Good News For Bubbletop Fans: Original 1961 Chevy Impala Ready For Restoration


As a big Impala fan, the 1961 model year is my all-time favorite release, mainly thanks to the debut of the Super Sport package. Available for only $53.80, the SS didn’t bring much at first, albeit it still provided the Impala with a sportier attitude.

The other big news in the early ’60s was the bubbletop, a brilliant design idea that has become incredibly desirable today. Especially when the Impala sporting the bubbletop is still original and unrestored.

The 1961 Impala in these photos claims it checks all these essential boxes. It’s an original and “almost totally complete” bubbletop whose only mission is to receive a complete restoration before returning to the road in tip-top shape.

You don’t have to be a diehard Chevrolet fanboy to figure out that this Impala has been struggling with a lot lately. The car has likely been sitting for several years, so it now comes with all the issues you normally find on a classic Impala. Leaving aside the obvious metal problems – make sure you check all photos shared on Craigslist by the owner, as they highlight all issues the next owner will have to fix – the Impala has a solid frame, all glass, and trim.

The Impala left the factory with a 283 under the hood, and the same engine is still in the car. It’s unclear if it starts and runs, but you should inspect everything in person before committing to a purchase. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 283 requiring some fixes, though, but it’s impossible to tell, based only on the shared photos, whether you can still use it during your restoration project.


The 283 was the base engine choice for the 1961 Impala, and the most notable change was the debut of the 409 big-block in February specifically to provide Super Sport buyers with a more potent unit. The 409 developed 360 horsepower and was fitted with a single four-barrel carburetor.

As anyone can anticipate, a 1961 Impala bubbletop that is still almost 100% complete and original can’t sell cheaply. These projects have become rarer, especially in such a desirable configuration, with the bubbletop remaining particularly popular in the collectors’ world.

The owner is ready to let the car go for $10,000, but they say they would also consider other offers. I don’t expect the Impala to remain available for long, especially because it’s a great candidate for restoration. The owner says they also have a clean title with 25K original miles—it’s another major selling point, although buyers should thoroughly investigate the low-mile claims.

The Impala is parked in Tarentum, Pennsylvania, and the buyer will need a trailer to take it home, considering the non-working condition and all the issues you can easily observe in the photo gallery.