Best Features of the 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z11

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Chevrolet has built some of the most famous models in the world over the years. Notably, the Chevrolet Impala is one of the company’s most popular and longest-lasting models. The first Impala model was introduced in 1957 as a 1958 model, and production continued through 2020. The car has evolved considerably over the decades it has been on the market, but model years 1960 is widely considered the Impala’s heyday. The 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 is known as “the baddest and rarest Impala ever made”.


Muscle cars are commonly referred to by enthusiasts as the beefed-up compact and mid-size coupes of the late 1960s. At the time, the muscle car era was at its peak, with dozens of models available from all manufacturers Detroit-based automobiles. The muscle car’s roots, on the other hand, date back to 1949, when Oldsmobile discontinued the Rocket V8 engine in the ’88. Full-size cars, many of which received powerful drivetrains long before muscle cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Plymouth Barracuda have become standard, can also benefit from the concept. The Chevrolet Impala was one of them.


Related: A look back at the evolution of the Chevy Impala

The 1963 Chevy Impala Z-11 Produces Incredible Performance


1963Chevrolet_Impala_Z-11
Via: StreetMuscle

Because the racing world had such a big impact on the automotive market at the time, the 1963 Chevy Impala Z-11 was designed to be a car for drag racing and NASCAR fans. This is a regular production option. Considering this car was built for racing, the amount of effort put into the engine’s powertrain is understandable. Chevy used it to compete with options from companies like Ford.

A 427-cubic-inch, 7-liter V8 engine powers the 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11. It puts out 430 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque, which is pretty exceptional. It should be noted that although it is more powerful than its predecessor, this Impala model is also lighter.


The company also used weight-saving materials for parts of the automobile such as the fenders, bumpers and hood to reduce the overall weight of the vehicle. The 1963 Impala Z-11 weighed 300 pounds less than a standard Impala.

This car could go from zero to sixty miles per hour in about 4.3 seconds. It has a quarter-mile time of 10.8 seconds. Those are incredible speeds, especially for a 1960s automobile that was more of a family choice than anything else in its later years, but every successful car series has to grow to stay relevant. The Impala is no exception. This edition of the Impala was the first production vehicle to hit 120 mph in a quarter-mile run, which was a remarkable achievement.


Related: Here’s What a 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z11 Costs Today

The 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11: A Need for Speed


1963Chevrolet_Impala_Z-11
Via: AutoEvolution

This car is known as RPO Impala which stands for Regular Production Option as mentioned earlier. It lives up to its name not only in terms of speed and performance, but also in terms of construction. For starters, racing cars are usually pretty simple. This is because these cars need to be fast, and the addition of a host of equipment makes it more difficult to achieve this crucial goal.

As a result, the 1963 Z-11 lacked a radio, heater and sound deadening material, as well as a front stabilizer bar. Additionally, many parts of an automobile that are normally constructed from steel have been replaced with aluminum.


1963 Chevy Impala Z-11, like most race cars, is extremely rare. It is the rarest Impala ever made, with only 57 vehicles built. Indeed, the RPO package added about $1,240 to the Impala’s MSRP, and while popular at the time, it was still a niche feature that not everyone would want. There are believed to be less than 50 of the 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11s still in existence today. Amazingly, the very first one ever made has survived.

But the Impala Z-11 wasn’t just about horsepower and torque. Many steel elements have been replaced by aluminum to make it a competitive drag racer. Lightweight materials were used for the fenders, bumpers, engine cover, supports, grille and reinforcements.

Chevrolet also removed the radio, heater, sound deadening material and front stabilizer bar from the vehicle. The result was a 300-pound weight loss over the standard Impala.

Interior and exterior design of the 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11


1963Chevrolet_Impala_Z-11
Via: StreetMuscle

According to Mecum, the 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 is believed to be the only one to retain its original transmission and interior. Unlike many cars of this era, it was never destroyed or rusted. Frank Sanders was the original owner and driver of this car, and he drove it to victory in the Limited Production class at the 1963 NHRA Winternationals. His winning record made him the first production-bodied car to exceed 120 mph, and it is perhaps the most successful “stock legal” car of the Z-11 era.


As previously stated, this car retains all of its original sheet metal, including lightweight components, heavy braking and differential parts. The factory-installed tachometer, bench seat, delete plates and floor change remain in place. The only change inside was the replacement of the carpet. Sanders’ innovative “line lock” braking mechanism is still used. S&S headers from Sanders, a company he owns, are installed under the hood. They are the only variant of the original state of the engine. The car’s paintwork alone is flawless, and the period lettering and well-documented document binder place it among the most original and correct Z-11 cars in existence.

The 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11: A Car That Ain’t Cheap

The 1963 Chevy Impala Z-11 is not a cheap car, as you might have imagined. It is considered a legend among vehicle fans, and it has a rich history, which explains its exorbitant price. The typical high retail price is $298,000. If you’re looking for one in good condition, expect to shell out an average of $162,200. However, for something less quality, you can expect to spend an average of $71,600

Sources: AutoEvolution, MotorTrend, MotoAuthority, ChevyHardcore


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