Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible

In the early 1960s, before the muscle car movement took hold, customers seeking performance from a full-sized car needed to look no further than the options list at their local Chevrolet dealership. Considered by many as the best motor ever to fulfill America’s need for speed was the legendary big-block Chevrolet 409. While there were other contenders for the crown in this breed of full-size cars, the 409 was simply the most awesome producer of horsepower seen up to that time.

One of the most popular purveyors of speed back then was the Chevrolet Impala convertible. With a base price around $3,275 in 1962, the “Super Sport” or “SS” package added another $53.80, which included the exterior badging, simulated machine-turned trim inserts, spinner-style wheel covers, interior grab handle and locking center console. To enhance this package, another $102.25 would get you the smart, matching vinyl front bucket seats finished in the color of your choice. So much for the cosmetics - what was really important was what was under the hood, and the 409 horsepower Turbo-Fire V8, with a displacement of 409 cubic inches and featuring a twin four-barrel carburetor and high-lift cam, solid lifters and a lightweight valve-train, was available for another $484. It was a sizable amount of money to be sure, but then, this was a very special engine.

Part of the RM Auctions in Monterey in August, 2009; Event for John Staluppi in December, 2012.

409 bhp, 409 cu. in. Turbo-Fire V8 engine, four-speed manual floor shift transmission, independent coil spring front suspension and live rear axle rear, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 119".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel; Teddy Pieper

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