A result of brief uncertainty

1956 Chevrolet Corvette Impala Motorama Dream CarWithin about a year of Chevrolet’s Corvette introduction, Ford produced their two-seat Thunderbird.

In response to learning of Ford’s plans to enlarge Thunderbird to include four seats for 1958, Chevrolet toyed with the idea of making an equally commodious car in Corvette’s likeness.

A Motorama Dream Car
1956 Chevrolet Corvette Impala Dream CarThe 1956 Chevrolet Corvette Impala concept (also referred to simply as the Impala concept) was prepared for that year’s Motorama show.

The Motorama was an auto show put on by General Motors that was used to showcase concepts and prototypes to invigorate interest and, ultimately, sales. Each of GM’s divisions was responsible for producing vehicles to be displayed at the events.

1956 Chevrolet Corvette Impala Dream CarChevrolet prepared this two-row, Corvette-influenced car to test the desirability waters. While we obviously know that Chevrolet abandoned the idea, it proposed an interesting road the model could have traveled.

Riding on a 116.5-inch wheelbase, it wore Corvette-like front and rear ends, and sported the 265-cubic-inch V-8 from the production two-seater. The five-seat Dream Car wore white wall tires on spoke rims and utilized fiberglass body panels, just like it’s two-seat brother.

1956 Chevrolet Corvette Impala Dream Car at 1957 Chicago Auto ShowAlthough it isn’t always referred to as the “Corvette” Impala, it wore Corvette badging and was labeled as such for the 1956 Motorama and 1957 Chicago Auto Show, as seen in the picture to the right (easier to read in the gallery-sized picture).

Even though the model didn’t make it to production, some of its design elements would be seen later, on other models. For instance, the reverse-slanted C-pillar would show up in 1958 on the Bel Air Impala, and the S-shaped A-pillar with wrap-around windshield glass previewed many of GM’s 1959 models.

1956 Chevrolet Corvette Impala Dream Car front three-qtrThe Corvette Impala also had the distinction of being Chevrolet’s last conceptual entry at a Motorama show.

Following the 1956 season, the traveling show went on a three-year hiatus after which Chevrolet would only display production-based vehicles.


Continue below to the photo gallery.

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