1980 Chevy Impala with one side-view mirror?

I have looked at potentially buying a 1980 Chevy Impala and it definitely is a relic of decades past. One feature stood out to me, the lack of a passenger-side view mirror. At first, I thought it was broken off or something, but it turns out that's how they were manufactured. I want to know what went on in at GM to make that design decision on the Impala for only one side-view mirror despite other cars at that time and previous years having two side-view mirrors.

7 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    Most older model American cars only had a driver's side rear view mirror.  Passenger side mirrors became standard only after all of the Japanese and European cars that had both mirrors started coming over here.  Buy two aftermarket mirrors if you like or keep the car authentic.

  • M.
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    1960s cars and earlier generally had only a driver's side mirror. Perhaps in the mid or late 1960s a passenger side mirror was offered as an option on sporty cars. Sometime after that, some cars began to have passenger side mirrors as standard equipment.  I know the 90s cars pretty much all had them but I'm wondering about the 80's cars. I just can't remember that well.

    An Impala, was always a family-type car, not a sporty-type car.  A Camaro became a sporty-type car early.  My 1970 Camaro RS had dual mirrors, but it was a Rally Sport.  My 1969 Chevelle SS had a single mirror, and that was a Super Sport.

  • 4 months ago

    It was not required by law at that time and it saved GM a few dollars. 

  • 4 months ago

    many older cars that mirror was an an option

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    From what I could research, both 1979 and 1980 Chevy Impala did not have a passenger side exterior mirror. The deluxe Caprice version had an electric remote controlled one. It may have been for product differentiation to sell more Caprice level. I do not know when the Federal requirement was put in place but when the inside rearview mirror does not meet a certain field of view minimum, the passenger side mirror is required. The 1979 and 1980 interior rear view mirror must have an especially wide field of view when combined with the rear and back side glass and car frame. 

    I may be just totally bogus on this as it is research only and speculation. The picture of the 1980 Impala does show a particularly long rear view mirror and squared off rear glass.

     

  • Scott
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    For many years a lot of cars only had a driver side mirror. 

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    It was NOT unusual then for cars to only have a driver side mirror.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.