DREAMCARS Mount Dora, Fla. (352) 385-1945
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CHEVROLET IMPALA 'SUPER SPORT' CONVERTIBLE
BY 1961, CHEVROLET
WAS NOT JUST SATISFIED WITH SELLING 1,204,719 CHEVROLETS in 1961. THEY
DECIDED TO 'FINE TUNE' THEIR PERFORMANCE IMAGE AND BOOST SALES FURTHER
OFFERING A "SUPER SPORT" PACKAGE . THE "SS"
PACKAGE WAS REVEALED LATE IN THE MODEL YEAR INITIALLY, AS A WAY
OF INTRODUCING SHOWROOM CUSTOMERS TO THE "ALL NEW"
ENTRY...A 409 ENGINE OPTION. THE 409 WAS BASICALLY A
BORED OUT 348 CUBIC INCH V8 BUT, IT QUICKLY BECAME KNOWN AS "THE
ENGINE DESIGNED FOR DRAG RACING AND
STOCK CAR RACING".
AFTER ONLY 142 ENGINES WERE ISSUED PRODUCTION PROBLEMS WITH
THE HEADS WARPING HALTED THE 409 OPTION UNTIL 1962 SO, MOST OF THE "SS
WERE NOT EQUIPPED AS 409'S. AS IT IS, ONLY
453 '61 SUPER SPORT CHEVROLET'S WERE
EVER BUILT ONLY A HANDFUL WERE CONVERTIBLES.
THE DEALER ORDERED
'KIT' COULD BE FACTORY OR, DEALER INSTALLED BUT, IT REQUIRED AT
THE BARE MINUMUM, AT LEAST A 348 CUBIC INCH MOTOR. THE FACTORY
CONFIRMS THE 2-SPEED POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC TRANNIE WAS OFFERED BUT, VERY FEW WERE
THE SUPER SPORT PACKAGE REQUIRED SS I.D. PLATES, HEAVY DUTY
SPRINGS, SHOCKS, POWER STEERING , BLACK WHEELS (iNSTEAD OF BODY COLOR) & SINTERED METALLIC BRAKES.
LET'S NOT FORGET, THOSE GORGEOUS SPINNER HUBCAPS, DASH 'GRAB BAR', PADDED DASH, 7,000 R.P.M. STEERING COLUMN MOUNTED TACH AND NARROW WHITEWALL
ONLY CHARGED A PALTRY $63.10 FOR THE "SS PACKAGE" BUT,
THE 'OPTIONS REQUIRED' HAD THE CAR 'STICKER OUT' AT
$4,000, WHICH WAS MORE THAN THE BASE STICKER FOR A
NEW CORVETTE !
THIS CAR IS FINISHED IN 'JEWEL BLUE' W/ MATCHING 2-TONE INTERIOR, WHITE SIDE SPEAR AND WHITE SOFT TOP. SHE ALSO HAS FACTORY FRONT & REAR BUMPER
GUARDS WITH REMOTE
HOOD OPENER, DUAL MIRRORS, THE CORRECT BLACK WHEELS, OPTINAL REAR ANTENNA,
THE ORIGINAL PUSHBUTTON 'CHEVY' AM RADIO AND WIDE WHITEWALLS.
IT HAS THE MATCHING NUMBER MOTOR, TRANMSISSION, REAR AND
IT'S THE ORIGINAL COLOR COMBINATION. LOADED WITH THE 'SOLID LIFTER' 348 /
4V CARB, AND 4-SPEED GEARBOX.....
IT HAS 32,000 ORIGINAL MILES PLUS, IT'S ORIGINAL SHOWROOM BROCHURE AND MANUAL.
HER OFF THE SHOW FIELD AT THE A.A.C.A. CAR SHOW , HERSHEY, PA. IN 1996. IT'S BEEN SHOWN LOCALLY
BUT, PRIMARILY IN STAGNANT DISPLAY IN
MUSEUM SINCE 1996. THIS CAR IS A STUNNING BEAUTY. A GO FIND
OFFERS AROUND $126,000 'CONSIDERED'
SORRY, MUSEUM DISPLAY ITEMS
INCLUDING; 45RPM RECORD PLAYER, DRIVE-IN TRAYS WITH IMPLEMENTS, D-CUP BRA
RARE REMINGTON SHAVER ARE NOT INCLUDED.
Cuban right-wing exiles, trained by the CIA, fumble an attempt
to take over Cuba in the Bay of Pigs Invasion, 300 "Freedom
Riders" risked death by riding a bus from Washington, DC
to Birmingham Ala. to display 'the cause' of segregation, Audrey
Hepburn made her screen debut in the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's",
Judy Garland played Carnagie Hall, Eddie Murphy & Dan Marino
were born while, Earnest Hemmingway and Gary Cooper ( actor) died.
It all happened in 1961.
The first Super
Sport is seen by many as the PUREST big Chevy muscle car ever
built. The 1961 Impala was downsized that year and this added
up to a small vehicle with a very large engine. Even with it's
base engine V8 at 283 cubic inches, the '61 Chevy was viewed as
a "barn burner". Once Chevrolet added the 409/360 H.P.
late in the year, it was not uncommon to see 7.8 sec 0-60 and
15.8 sec. quarter mile runs. The 348 wasn't far behind in performance.Chevrolet targeted
customers who (quote) "like sports car flair teamed with
big car elegance." This advertising babble started the Super
Sport 'phenomenon' which continued for the next 35 + years. Incredible
as it may seem, the new Super Sport option could be ordered on
an Impala convertible, two-door hardtop, two-door sedan and even
a four door sedan. But in reality, most were ordered in two-door
Sport coupes. All the buyer had to do was check-off the 'tick'
marked "SS" and for $63.10 one got a bargain by any
man's standards. Of course, the engine cost a bit more. V8's ran
between $344 and $500. A
recent factoid just uncovered:
in order to order the 'Super Sport Package', it was mandatory you also order a Padded Dash, Narrow Wall Whitewalls( Black- Only-Wheels),
Sintered Metallic Brakes, Positraction, Four-Speed ( Or Powerglide
w/ the 348/305 only) and a Column-Mounted 7,000 r.p.m.
Sun Tachometer. In effect, this drove the 'new' Super Sport to
over $4,100, which was more than a new Vette. Hence, another reason the low build.
Engines varied from
the small horse 348/305 4V hydraulic lifter motor to the 348/280
Tri-Power to the solid lifter Special Turbo Thrust V8 version
with 11:25:1 compression and 340 H.P. (4V). The lone 409 option
pushed out 360 H.P. Although only
142 were ever offered
due to production problems with the heads warping. The Four Speed
gearbox was $188 and you automatically got a Special Shifter plate,
mounted on the floor ( there was no special chrome console with
the column shift automatic) . Chevy experts claim the 1961 Impala
SS is the hardest to restore as original SS name
plates, dash grab bar and floor shift plate are damn near impossible
to find. This car is seen as the ultimate collectible as it is
the first of the series that didn't end until 1996, when Chevy
folded it's tent on the Super Sport nomenclature.
If the 1961 Super Sports
were virtually unknown, the opposite was true of the 1962 version
that followed. Over 99,000 1962 'Super Sports' were sold making
this earlier edition the Most Rare. Our car was born in Farmington,
Mass. and was reported to be garaged 'all it's life'. All the Body Panels are original. This beautiful Impala
is a piece of Muscle Car History.