There are many among us who are old enough to remember the annual new car editions of Popular Science, Mechanix Illustrated and other popular car magazines in the 60s.
We may have been kids, but we were already excited about the car hobby, so the new car editions of the magazines were a huge event.
These magazines were great at teaser photos with camouflaged new cars that gave away little of the new car lines.
But they whetted our appetites during the long months before the actual new car editions of their magazines.Concept drawings were also a part of the program before the magazines released their new car editions and these artist renderings were also a big part of the new car fanfare.
One of my biggest impressions as a kid when it came to the new cars was the first time I saw the 1965 Chevy Impala and realized the General had built a brand new look for the famous Chevy brand.
The 1965 Impala was a completely different beast from the 1964 Impala. The ’64 was the last of the Impala design that marked the end of the 50s style when the 1961 Impala hit the showroom. The 1960 Impala was the bridge car between the 50s and 60s, while the 1961 Impala was completely unlike the ’60.
The basic body design of the 1961-64 Impala was fairly similar, although most car guys can easily separate the different years because of front and rear styles unique to each year. The next major overall style shift was 1965, because the ’65 Impala marked the evolution of body design for Chevrolet.
The 1965 Impala had a longer roof design in its hardtop model that bordered on a fastback design. There was a giant difference between a 1964 and ’65 Impala in the eyes of car guys-or anybody else with a pair of functioning eye balls at the time for that matter.
The only people who got them mixed up were the movie people behind Goodfellas when they showed a 1965 Impala in a scene dated in 1963. However, the movie was released many decades after the 1965 Impala and the producers were in the entertainment business, not the car hobby.
Unfortunately I was unable to forget this giant mistake once I saw the movie because I have always liked the 1965 Chevy. There is no evidence the cars were equipped with time travel options, so I stand by my own excitement when I saw my first 1965 Chevy and its bold new style in the car magazines from my childhood.
Truth be told, the public at large was not completely sold on the bold new direction for the Chevy flagship model. The 1964 Impala would become one of the most desirable models ever built by General Motors in collector car circles, while the 1965 Chevy would become an acquired taste in the same circles.
I was one of the people who did not view the ’65 Chevy as an acquired taste because I liked it the first time I saw it when I was a kid. Initially as a drawing, later on the pages of the new car editions of magazines in the fall of ’64, and finally on the street where the curb appeal was off the charts for me.
The curb appeal of the 1965 Chevy is still strong for me, even after 50 years.
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