1978 Chevrolet Impala Reviews

1978 Chevrolet Impala from North America

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission Don't Know
Previous carChevrolet Caprice

Summary:

This car is extremely reliable and dependable

Faults:

The doors on the bottom of both sides rusted out due to all of the rain over the years.

General Comments:

The car is in excellent condition. It starts when most cars don't. I really don't have too many negative things to say about the car.

Sad to say that I have to sell it in order to get a truck, because I have a baby on the way and I need a suitable vehicle for the family.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th March, 2009

1978 Chevrolet Impala 4 dr station wagon 350 cu in LM1 4BBL V8 from North America

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership1979
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 350 cu in LM1 4BBL V8 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired6500 miles
Most recent distance504000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Corvette

Summary:

As said, I like it and bought another one!

Faults:

The worst thing with the 350 engine was the thin wall heads. They started cracking around 50/60K miles and joined millions of their buddies stacked out behind automotive machine shops. Easy fix, tho, I used some earlier 882 (thick wall) heads and they ran until the valves and guides got tired. Cheaply rebuilt them. (Several times)

Rear axle 8.5in ring & pinion finally started to howl at around 300,000 miles even tho I was using synthetic lube. Shouldn't blame it because the car towed a lot. By this time, it wasn't what you'd really call a "Chick Magnet".

The worst interior item was the daggummed fuzzy headliner. Good for a couple of years and then the cheap foam behind the cloth would deterioate letting the cloth fall down. I've gotten pretty good at scraping and gluing in new headliners.

General Comments:

Since I can cheaply rebuild just about every system in the car, I still drive it around. Call it my old "Rat Wagon" It'll eventually devolve into a parts car since I recently picked up a really nice '79 Caprice Wagon. I'll fix up the Caprice, toughen up the drive line (coolers, shift kit, heavy U joints, etc, metallic brake pads. Already got a class 3 hitch mounted.

The 79's life with me is just beginning. I'm seriously considering buying a good "takeout" 5.3 litre from a wrecked late Chevy or GMC pickup or Suburban and sticking it in with a custom wiring harness along with an overdrive tranny. This will give much better mileage and power than the old 350.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2008

1978 Chevrolet Impala 4-door sedan 350 V8 from North America

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1978
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 350 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance450210 kilometres
Previous carToyota Cresta

Summary:

I am amazed that this North American made car is still running well after 30 years

Faults:

Camshaft replaced at 193000km.

Gas tank rusted out at 254000km.

Alternator replaced 449000km.

Headliner began falling off after 25 years of ownership.

Needed to overhaul rear brake cylinders at 440000Km.

Air conditioner compressor (A4) replaced at 392000Km.

General Comments:

The car still rides well after 30 salty Canadian winters.

No bodywork required when repainted in 1998. Still no rusting as of Feb/2008.

Pinging was removed in 1992 with the installation of an adjustable distributor vacuum modulator.

Original 4 barrel carb is still running well, with only a replacement power piston installed in 1991.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th February, 2008

12th Apr 2008, 16:35

I agree with this survey very much. Car very reliable and still a head turner after 30 years. Needed minor body work, and suspension work at 200000 km pretty good for another 30 year old Canadian Impala. Long live the box Chevy's.

18th Nov 2008, 01:58

Call me crazy, but I have a hard time believing that after 30 years of Canadian winters that this Impala doesn't have any rust on it.

/ I like those GM late 70's early 80's boats.

18th Nov 2008, 11:20

Why would you be so surprised that a North American car is still running after 30 years? The old V-8, rear wheel drive US cars were built bullet proof. I'm still driving my 1973 Dodge on a daily basis. They were built for hard service back then.

6th Mar 2014, 15:45

Update. The car has gone through 36 Canadian winters and is still going strong.

7th Mar 2014, 09:41

I buy gas and run mine through the car wash every time. And garage it. My car is older.

8th Mar 2014, 03:40

No surprise there, 305 and 350 GM engines are bulletproof. Just add oil and gasoline and you are good for 300-400k or more. My work truck fleet consists of all GM trucks with these engines, and they start every day, and never break down with over 300-400k on the clock. Very reliable machines; buying anything else is foolish.

I have also owned a few Caprices as personal cars; ultimate reliability and ride quality for a low cost.

20th Mar 2014, 18:17

Oh yes, now the car has no rust and has gone through 35 Canadian winters.

21st Mar 2014, 11:00

I have a 44 year old GM that now has zero rust and survived more winters in my garage. The paint costs over twice what the car costs new. So it's very possible to own a rust free car. It's called restoration.

24th Apr 2014, 20:11

Since I bought the car new in 1978, it has gone through 37 Canadian winters and has had no exterior restoration, with absolutely no body filler. Any rusting over the years was removed before it became a problem. I restored the interior in 2013 by replacing the headliner and repainting the interior, including the seats, trim and carpet.

Average review marks: 8.3 / 10, based on 8 reviews