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Some cars are a household name, just like a celebrity might be. Some homes talk about Britney Spears; others namedrop the Chevy Impala. Chevrolet definitely made a name for the Impala, making it the brand’s flagship sedan for decades. The 1996 Chevy Impala had a particularly strong following, as the brand made some significant changes for the ’97 model. What made this government-seized sedan worth $53,750?

How the 1996 Chevy Impala became a classic

The 1996 Chevy Impala SS front end
1996 Chevy Impala | Apple Towing Co

The 1996 Chevy Impala had a lot going for it right off the production line. Chevrolet had already announced that the ’96 Impala would be the last sedan produced with rear-wheel drive. Automakers were switching to front-wheel drive with the new lineup, and the ’96 would be one of the final models before the switch. This made it instantly a classic in the eyes of many.

At that time, Chevrolet used its legendary LT1 engines in the sedan. This was a V8 known for power, reliability, and even fuel economy. You could find it in some other high-performance vehicles like the Camaro and the Corvette, but the Impala wasn’t really known as a performance vehicle at the time. An SS trim was available, known for increased performance.

To this day, collectors look for clean versions of the 1996 model and surrounding years. That’s precisely why this 1996 Chevy Impala put up for auction through the U.S. Marshalls went for a staggering $53,750 last month. It isn’t clear who owned the sedan before its seizure, but someone stored it properly for over 20 years.

Why is a 1996 Chevy Impala worth $53k?

1996 Chevy Impala SS back end
The 1996 Chevy Impala SS | Apple Towing Co

The Chevy Impala listed by Apple Towing Co. is actually in great shape. There doesn’t seem to be too much damage on the body from the photos. Perhaps the owner kept it in a garage or at least out of the elements. The headlights are actually clear and don’t appear to have any yellowing. But the real kicker here is that it only has 12 miles on the odometer. That’s right, more than 10 but less than 15 miles total! This Impala was a diamond in the rough.

It also appears this could be an SS model. Apple Towing included a photo of the VIN (1G1BL52P0TR122129), which pulls up a 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS (8 Cylinders P 5.7L MFI OHV 350 CID). According to GM, this is the 5.7L V8 small block LS1 engine or something along those lines (the paperwork says otherwise).

According to the paperwork left on the dashboard, this Impala was purchased on December 4, 1995. GM only produced the Impala SS in Arlington, Texas, from 1994 through 1996. The paperwork says Chevrolet built this fine example of an Impala SS in November 1995. It was an early example of a ’96 model. It also mentions that this version has the LT1 engine and all of the options except the solar windshield and block heater—a sign of the times.

This 12-mile Chevy Impala SS was a good deal

Pristine details on the sedan
Chevy Impala SS details | Apple Towing Co

This Chevy Impala SS is probably the lowest mileage example out there unless someone has it hidden away like this one might have been. Most of the 1996 Impalas on the market have between 50,000 and 100,000 miles on the odometer. Apple Towing sold this Impala SS in October to the highest bidder for $53,750.

This model was definitely a sleeper sedan and remains one today. If you were lucky enough to find this fine example on a government auction site, you deserve it. Any vehicle from the ’90s with only 12 miles on the odometer is of interest to people on the internet, and you know what they say. They just don’t make ’em like they used to.


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