Sixty-Onederful Chevrolet Impala

Advertisement. Chevrolet. Nanaimo Daily News, 14 January 1961.

This stunning Impala bubble-top represents the best of 1960s cool with iconic triple tail lights and dual rear antennas:

Engine choices in ’61 included the 235 6-cylinder, 283 V-8 with either a 170-hp 2-barrel carb or a 230-hp 4-barrel, and a 348 with 250 to 350-hp. A Super Sport package was introduced in the winter of 1961 that marked the first appearance of the legendary 409 and, incredibly, it was done with very little fanfare. The newspapers from that time have just the barest mentions of the momentous occasion, and most did not even reference the 409. This one, for instance, uses the occasion to mention the Ford 390:

Farren, Dave. “Automotive Views.” Courier Post [Camden], 14 March 1961, p. 13.

It didn’t take long for speed enthusiasts to take notice, however. This ad was in the classified section of the L.A. Times, and it didn’t mince words:

I am not sure what “1961 International Track Record Champ” means, but I think it must refer to Don Nicholson’s surprise win with a 409-powered Impala at the 1961 NHRA Winternational (the inaugeral running of the race in Pomona, Calafornia).


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