NFT_04
1964 CHEVROLET IMPALA SS
Introducing the 4th entry of Blackhawk Collection’s exclusive line of original NFTs: a muscle car classic, cultural symbol of West Coast hip-hop and low-riding royalty – the 1964 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport.
NFT Information
Artist:
BradBuilds
Smart Contract:
EIP-721
Format:
MP4
Aspect:
Landscape (4K: 4096 PIXELS X 2160 PIXELS)
Length:
30 SECONDS
AN AMERICAN ICON
Model Information
Model:
Super Sport (30,000 originally manufactured)
Engine:
409 V8

The 1964 Chevrolet Impala is a rare breed. It is a quintessential West Coast American icon, universally beloved by virtually every cross-section and culture of America from muscle car enthusiasts, to west coast rappers and suburban dads. The six-four is simply and undeniably cool. You’d be hard pressed to find a car that has left bigger cultural tire tracks on the roads of America and the world. Today in the showroom we unpack the history and the legend that is the 1964 Impala and how it came to capture the hearts and minds of Americans across generations.

THE ANTELOPE IS BORN

The Chevy Impala debuted in the 1950’s, a time that many consider the golden age of American automobiles. It was a period of conservatism and unbridled consumerism spurred on by a flood of post-war optimism. In stark contrast to the socially conservative mood, cars pushed the limits of what was possible, progressively becoming more liberal in style and diversity. The decade oversaw the rise of competitive drag racing and NASCAR, and brought hot rods into mainstream culture. Particularly in the latter half of the decade, automobile designs reflected the dawn of the Space Age with rocket-like tailfins, aerodynamic bodies and futuristic fittings.

The Impala had rather simple beginnings as the luxury edition of an already existing line – the Chevrolet Bel Air. The series was born in 1958, the year General Motors celebrated its 50th anniversary. To commemorate half a century in the industry, GM decided to release a special luxury anniversary model of all the top selling full-size sedans of each brand under the company umbrella. Buick, Cadillac, Oldsmobile and Pontiac all got the anniversary treatment, and Chevy followed suit with the Chevrolet Bel Air Impala.

The 1958 Bel Air Impala diverged in many ways from the typical Chevys of its day. The first generation was built with an elongated X frame that allowed the passenger compartment to sit much lower to the ground. The swanky design had dual headlights, six taillights and curvaceous fins. Under the hood was a top of the line 348ci turbo thrust V8 that put out 250 horsepower.

Arriving just one year later, the second generation had a slimmer and more streamlined look that epitomized the Space Race inspired designs of the time. The 1959 Impalas had a “batwing” trunk, bold fins that flowed outward, and horizontally slanted “cat’s eyes” tail lights.The engine remained the same as the ‘58 model, but squeezed out an extra 70 horses, thanks to an improved compression ratio and three two-barrel carburetors. A trend that continued with each successive generation, Chevy slowly but surely beefed up the Impala with more muscle and speed.

THE SIX-FOUR

The third generation, which ran from 1961~1964, is widely regarded as the most iconic in the Impala’s long history. Departing from the flamboyant fins of the 50s, the Impala established its own brand identity with a more angular, polished and understated look. With each model year GM made small refinements, perfecting its new design philosophy for the 1960s. This generation was the first ever to come with the legendary Super Sport “SS'' badge which would become synonymous with American muscle. Referenced in the Beach Boys' 1962 hit song “409,” these performance vehicles offered a variety of engine options crowned by Chevy’s 409-cubic inch V8 engine, which, depending on preference, could put out between 340~425 horsepower. These SS models would go on to become the market leader of the muscle car era.

With each passing year, the SS models became more powerful and more desirable. The final edition of the third generation, the 1964 Impala was the pinnacle of all the early 60s design trends including a low belt line, long hood and rear deck, and razor-edge lines. The slick exterior was complimented by a color matched leather interior, two-spoke steering wheel and aluminum brushed trimmings. Wide, long and low, the ‘64 was the full realization of Chevy’s post-war, modern design language – the pinnacle of early 60s style.

THE KING OF LOWRIDERS

The trend toward more power and higher performance continued into the fourth generation, but in a cultural sense, the Impala reached its peak with the ‘64. Starting in the late 1940s on the West Coast, a cultural movement was rising in tandem alongside the muscle car movement – lowriding. Pioneered in Latino communities in the Los Angeles area, the movement was a bold statement against middle class ideas of wealth and status. With a motto of “low and slow”, lowriding was a peacockish display of lowered suspensions, Daytons, intricate and artistic paint jobs, and hydraulics that allowed cars to bounce and lean. The 1964 Impala became lowriding royalty due to its long, low and angular design that lent itself perfectly to the dropped and stanced style.

The 1964 Impala would rise to a whole new level of cool in the 1990s with the rise of West Coast hip-hop. On July 2nd 1964, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, and at the same time, Chevrolet was pushing to sell as many ‘64 Impalas as possible before the release of the completely redesigned ‘65s hit the market. As a consequence, the car was heavily featured in films and media of the time and became a symbol of wealth and status in urban black communities. Later on in the 1990s, when West Coast rappers like Eazy-E, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre began to rap about their ‘64 Impalas, the classic car’s image was revitalized and the nation was captivated once again.

Whether Chevrolet intended it or not, the 1964 Impala was the perfect storm that came along at just the right time. The six-four is many things at once – a prestigious and classic sedan, a pioneer in the muscle car movement, lowrider royalty and a staple of West Coast hip-hop style. Slick, smooth, low and wide, the 1964 Impala was a blend of all the right stuff. The ‘64 Impala became the canvas that Americans of all backgrounds and cultures could use to paint their own vision of cool.