Packin’ a Paxton: 26k-Mile 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS

  • November 16, 2020
Why We Like It

The era of the boxy, full-size Chevrolet Caprice Classic came to an end in 1990, when the newly designed, larger Caprice Classic was introduced. Caprice Classics were already well known as a remarkably silent vehicle, but the new edition seemed even more so. Featuring a much more fluidly styled body, aerodynamics were vastly improved, increasing overall fuel economy and reduced wind noise. Offered initially with the 5.0L V-8 engine, a 5.7L V-8 was also available along with a 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission, an electronically controlled unit replacing the hydraulically controlled unit in 1993. At the 1992 Detroit Auto Show, Chevrolet showcased an Impala concept vehicle, basically an all-black Caprice with a lowered suspension, red bowtie on the grille, and a massive 8.0L engine under the hood. It was extremely well received, and Chevrolet began development of the resurrected Impala.

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Introduced in 1994, the new Impala was largely as it was introduced at the auto show with only minor details separating the two, and a 5.7L LT1 V-8 engine in place of the monster 8.0L and the 17-inch, 5-spoke aluminum wheels were unique to the model and enhanced the car’s aggressive image. But Chevrolet faced production problems that hindered the Impala’s manufacture to just 6,303 cars for that year, making them somewhat unique in the family. For 1995 and 1996, sales were very strong, 1996 marking the last year of production with over 41,000 sold. This would be an interesting year for Impala as several subtle but noticeable changes would take place, most noticeably the gear lever being relocated from the steering column to the center console for a sportier look and feel. To most, the 1996 Impalas are the most desirable, primarily because of the shifter placement, but many collectors have a thing for the last year of any model. Regardless, the fact that it’s a final year example is part of what makes this car so special.

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A 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS with a mere 26,000 original miles, per the pictures and description, it appears to be in pristine condition. And, as if the 260 HP LT1 V-8 weren’t powerful enough, this one is packin’ a Paxton supercharger. While the seller doesn’t list any horsepower figures, it’s a safe bet that the V-8 is now cranking out closer to 310-320 HP. The seller says the car is very quick and in remarkable condition, and the black paint and grey interior look to be awfully close to showroom. A number of these generation Impala SSs are on the market with low miles for roughly the same price, however, this one was produced in the last year and it has a supercharger that was professionally installed. In our opinion, this one deserved a post and a second look for anyone in this market.

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A docile beast that could easily lumber around town coddling its occupants in comfort, it was also happy thundering down drag-strips or turning long trips into short journeys. Thanks to power steering, power four-wheel disc brakes, and superb suspension geometry, these Impalas truly handled like a much smaller car. And yet, they packed a torque-filled punch like few others. Imagine it with a supercharger. Considering the condition, the mileage, the upgrades, this one would be well bought in our book.

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