Q: Greg, what do you feel is a fair price for a 1960 Chevy Impala 2-door hardtop with a 348 Tri-Power V8? I am thinking of buying one and want your opinion on what a real nice one will cost. Thanks much and I enjoy your column. Ralph from Long Island, N.Y.
A: Ralph, for a really nice 1960 Impala with the 348 Tri-Power V8 engine, I’d say you're talking in the neighborhood of $55,000 for a numbers matching frame off restoration to maybe $30,000 for a fine running, “needs nothing original” in class A condition.
Of course, the price drops substantially for these cars as conditions deteriorate, but expect to pay at least $20,000 and up for something nice and driveable. These “bubble top” Impalas were beautiful machines, and today garner much interest and respect at car shows everywhere and at notable auctions like Mecum and Barrett-Jackson.
In checking the collector car prices, NADA Classic Car lists a 1960 Impala hardtop sport coupe with the 348 Tri-Power in “high retail” condition at $61,475 with the Tri-Power and a 4-speed transmission.
The average retail is $38,100 while low retail is $19,275. This isn’t bad for a car that retailed for $2,704 back in 1960, and is just $10,000 behind a 1960 Corvette convertible with the 2x4 270 horse engine. To add a disclaimer, always remember that published “book value” prices are subject to what the buyer and seller agree on as to a fair price.
Sometimes, the cars will sell for more than a listed price, other times, less. The economy also plays a role here, too, as in hard times prices usually drop.
If you buy one with an automatic transmission, knock $1,000 off the price. However, if it were me, I’d sure look for a 4-speed first as back then, the automatics weren’t as quick and the 4-speed is more in demand.
Good luck in your purchase endeavor, and if you buy please send us a photo so we can share with our readers.