By on May 18, 2020

1967 Chevrolet Impala in Denver junkyard, LH front view - ©2020 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsDuring the middle 1960s, the Chevrolet full-sized sedan was the most mainstream car in North America. The pinnacle for sales numbers came in 1965, with way more than a million new big Chevrolets sold, but 1967 saw 1,127,700 Biscaynes, Bel Airs, Impalas, and Caprices leave the showrooms (if you include wagons in the count, and of course you should).

Of all these full-sized Chevy cars in 1967, by far the most common was the Impala four-door post sedan, and that’s we’ve got for today’s Junkyard Find. (Read More…)

By on February 28, 2020

2018 Chevrolet Impala, Image: General Motors

Yesterday was a sad, sad day for lovers of the traditional domestic full-size sedan — a rapidly vanishing breed. The last Chevrolet Impala rolled out of Detroit-Hamtramck, and with it the last General Motors big car.

Chapter closed.

It’s a sign of the times. By the end of this year, Buick’s lineup won’t even play host to a single car, let alone a big, four-door one. Cadillac dropped its CT6 in January. But if you’re thinking that the Impala’s discontinuation will lead to immediate, juicy discounts, think again. (Read More…)

By on February 27, 2020

2016 Chevrolet Impala LTZ Detroit - Image: GM

Mark this date on your calendar or, should you be so inclined, in your diary. Today — February 27th, 2020 — marks the end of the Chevrolet Impala.

Some 62 years after its launch, the last Impala sedan will roll off the line Thursday at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, The Detroit News reports. A very different future awaits both the factory and the industry, and it seems cars like the Impala have no role to play in it.

It’s been a long time coming. (Read More…)

By on December 11, 2019

You jokers should know by now that this author is an unapologetic truck guy. When something new in the segment is introduced, it is studied by these jaundiced eyes until all the details are absorbed. My browser history is a mash of truck configurators and off-road websites. Plus a few recipes for southern barbecue.

That sound you heard yesterday was your author crashing over furniture to get a good look at the new 2021 Tahoe and Suburban. Growing up in a 1978 Blazer, these rigs and their ilk have an unreasonable hold on my heartstrings. While pricing wasn’t announced, it definitely put this Truck Guy in a Chevy state of mind.

For the 2020 model year, let’s see what the soon-to-vanish Impala has to offer the Ace of Base shopper.

(Read More…)

By on December 5, 2019

2018 Chevrolet Impala, Image: General Motors

Just a couple of days ago, your author’s eyes were drawn to a brand spankin’ new, dark red Chevrolet Impala sitting in a parking lot — one made all the more distinctive by black five-spoke steel wheels. Tis the winter season, after all.

The Impala’s design always garnered a nod of approval from this writer, a person whose former ME once referred to as a raging GM apologist, though the model’s rear-seat headroom is definitely lacking. It’s also a Chevrolet and not a Mercedes-Benz. All of that aside, fans of traditional full-size sedans, especially those of the domestic variety, can mark two dates on their calendar. The Impala is leaving forever, and it seems the model’s Cadillac CT6 factory mate will not get the lease on life some expected. (Read More…)

By on July 15, 2019

1960 Chevrolet Brookwood wagon in Colorado wrecking yard, RH side view - ©2019 Murilee Martin- The Truth About Cars

Once the original 1955-1957 Chevy Nomad two-door wagon became a sacred icon among those who prize Detroit machinery of the Eisenhower Era, all GM two-door wagons attained a certain prestige among those who enjoy cruise nights, car shows, Time Out dolls, and the 119,544th repetition of Hot Rod Lincoln (no, not the gloriously hillbilly original 1955 Charlie Ryan version, the still-excellent-but-now-overplayed 1971 Commander Cody version, which incorrectly refers to the souped-up Lincoln motor as a V8). I would have thought that a genuine two-door 1960 Biscayne wagon ought to have found someone willing to keep it on the street, but this car in a northeastern Colorado yard proves me wrong. (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2019

2018 Cadillac XTS, Image: General Motors

Following last week’s announcement of a new, less-populous future for General Motors’ once doomed Oshawa Assembly plant, a promise backed up by $170 million in company cash, the union representing workers at the Canadian facility has revealed when its current products will bite the dust.

Under a company-wide streamlining effort outlined last year, Oshawa would reach “unallocated” status by the end of 2019. That’s still the plan, but two full-size car models will cease production before that. It’s advantageous that Ford Motor Company decided to keep the Lincoln MKT in production, as one of the culled models is the Cadillac XTS. (Read More…)

By on February 22, 2019

2018 Chevrolet Impala, Image: General Motors

Detroit-Hamtramck, one of the five North American plants General Motors plans to shutter before the end of the year, will instead linger online a little longer.

