Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Reno: 1962 Chevrolet Impala 409 re-creation

BJ_day1_1962ChevroletImpala409Re-CreationEditors note: This is the last in a 10-day series featuring cars to be sold August 6-8 at Barrett-Jacksons Reno auction.

When Chevrolet introduced the Super Sport package for the 1961 Impala, it ignited a battle between automakers to see who could bring people the most power. The SS’s 409-cid V8 was built to compete with Ford’s new 390 powerplant. Continue reading

Pick of the Week: 1958 Chevrolet Impala hardtop

The ’58 Impala was restored just 300 miles ago, the seller says
The ’58 Impala was restored just 300 miles ago, the seller says

The model year 1958 was a strange one for Detroit, with both General Motors and Ford introducing full-size cars that were essentially stylistic dead ends. And 1958 was the year that GM divisions really slathered on the chrome for top models; even Chevrolet Corvette featured a bunch of chrome flare. Continue reading

Pick of the Week: 1960 Chevrolet Impala ‘Bubble Top’

The 1960 Chevy Impala coupe boasts the desirable ‘bubble top’ roofline
The 1960 Chevy Impala coupe boasts the desirable ‘bubble top’ roofline

Chrome was king when Chevrolet rolled out its 1960 Impala, which was the slightly toned-down descendent of the flamboyant 1959 model. Still with its wide rear deck sporting the unique horizontal tailfin treatment, the ’60 models marked the end of General Motors’ most extravagant designs, and for many vintage-Chevy fans, it remains an enduring favorite.

For this Pick of the Week, we have a fully decked-out 1960 Impala Sports Coupe “Bubble Top,loaded up with gleaming trim and that elegantly sweeping roofline, with its enormous expanse of windshield and rear glass.

The fender skirts add nicely to the low, long styling cues
The fender skirts add nicely to the low, long styling cues

Advertised on by a seller in North Andover, Massachusetts, the gleaming red-over-white two-door has just 2,500 miles on its odometer since “an extensive, frame-off restoration,” the seller states.

“Overall, this is a stunning show car,” the seller says in the extensive description. “This 1960 Impala Sports Coupe is a southern car having come from Atlanta and is believed to have been owned by the same family from original purchase through September 2012.

“At that time, it was sold by the children of the original owner, after which the restoration began. The body, paint and interior were completed to exacting professional standards as was the fully rebuilt original engine.”

The engine is the correct 283-cid Power Pack Super Turbo Fire V8, which was used in the Corvettes of that era, linked with automatic transmission.

A chrome rocket roars across the Chevy's flanks
A chrome rocket roars across the Chevy’s flanks

Although restored to original, the Impala does have a few updates for improved drivability, according to the description, with more-modern power steering and front-end components for better handling and control. Under the hood, electronic ignition has been added inside the original housing, which the seller says could be converted easily back to the original ignition points if desired.

The Impala looks fabulous in its photos, with its extensive body accents and interior in fresh condition. All those acres of chrome and stainless are in excellent shape, according to the seller. And the fender skirts really set off the long horizontal form, adding to the sporting look of this head-turning cruiser.

It’s also nice to see one of these beauties in original configuration, sans custom wheels or other aftermarket embellishments.

The asking price is not cheap, at $48,500, but seems quite reasonable for this rare and apparently impeccable classic that’s certain to be a huge hit at your favorite car show.

My Classic Car: Don’s 1963 Chevrolet Impala

Only a photo and memories remain of the 409 | Don Fugate
Only a photo and memories remain of the 409 | Don Fugate

I was 18 working as a pump jockey. A guy that came into are service station had this car, a 1963 Chevrolet Impala, and I always loved it.

One day, he came in and was driving a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle. I asked about the 1963. He said it was for sale. It had a 409 and four-speed and would scream!

I asked my Dad if he would cosign a note to borrow $800 dollars. That was the sale price.

Today, as I write this, I miss this car like it was yesterday. Now, a decent Chevy with a 409 is big bucks.

— Don Fugate, Lexington KY

My Classic Car: Sam’s 1961 Chevrolet Impala 409 coupe

Dad and Sam |Sam Mascia photo
Dad and Sam |Sam Mascia photo

In 1960 I was working at a Chevrolet dealership after school and looking forward to graduation, to going on summer vacation with my parents to visit my aunt in Illinois, and to trying to buy a new Impala Super Sport with the newly released 409 engine.

As we got there, we stopped at a used car lot where I saw a 1959 Chevy Biscyane with a 348 tri-power engine and a positraction rear for $1,900. I thought I could afford the payments. My Dad said let’s sleep on it.

Later, we came upon a Chevrolet dealership that had three 1961 Impalas sitting out with big signs that said “Sale.” The salesman came out and said they were special sale cars that were ordered with 409 engines but were not picked up so the customer lost his deposit and they were being sold at a reduced price.

I did not have enough for a down payment that would make my payments affordable. I said I would have go back and buy that 1959 Chevrolet the next day.

The next day my Dad left my aunt’s house early and I started to get a little mad. But after he’d been gone about four hours I heard a loud noise out front. It was my Dad. He had gone back to the dealer, given him the difference between what I had as a down payment and what it would take to make my payments affordable.

I had my 409!

Eventually, I sold the car to get married and raise a family. But 40 years later I came across another 1961, this one in Booneville Arkansas, that needed to be restored. Again, I just did not have the funds to do it.

My Dad found out about it and bought it for me (he did it again!). I restored the car and completed it two weeks before Dad died. I am so glad that he got to see the completed car.

Now, due to hard times, I sold that car to pay bills.  But maybe times will get better and my luck will change and I could be driving a 1961 Impala 409 Super Sport again.