Fully Restored 1963 Impala 409/400 Four-Speed – Your Ticket to a Classic Ride! -334

The Impala debuted as a trim level for the 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air and leveled up to a standalone model in the following year. In 1961, the SS package broke ground, hand in hand with the fabled 409-cubic-incher (6.7-liter) eight-cylinder big-block. While short-lived, the iconic motor left a performance legacy, especially when coupled with the SS badge.


In 1963, the Impala received the superweapon optional upgrade with the Z-11 RPO code, a 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) V8 from hell, a dragstrip-ready package. Officially rated at 430 hp, the engine was rumored to be around (if not above) the 500-hp mark. Sadly, GM pulled the plug on racing at the beginning of 1963 after just 57 Z-11s were assembled.

The motor was a high-performance derivative of the 409, and when it was decommissioned, the best street weapon left in the full-size Chevy arsenal was the dual-quad 409-CID V8, good for 425 hp. Yes, the number sounds eerily familiar to another Detroit superstar, the 426 Street Hemi-god, but it was to come only two years later.

In fact, in terms of muscle car presence, there was nothing in 1963 that could claim the crown simply because the spark hadn’t been lit. At the end of that year, the Pontiac Tempest Le Mans GTO would officially drop the green flag for the horsepower arms race. (Even so, the majestic Pontiac was a 1964 model year, and it’s clearly off the charts).

1963 had the famous Buick Wildcat as a sporty alternative. However, big engines rolled hand in hand with full-sized automobiles – John DeLorean and his wrench wizards were still playing with the idea of a powerful engine in a medium-sized body. And, by the way, that big engine was also borrowed from a full-size Pontiac.

The 409 in the Impala was a handful, especially in the high-power variants, the aforementioned 425-hp twin-four-barrel, and its less barbaric smaller brother. This single four-throated version fired ‘only’ 400 hp.

For one reason or another, the 409 was kept in production until the end of 1965, when the legendary 396 V8 replaced the 6.5-liter Chevy big-block with a brawny reputation. Coincidence or not, the mid-sixties were the best production years for the Impala, with the model crossing the one-million-unit mark twice in a row (’64 and ’65).

Between 1961 and 1965, Chevrolet assembled over 11 million vehicles, four million of which were Impalas. Yet, less than 44,000 Chevys came with a 409 big-block in them during the same period. One of those is a very red, very restored, very good-looking, and very for sale 1963 Chevrolet Impala Coupe. It is a relic from the 409’s best year ever when the famous V8 found nearly 17,000 Chevy hosts.

Currently located in Phoenix, Arizona, the car claims 31,500 miles ( 50,684 km – take this with the TMU precautionary grain of salt). The owner says the rotisserie resto was performed less than 1,000 miles ago (1,610 km) but doesn’t give a definitive time frame for when the project was completed.


The 409 was rebuilt –the selling ad doesn’t say anything about it being the original plant – and it is praised as able to go anywhere anytime. The car has a four-speed manual (the originality amendment is valid for the transmission, too) and relies on a new heavy-duty clutch to send those 400-hp to the rear.

Some work has been done on the interior, too (carpet, headliner, radio), and the mechanical rejuvenation includes a new fuel pump, fresh brake lines, and a replaced fuel tank. The chrome air cleaner and valve covers are recent add-ons, and new stainless-steel exhausts are mounted on the original ram horn manifold. Lastly, the seller mentions that the original wheels have been replaced with chromed Cragars shod with bias ply redline tires.


This meticulously rebuilt 1963 Chevrolet Impala is asking just shy of $66,000 – but note that just over five weeks ago, the highest bid for this car was $35,000 (which didn’t meet the owner’s demand).

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