The fifth-generation B-body cars are still, to this day, the largest cars ever sold by General Motors. It is honestly kind of staggering just how large these behemoths are…they have at least ten inches of overall length on a brand-new Cadillac Escalade, could weigh in well over two tons, have all of the agility of an ocean liner, and are generally only seen as derby fodder anymore. Even when they were brand new for 1971, the days of the monster barges were coming to a close almost faster than the muscle car era, and any indication that was false was shut down for good when OPEC decided to turn off the spigot. Suddenly, a 4300-pound two-door coupe that had it’s own gravitational pull suddenly was out of vogue.
But what better way to get buyers back into the a two-door coupe that could double as a starter home than marketing patriotic fervor as a trim level? What you are looking at is a 1974 Chevrolet Impala “Spirit of America” edition. What is it, really?
Effectively, it’s a factory-pimped Impala that was meant to tug at your red-white-and-blue heartstrings. Did it work? I wouldn’t even know where to begin looking to see if it did, but for at least one person, it did, because this particular white example has managed to live beyond it’s reputation as a fuel-guzzling monster and it’s potential as a derby car, and come out of it all looking quite nice, if not pristine, in the process. At this point, after all of these years, it’s survived. The 400 small block can be retired to a nice, quiet corner and something with a lot more torque can take it’s place, but overall…this Impala is worth keeping as-is.
(Thanks to Scott Liggett for the tip!)