The Impala was introduced in 1958 as a new, upmarket, sporty trim package created for Bel Air coupes and convertibles. Unique to the model were its six taillights, which set it apart from lower trim levels with only two lights on a side. This classic styling cue would become its trademark. The Impala became a separate model in 1959 in both two- and four-door versions and became the best-selling car in the Chevrolet lineup. For 1960, it became the best-selling automobile in the United States and held that position for the next decade.
The Impala featured body-on-frame construction, using the "X" frame used on other Chevys, as well as Cadillac. The exception for the six-taillight rear end styling was the 1959 model, which used the "teardrop" taillight shape as all other Chevy models had.