Four-Speed Manual, 409-powered, heavily optioned
1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409 Sports Coupe
Chassis no. 11837L176077
Once again Chevrolet came out with a totally redesigned full-size car with both bodywork and chassis completely changed. The 1950s were gone, and so were fins, baroque trim and fanciful panel shapes. The result was very clean and uncluttered, only the side flashes seemed held over from the past.
The specter of performance was raising its head, as it seems to at the start of each decade. This time the poster child was the "bubble-top" Impala Sport Coupe, which could be bought with the first dealer-installed Super Sport package. For a measly $55, the buyer got "SS" fender emblems, spinner hubcaps, tachometer reading to 7000rpm, dash pad, heavy duty shocks and brakes. It was usually ordered with the $43 power brakes and $75 power steering, which was a good idea if...you ordered the new monster 409 cubic-inch, big-block Turbo-Fire engine, which developed 360 horsepower at 5,800rpm and came standard with dual 4-barrel carburetors. Only 142 buyers ponied up the additional $484 for the big engine, while 453 buyers went for the SS package with a smaller mill.
Which makes the Lewis collection's '61 Impala SS 409 Coupe offered today a rare car. It's also a recent frame-off restoration in stunning Honduras Maroon with a cream flash along the side. It's powered by the 360-horsepower, 409 cubic-inch engine with dual 4-barrel carburetors driving through a 4-speed transmission and dual exhaust. This coupe is fitted with power brakes and power steering, and the engine compartment is immaculate.
The maroon paint is superb, the panel fit accurate, the rubber seals fresh and the glass recent. The gray and white vinyl interior is well fitted, with new carpeting. The car has the SS accessory tachometer, radio and clock. The chrome is excellent, the bumpers have bumper guards front and back with rubber caps in front, the grill is straight and new. The wheels have SS spinner caps and belted whitewall tires and there are twin antennas on the rear fenders. The odometer indicates 26,219 miles, which was undoubtedly covered in a very short period of time.
- Chassis number listed in the catlog is incorect, the correct number is 11837L170677.