While the plant’s future is still very much in doubt, and the lights will certainly go off for at least some period of time, the automaker plans to keep cranking out cars past New Year’s Eve. The reprieve stems from GM’s interest in continuing production of the Cadillac CT6 and Chevrolet Impala. Not the Buick LaCrosse or Chevrolet Volt, though. Definitely not the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Volt. (Read More…)

By on December 3, 2018

1977 Chevrolet Caprice in Colorado wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

GM shrank its B-Body full-sized models for the 1977 model year, including the massive-selling Chevrolet Caprice/Impala. This proved a wise move in light of certain geopolitical events a couple of years later, and the 1977-1979 full-sized Chevrolet coupes got a cool “fastback” wraparound rear glass treatment.

Here is such a car, spotted in a Denver self-service wrecking yard. (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2018

Image: General Motors

Heavy-duty streamlining has reached the production level at General Motors. After last night’s bombshell (though not unexpected) report claiming Canada’s oldest auto plant would cease operations late next year, more news is trickling out about the automaker’s production future.

Add Ohio and Michigan to the list of locales expected to lose an assembly plant. (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2018

A recent report on the potential demise of the long-running Taurus nameplate brought mixed reactions in the comments section, and is still doing so as of this writing. Said report also inspired today’s Buy/Drive/Burn, in a get it while you can sort of way. Soon, the Blue Oval in this trio will take the dirt nap.

But that’s then and this is now — and you must choose what to do with three full-size American sedans on sale in 2018.

(Read More…)

By on April 6, 2018

Talk about a dated movie reference, but here goes. You’ve got a full-size American passenger car dangling from each hand, but you know in your heart you do not possess the strength to save both. One, unfortunately, has to die. But for the other? Salvation.

We come to this grim scenario for a good reason. Earlier this week, a Wall Street Journal report struck fear and sadness into lovers of large passenger cars with long-running nameplates. While unconfirmed, the report stated that Ford will discontinue the Taurus in the very near future, with General Motors planning to do the same with the venerable Impala after the current generation ends.

Two once-beloved models that fell victim to changing consumer preferences — one dating back to the heady 1980s, the other to the Eisenhower administration. Which one deserves to live? (Read More…)

By on March 1, 2018

1962 Chevrolet Biscayne in Denver wrecking yard, LH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsDuring the early-to-mid 1960s, the king of the full-sized Chevrolet world was the loaded Impala. The Bel Air wasn’t quite as luxurious, but still had a decent amount of swank. For the bargain-conscious car shopper who wanted a bare-bones full-size sedan without a lot of costly gingerbread, the Chevy Biscayne was an excellent choice.

Here’s a ’62 that outlived most of the Impalas and Bel Airs, now ending its 56-year journey in a Denver self-service wrecking yard. (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2018

2017 Cadillac XTS, Image: © 2017 Charley Baruth

Way before the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad existed, I had my own financial angel and devil on my shoulders in the form of my grandfather and mother, respectively. Granddad retired at 54 and lived more than four decades in perfect comfort based on the investment decisions he’d made prior to retirement. My mom is… well, let’s just say she didn’t retire at 54.

Mom always had champagne taste and a debutante’s contempt for anybody who did not. When my grandfather decided to buy himself a Cadillac shortly after retiring, my mother told me, in quite snippy fashion, that it was “a used Cadillac, like what a loan shark would drive.” I don’t know what I thought I was going to find in Granddad’s garage when I got there, but the six-month-old ice-blue Eldorado Biarritz that he’d actually bought wasn’t it. He took me to the grocery store in it. When we went to the register, he took out a coupon book.

“Granddad,” I asked, “why do you use coupons if you have a Eldorado with a stainless steel roof?”

“Johnny,” he winked at me, “that’s why I have one.

Shortly afterwards, my father bought a Town Car. It was brand new, which pleased my mother. But in my heart of hearts I always liked Granddad’s Eldorado better, all the more so because I knew he got it cheap. Every time I manage to buy something outrageous at a steep discount, I think of my sharp-dealing grandfather and his delight at never paying retail for anything. Which brings us to today’s questioner, who is considering following in the old man’s footsteps, after a fashion.

(Read More…)

By on December 1, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Impala, Image: General Motors

General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant isn’t the only facility hit hard by the public’s growing distaste for traditional highway cruisers. Falling full-size sedan sales turned out the lights at that plant last month, and GM’s Oshawa, Ontario plant will follow suit in January, returning with a missing shift once production resumes.

Like Hamtramck, the Oshawa plant builds the Chevrolet Impala sedan, and is the sole domestic builder of the Cadillac XTS. As the only remaining front-wheel-drive passenger car in the brand’s lineup, the XTS — saved from execution and refreshed for 2018 — didn’t stage a repeat performance of its October sales climb in November. (Read More…)

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