DETROIT — General Motors plans to ax the Chevrolet Impala as part of its restructuring announced this week, ginning up nostalgia for a vehicle name that first appeared in the 1950s.
The Impala has been called one of America’s most iconic nameplates. But after 10 generations, the current sedan appears to share little but the name with its ancestors even as it has had some notable milestones in the not-too-distant past.
These days, the Impala appears to be a staple at the rental car counter and a long journey from the candy apple red 1963 Impala with 11.5 miles on the odometer that drove grown men to tears, as the Detroit Free Press reported, when it appeared this spring at Cobo Center as part of Autorama.
As recently as 2013, the Impala, which shares a name with a fleet-footed antelope, was turning heads and making a statement as an example of Detroit’s resurgence after the dark days of the recession.
That year, Consumer Reports raved about a 2014 redesign, which it described as the “phoenixlike rise” of the revamped Impala. The magazine said the car was its top rated sedan that year.