1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409
The legendary Super Sport (SS) package has a place in muscle car history as an important model that promoted the concept of performance to the public. This was one of the first high-performance automobiles that relatively affordable and fast. Everything started when Chevrolet decided to transform its 409 truck engine to use in passenger cars. They found out that the unit was powerful and it could outrun all other cars on the road. Just by making some mild modifications to the engine, it could produce up to 409 HP.
Chevy’s changes to the 409 were enough to propel the Impala from a standstill to 60 mph in six seconds flat. At that time, that was Corvette territory. So, as a mid-year introduction, Chevrolet presented the SS package that featured bucket seats, a sports trim and other interesting details. It also came with the 348 V8 engine with 350 HP. However, the most popular option was the 409 V8 with up to 409 HP if customers chose the dual quad intake system.
Although Chevrolet sold over a million of its full-size models, they only made 456 Impala SS cars in 1961. However, only 142 of them came with the 409 engine. No one knows the exact number of Impala SS 409 Convertibles Chevy built. However, Chevrolet historians speculate they made around 45 of those immensely powerful open-top cruisers.
Interestingly, the 409 option was available for all Chevrolet full-size models in 1961, so it was possible to install this engine into plain-looking sedans and wagons. But, those cars have yet to surface. Today, as you may expect, the 1961 Impala SS 409 is one of the most valuable cars in Chevrolet’s muscle car history.