Back in the day, John Moss, the legendary GM-exec and creator of the venerable B-body based ’94-96 Impala SS, made a one-off, T56-equipped example that also featured plenty of engine upgrades and a smattering of chassis and braking bits?.
In fact, MotorWeek had a chance to sample the beast and put it through its paces. According to their Retro Review from back in 1995, not only was this rare Impala equipped with a T56 from an F-body, but its LT1 was outfitted with a balanced and blueprinted bottom-end, along with ported and polished heads and 2.5-inch dual exhaust system. The result? More power than a stock Corvette of the era–try 308hp and 334 lb-ft, up from the stock figures of 260hp and 330 lb-ft.
At the hands of the MotorWeek test drivers, they saw 0-60 in 6.0 seconds, a whole 2-seconds faster than a stock example they had previously tested. It also ran the quarter-mile in 14.7 at 98 mph, which is dang fast for a 4200-pound sedan. The B-bodies were never known for being svelte, but 4200-pounds for a car this big isn’t all that bad by modern standards, considering a fully-optioned ZL1 weighs almost as much. The current midsize musclecars from Mopar actually outweigh it. We can credit tons of electronic gizmos and MUCH safer crash worthiness for the added weight. But we digress.
We’ve always been a fan of the B-bodies, especially 9C1 (police-spec) models and of course, the Impala SS. As for this example, it sure would have been cool if Chevrolet offered such a beast from the factory. Then again, what would the take-rate have been? Maybe a couple hundred? Nonetheless, someday we’ll have to add one to our project car fleet, and thanks to all-time low affordability of these cars it’ll probably be sooner than later! For now, we’ll have to enjoy this Throwback video–honestly, turn it up during the acceleration testing, the LT1 sounds awesome!
Raised in a house of hotrods, classics and motorcycles, it only made sense that he would blend his love for writing and photography with his love for all things automotive. Armed with a degree in journalism and graphic design, he embarked on a journey into motorsports journalism and has worked for many magazines and Websites chronicling his love for the industry.