The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Impala SS thinks we know all about the model and hence doesn’t want to “bore you with the details.” One detail that is offered is the price tag, and we’ll have to decide if that’s worth a yawn or a gasp.
When you stop and think about it, there are hard looks, good looks, down one’s nose looks, and, finally, loving looks. There are probably s few more, but you get my point. When it came to the 1986 Lamborghini Jalpa P350 we found time to ruminate on yesterday, it was the car’s overall looks that drove the dialog. Most of you were not down with the Baby Lambo’s chunky-monkey ’80s style, preferring the old-school elegance of the precedent Uracco, at least per your comments. That community of condemnation on the Jalpa’s updated looks didn’t bode well for its $116,992 asking price. In the end, that fell in a 57 percent No Dice loss. Not a very good look at all.
Just a couple of weeks ago — you know, in the before times — we took a gander at a Chevy Trailblazer SS, a model of SUV that the Bow Tie Brigade had breathed on in the attempt to instill in it some semblance of performance bona fides. In that story, I laid down a brief history of the SS badge, noting at the time that the first Chevy model to carry the performance indicator was the Impala way back in 1961. Over the ensuing years, the Impala gained considerable girth making any sporting pretensions laughable at best and so the SS badge was retired for the model. With the Impala successor Caprice shrinking in size over a couple of generations, and Chevy finding a modicum of success with the police performance package on the model, the Impala name and the SS badge were brought out of that retirement, dusted off, and applied to the Caprice platform for the most bad-ass B-Body money could buy.
This 1996 Chevy Impala SS comes in Dark Gray-Green over a utilitarian gray leather and vinyl interior. The seller notes in the ad that the Impala SS is popular with the celebs, claiming that our good buddy Jay Leno has one, as does former cocaine-trafficker Tim Allen and rapper/activist Killer Mike. That’s a car club right there.
According to the ad, the seller is a long-time employee of General Motors, although they don’t share what exactly they did there. The seller does promise to tell prospective buyers about the car’s history, tantalizing that offer by revealing in the ad that the car was originally used by a GM executive and was purchased by the current owner for use by his wife. In what could be taken as either respectful husbandry or damning misogyny, that use, the seller says, means it has never been “hotrodded, damaged or abused.”
The seller also says that “If you’re looking at this car you’re probably knowledgeable about what it is, so I won’t bore you with those details. You already know what this car is capable of.”
That’s a pretty big assumption on their part, so let’s just run down a few factoids. With the SS, Chevy sought to give the big B-Body sedan a bit of oomph. That was accomplished by dropping in a 260 horsepower LT1 V8 which at the time could also be found under the hoods of Corvettes and Camaros.
In the Impala, it received cast iron heads in place of the sportier cars’ aluminum toppers and a two-bolt bottom end for cost savings. The engine was re-tuned for the bigger, heavy car but still managed to move it with some personality. A 3.08 limited-slip rear end helps put the ponies down and in between each end is a four-speed 4L-60E automatic. That all gives zero to sixty times of around seven seconds, which was decent for the era and the added fact that this is still two tons of fun that the engine needs to drag around. A heavy-duty suspension that dropped the body an inch or so on top of the handsome five-spoke alloys completed the package.
The current owner has made a few additions to all that along the way. The ad notes that the car comes with sequential tail lamps and strobe (?) lights front and rear. Hopefully, those can be turned off easily. A new radiator and tires with only about 14,000 miles on them are a couple of the mechanical updates shared. The total mileage is 109,000 and the car comes with a clean title and a car cover. I’ll bet that’s a pretty big cover too.
Speaking of big, it’s now the time for us to determine if this Impala’s price tag is too large, too small, or just right. That asking price is $22,500 which is obviously well within the budget of someone like Jay Leno, but what about the rest of us schmos? What do you say, is this SS worth that much cash? Or, does that price tag make this Sport not feel quite so Super?
H/T to Don R. for the hookup!
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