Chevrolet Impala

 

This is a car which became a staple of the Corgi range from its introduction in 1959 and right through the next decade and beyond. It was a million plus seller for Corgi in the Police livery alone. The '59 Chevy Impala is one of my favourite cars of all time too. This car appeared for Corgi Toys as a Police cruiser, a Fire Chief car, a taxi and a civilian saloon in the original one-piece casting and then was re-made in a two-piece casting with a lot of vacuum plated plastic bright work and released in new versions of all four guises. The original '59 Chevy model was a finely made and very good model, re-making it with the new casting kept much of the good workmanship of the original and added flashy chrome detailing. The idea of splitting the casting horizontally and running a layer of vacuum plated plastic through the car combining front and rear trim, waistline trim and suspension was clever and neatly thought out. The only slightly odd decision was that of using a car from the previous decade. Why not a Ford Fairlane or some other contemporary sedan? However the '59 Impala is such a great design I don't suppose anyone minded it was old.

Not content with that there were the two dog vans (Kennel Club & Chipperfields). They certainly got their moneys worth out of the old Impala.

223  State Patrol

The car is always black with no major variations affecting value. The early one-piece casting Police Impala was made from 1959 to 1965. Early cars have turned hubs and later cars have spun hubs.

220 Civilian Version

This is the second appearance in the range of a car which was to be a staple of the Corgi range right through the next decade and into the Seventies. This being its first outing in civilian mode, the '59 Chevy Impala, one of my favourite cars of all time too. To me this is the quintessential American car and should I ever be rich enough to buy some US classics this will be first on the shopping list. I've never driven one or even ridden in one, I didn't even see a real one until I was 50, but it was just as fabulous in real life as I imagined. The one-piece casting, civilian version of the Impala was released in 1960 and replaced in 1965. You will see it in Delft Rose, Powder Blue and Metallic Red. Seats can be red or yellow and it can be found with spun or turned hubs. The Delft Rose version is the best priced of the three colours.

221 Taxi Cab

The first casting Chevrolet Impala Yellow Cab was released in June 1960. It is always yellow with turned or spun hubs fused to the axles. It remained in the range until being replaced by the two-piece casting in 1965. The 1965 version being two-tone red and yellow

439 Fire Chief

One of the many variants on the '59 Impala, this is the the first version of the Fire Chief car. Along with all the other '59 Impala variants the Fire Chief car was remodelled into the two-piece version with the plated plastic trim in 1965, this is the earlier one-piece casting. The car was released in January 1963 and deleted in 1965. You will see two variants to the model. In one the front-doors have a paper label covering the whole door, in the other both the other the front doors are painted white with a smaller label stuck over the top. This does not seem to affect value.

480 Taxi Cab

The updated Impala taxi was in the range for one year 1965/66, they are not too common. The spun hubs version especially will get a good price, somewhat less for cast hubs.

481 Police Patrol Car

The Police Patrol Car was released in this new casting in June 1965 and remained in the catalogue until 1969. It remains a popular model and values tend to be high. You will find it with both spun and cast hubs.

248 Civilian Version

The new version of the Impala in civilian trim was always tan with a white roof. It remained in the range for one year. It is not that easy to find and will tend to be one of the pricier Corgis.

482 Fire Chief

The second version of the Fire Chief car was released in 1965 and remained in the range until 1969. It is always red over white with a white 'FIRE CHIEF' decal on the bonnet. There are paper stickers on the doors which can be round or square, hubs can be spun or cast.

486 Kennel Service Wagon

This is a real funny one - right out of the fevered imagination of a Corgi designer trying to get the last bit of value out of a best selling casting that still had some life in it. It is a van, based on the '59 Chevy Impala - or if it was originally a pickup - the '59 Chevy El Camino, designed to carry - and display, dogs. The dogs come out and are usually lost, I've never done better than 3 from 4, I wonder if the 4th dog is the one on the sign? As a bit of fun it's grand especially with the flashing roof sign of a sausage dog, and as the '59 Impala is one of my favourite cars ever - it's a must-have. Its full name is 'Kennel Service Wagon with four dogs based on the Chevrolet Impala'. There are no listed variations, the colour is always white over red with cast spoked hubs, it was released in March 1967 and deleted in 1969, it is popular and always gets a good price.

511 Chipperfields Circus performing Poodles

Was it laziness or opportunism that Corgi were exhibiting when they had just one more go with the old '59 Impala? The base car is now 11 years old. This is 1970 remember and the car is a '59 Chevy, a lot has happened in automotive design in those years. And all that it took to produce this model was to combine three past successes, the Impala, the dog van and Chipperfields Circus. It stayed in the range for a year and sold 100,000 units, around 1/3rd the average. It wasn't just the poor quality of new releases which were signalling the end, it was flogging dead horses like this (or should I say dead dogs). However the short life and poor sales of this model mean that it is now scarce and worth good money. There are no listed variations but it should come with a figure of Mary Chipperfield and six plastic poodles.
 

Original Casting

       
Corgi Toys 223; Chevrolet Impala State Patrol (Early); Black, Spun Hubs Corgi Toys 220; Chevrolet Impala (Early); Delft Rose Pink Corgi Toys 220; Chevrolet Impala (Early); Powder Blue, Yellow Seats Corgi Toys 221; Chevrolet Impala Yellow Cab (Early); Yellow, Turned Hubs Corgi Toys 439; Chevrolet Impala Fire Chief
Corgi Toys 223; Chevrolet Impala State Patrol (Early); Black, Spun Hubs Corgi Toys 220; Chevrolet Impala (Early); Delft Rose Pink Corgi Toys 220; Chevrolet Impala (Early); Powder Blue, Yellow Seats Corgi Toys 221; Chevrolet Impala Yellow Cab (Early); Yellow, Turned Hubs Corgi Toys 439; Chevrolet Impala Fire Chief Car (Early); Fire Dept Labels

Two-Piece Casting

       
Corgi Toys 480; Chevrolet Impala Yellow Cab (Later); Yellow Red Lower Body & Roof, Spun Hubs Corgi Toys 481; Chevrolet Impala Police Patrol Car (Later); Cast Hubs Corgi Toys 248; Chevrolet Impala (Later); Tan With Cream Roof Corgi Toys 482; Chevrolet Impala Fire Chief; White, Red, Spun Hubs, Round Door Stickers Corgi Toys 482; Chevrolet Impala Fire Chief (Later); White, Red, Cast Wheels, Round Door Stickers
Corgi Toys 480; Chevrolet Impala Yellow Cab (Later); Yellow Red Lower Body & Roof, Spun Hubs Corgi Toys 481; Chevrolet Impala Police Patrol Car (Later); Cast Hubs Corgi Toys 248; Chevrolet Impala (Later); Tan With Cream Roof Corgi Toys 482; Chevrolet Impala Fire Chief (Later); White, Red, Spun Hubs, Round Door Stickers Corgi Toys 482; Chevrolet Impala Fire Chief (Later); White, Red, Cast Wheels, Round Door Stickers
Corgi Toys 486; Chevrolet Impala Kennel Service Wagon Corgi Toys 511; Chevrolet Impala Performing Poodles; Chipperfields Circus      
Corgi Toys 486; Chevrolet Impala Kennel Service Wagon Corgi Toys 511; Chevrolet Impala Performing Poodles; Chipperfields Circus      

 


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Last Edit: 25/06/2022 Page Added 22/05/2022