When someone says “muscle car,” what immediately comes to mind for you?
For most people, a muscle car (which was built for speed and not much else) is defined by a V8 engine, a manual drive train, a solid axle with some hefty gears in the back, and a God-awful turning radius. From the late ’60s to the early ’70s, car enthusiasts thrived in the classic American muscle period, and Chevrolet churned out iconic muscle cars like nobody’s business.
In this video from The Drive, host Mike Musto takes us for a ride in a 1969 Chevy Impala SS and does a damn good job showing us why it was the definitive full-size car of its time.
The 1969 Chevrolet Impala
For all you spec heads out there, let’s take a look at what the ’69 Impala was working with. There were a number of body styles offered for the fourth-generation model year Impalas, including the Chevrolet Impala convertible, the Chevrolet Impala coupe, the hardtop (two-door and four-door), the four-door sedan, and the four-door station wagon (which was renamed the Kingswood in 1969).
Its base engine was a 250 in-line 6 cylinder engine that churned out around 155 horsepower, though the sportier models came stocked with a 307 CID V8.
When it came to the exterior design and other features, the 1969 Chevrolet Impala, which topped Chevrolet Caprice production by 611,000 units, rocked that classic Chevy look and feel. We’re talking triple taillights, front and rear end marker lamps, body-side script displaying the Impala name, and a vinyl top for the convertible models. And that was just the exterior. Then you’ve got all the interior bells and whistles, like the door-actuated light switches, heater, defroster, cigarette lighter, locking glove box, carpeting, armrests, and center dome light. They also came with a Deluxe steering wheel, door and window frame moldings, and extra-thick seat cushions in the front.
As for the 1969 Impala SS (the SS stood for Super Sport), that thing was all about speed and power. It came with an exclusive Z24 package that offered a 427 cubic-inch V8 engine of 335, 390, or 425 horsepower. This Z24 package could be ordered on the Chevy Impala convertible, the Chevrolet Impala Custom Coupe, or the Sport Coupe (known as the Bel-Air Sport Coupe in Canada).
As you can see in the video, it definitely looked the part. Simply put, this thing is a BEAST.