Engine Bay Photo-Chevrolet-Impala SS

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1961 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible 409 CI - 4 speed

Monterey 2013
Consignment # 5042
VIN:   11867J225713

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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale August 15th-17th at Russo and Steele's 13th Annual Monterey, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.

While Chevrolet was a strong contender in both drag racing and NASCAR during 1960, more power and added scope for further performance development was clearly necessary for continued success. When released, the new ‘409’ may have resembled its predecessor, the 348 “Super Turbo-Fire,” but it was in fact based upon a completely new cylinder-block design. A forged crank, high-strength connecting rods, forged pistons, 11.25:1 compression, and a six-quart oil pan, plus the heads from the 350-horsepower 348(slightly modified)formed the 409’s architecture for 1961. An entirely new camshaft and revised valvetrain, plus a new aluminum intake manifold mounting a Carter AFB carburetor rounded out the package, rated at 360 horsepower.

Announced on December 17, 1960, the new RPO 580 409 engine was introduced alongside the new Super Sport appearance option, marking an important day for Chevy fans everywhere. Production of the SS package and 409 motor followed in January 1961. Early 409s were earmarked for NASCAR teams first and drag racers were forced to wait for the new engines until after the Daytona ‘500’ was run. Top Chevy drag racers, including Dave Strickler, Bill Jenkins, and “Dyno” Don Nicholson built their reputations with the legendary 409 and quickly, it even became a pop-culture icon as the subject of the Beach Boys’ massive 1962 hit “409.”

The historic, four-speed 1961 Impala 409 SS is not only rare as one of only an estimated 453 first-year examples of the Impala SS originally built, it is even more so as one of an estimated 27 Impala SS Convertibles produced for 1961. Only 142 RPO 580 409 engines were built for 1961, and this car was originally equipped with one. Today, this car is the only all-correct, matching numbers example known to exist. It clearly clearly benefits from a total and correct rotisserie restoration to factory-original specifications that was just recently completed, resulting in what is likely the finest 1961 Impala SS 409 Convertible available anywhere. With its exceptional correctness and impeccable quality, it will make a fantastic addition to any fine collection of the most important factory-built muscle cars ever produced, with enduring collectability to boot. Simply put, this historic and rare first-year Impala SS 409 Convertible “ticks all the boxes” for collectability and as such, it will take place in any fine and carefully selected collection of the finest and most important American supercars ever produced.


• Underbody painted correct Red Oxide
• Original GM floor console, General Detroit part # 3789569, Original shifter
• Original hubcaps - no knockouts / new spinners
• Original tachometer, Sun 7,000-rpm, original EB-9A sending unit
• Correct matte finish & color of dash
• Correct paint coded springs & spiral shocks (date coded) front-9 D 60, rear 1 E 61
• All parts re-zinc plated as factory correct
• Original casting # 3795623 date coded engine block - B2361, Original oil pan
• Original casting # 3767579 aluminum intake, original GM carburetor # 3270S
• Original dual-point distributor, 1110919, date # 1 A 25
• Original water pump cast #3755737, date B361
• Original exhaust manifolds L.H.3767583 , R.H.3767584
• Original Borg-Warner all aluminum T10-1C main case stamped WD61-2, side case 2-9-61,
tailhousing T10-7B 1-21-61
• Original aluminum bellhousing GM #3779553, Original Posi unit GM#3789812, date C211
• Original 14"x 6" rims, correct Red Oxide inside,
correct exact reproduction 1" whitewall tires (5), original windshield