1962 Chevy Impala SS 409
The Beach Boys were singing about this car in their debut album, “Surfin’ Safari” (1962). They had instant credibility when they sang the lyrics to “409”—”Nothing can catch her, nothing can touch my 409.” Everyone believed that about the 1962 Chevy Impala SS 409. Giddy-up! Listen to the song here. In the above video, we get a great walk-around, even though by the sound it seems to me that 409 could use a tune-up. What do you think?
The body style of the 1962 Chevy has become classic. The top-of-the-line Impala first saw the light of day in 1958, but it was a vastly different car even though you could buy it with a 409 engine. The third generation car (1961-1964) shed the bulkiness of that 1958 model, and the squared-off look became very popular.
The 1962 model had many of the same design features as the 1961, but they were highly refined in 1962 and included a unique “convertible” styling. The roof looked like it could have been a convertible because of the way it was creased, but it was really a hardtop.
The 1963 model remained much the same, but in a styling move, Chevrolet dropped the belt line of the car. It was still very attractive and a popular car, but the 1962 model remains the quintessential Chevy. In 1964, the Impala got boxy again.
The SS Designation
Chevrolet began selling the Impala SS (Super Sport) package in 1961, but only 142 of them were manufactured with a 409.
That changed in 1962. The Impala SS designation became an appearance package for the hardtop coupe and convertibles only. Amazingly, you could get any engine in your Chevrolet Impala SS in 1962, including the basic Chevrolet 235-cubic-inch, 135 hp 6-cylinder. The Beach Boys didn’t sing about that one, and it is kind of freaky to think that anyone would order the Impala SS with so little grunt.
The Big Block 384 Gets New Life
The 1962 version of the 409 engine was an improved big block 384 which first appeared in Chevrolet trucks and high-end cars starting in 1958.
In 1962 the 409 produced 380 hp with a single four-barrel Carter. It produced 409 hp (one hp per cubic inch) with dual four-barrel Carters. The 348, 409, and later 427 cubic-inch engines were all in the same big-block family.
Market Price Then and Now
Chevrolet sold nearly 100,000 Impala SS models in 1972, including all engine and transmission combinations. About 15,000 of these cars had a 409 engine. They sold for about $3,000 each.
Today, a 1962 Chevy Impala SS hardtop coupe with a 409 and 4-speed will set you back from $50,000-$80,000, or even more for a great example, according to major auction sales figures. If you’re willing to settle for a ’62 Impala SS with a small block 327, you expect to pay $12,000 for an average one, but up to $20,000 or more for the pick of the litter.