Impala/Bel Air taillights

Does anyone know why most Impalas from '58 to the mid-'70s have three taillights on each side, while the Bel Airs and Biscaynes only had two? I've heard a few lame answers, but no good "story behind the
story". ("The Bel Air was a cheaper model, so you paid for the extra taillights in buying the Impala.") I believe when the Caprice was introduced (in '65?) - those had three on each side as well.
...Although it DID make it easier to tell them apart when IDing the cars - heh.
John B.
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I thought it was just to distinguish between different models. I had a 1966 Caprice and I thought that was the introduction year. The '66 Chevy had one continuous tailight on each side, not separate lenses for each bulb.
****************************************** I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. ~ Thomas Jefferson ~
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The Caprice Custom Sedan was a 4-door hardtop introduced in mid-season 1965, and it became a series in 1966. Roy

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You answered your own question. If the Bel Air & Biscayne had 3 taillights it would look like an Impala / Caprice and there would be no distinction between the models. Bel Air & Biscayne were stripped out base models that lacked the chrome trim and plusher interior trim & options that were offered in Impala's and Caprices.
Impala's using 3 individual lights appered on the 58, the 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 69, 70, 71 ( ? ), and 73.
59, 66, 67, 72, 74 to 96 used a single taillight unit that was divided into 3 sections using 3 bulbs. I suspect 1971 was also one piece unit and the tailpanel covering the tailight unit made it look like three pieces.
Harryface ( Former 73 Impala owner )
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Guess I was looking for a more "glamorous" answer. I could understand maybe the first few years, but it became such a regular (and unique) detail on the cars. And it DOES make them easier to tell apart than a Fury and Belvedere or a LTD and a Galaxie. Interesting stuff!
John B.
On Tue, 9 Sep 2003 10:17:44 -0500 (CDT), snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Harry Face) wrote:

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Broog
The Impala was much better seller as you can see by some of these production figures.
63 Bel Air 354,100 63 Biscane 186,500 63 Impala 832,600
64 Bel Air 318,100 64 Biscayne 173,000 64 Impala 889,600
68 Bel Air 153,000 68 Biscayne 72,100 68 Impala 710,900 68 Caprice 115,000
70 Bel Air 75,000 70 Biscayne 35,300 70 Impala 495,909 70 Caprice 92,000
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE ~_~_~266,400 miles_~_~~_
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Would be nice if the current "designers" could find the flavor of the older stuff (rather than the current, LAME taillights that just look like round lights were 'retro-fitted' into an angular panel). Used to be that I looked forward to new model intro, to see what the Bow-tie boys had done --- 4 lights or 6, brushed chrome surrounds...... MAN, the current Impalas and Malibus are SO boring................ hope the new Malibu at least wakes me up a little.
Broog
The Impala was much better seller as you can see by some of these production figures.
63 Bel Air 354,100 63 Biscane 186,500 63 Impala 832,600
64 Bel Air 318,100 64 Biscayne 173,000 64 Impala 889,600
68 Bel Air 153,000 68 Biscayne 72,100 68 Impala 710,900 68 Caprice 115,000
70 Bel Air 75,000 70 Biscayne 35,300 70 Impala 495,909 70 Caprice 92,000
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE ~_~_~266,400 miles_~_~~_
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Everybody knew the cops bought the cheap models, I think Chevy did it as a youth market ploy, as you could always tell 6 lights = ok 4 lights = beware !
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