lighter, more agile and a more slender look. Planned as attractive car, they were launched on October 8, 1960. The standard engine was the

283 cu.in. V8, delivering 170 bhp at 4200 rpm, and fed by a 2-barrel Rochester carburetor. Used only in the US market this small block V8 was able to propel this 3600 lbs Convertible body to

0-60 mph 14.5 seconds. The optional automatic “Turboglide” 3-speed transmission was replaced by the “Powerglide” the same year.

The 1961 Impala featured electric clock, deep-twist carpeting, long armrests, in-door safety reflectors, a handbrake warning lamp and reverse lamp: air conditioning, power brake, heater, four or six-motion power seat and radio were offered as options. That year, the Super Sport (SS) package for all Impala models was introduced. The package included special wheel covers, power brake and power steering, heavy-duty shock absorbers, a 7000 rpm tachometer, wider tires with white wide walls and the legendary 409 V8, the new engine of the year, introduced in January 1961.

In 1961, Chevrolet was fighting with Ford for market dominance, and built 1,502,798 cars. Of a total of 300,402 Convertible Chevrolets, 64,624 were Impalas. They sold for 2,954 Dollars. On August 2, 1961, production start to use 1962 specifications.


  • Make Chevrolet
  • Model Impala
  • Model / Body Number 1867
  • Body Style Convertible
  • Year 1961
  • Origin U.S.A.
  • Production Total 64,624
  • Passenger Capacity 5



  • Engine 283 V8 Turbo-Fire, OHV, Gasoline, 283 cu. inch, 2-barrel, 170 bhp, 4200 rpm
  • Bore x Stroke 3.875 x 3.0 inch
  • Transmission Automatic (Powerglide), 2-speed, column shift
  • Top Speed 99 mph
  • Acceleration 0-60 mph, 14.5 s
  • Body / Frame Steel, Fisher / Steel, U-channel, X-type
  • Suspension Four coil springs, with double-acting shock absorbers
  • Electrical System 12 Volt, 30 Ampere
  • Brakes Hydraulic, 4-wheels drum
  • Wheelbase 119.0 inch
  • Overall Length 209.3 inch
  • Overall Width 78.4 inch
  • Overall Height 55.9 inch
  • Shipping Weight 3600 lbs
  • Front / Rear Tread 60.3 inch / 59.3 inch
  • Tires 8.00 x 14