The 1959 Chevrolet Impala was radically reworked sharing bodyshells with
lower-end Buicks and Oldsmobile's as well as with Pontiac, part of a GM
economy move, Chevrolets rode a wheelbase 1 1/2 inches longer than
before. Atop a new X-frame chassis, roofs sat three inches lower, and
bodies measured more than two inches wider overall. The growing size
contributed to increased curb weight, one more trend of the times. Its
tailfins protruded outward rather than upward. Auto tester Tom McCahill,
of Mechanic Illustrated, declared that a Chevy's decklid had "enough
room to land a Piper Cub." Chevrolet eschewed the triple-taillight rear
style this year with a very large, single controversial "teardrop"
taillight at each side.