HomeCar CultureMy Classic CarMy Classic Car: Sam’s 1961 Chevrolet Impala 409 coupe

My Classic Car: Sam’s 1961 Chevrolet Impala 409 coupe


Dad and Sam |Sam Mascia photo
Dad and Sam |Sam Mascia photo

In 1960 I was working at a Chevrolet dealership after school and looking forward to graduation, to going on summer vacation with my parents to visit my aunt in Illinois, and to trying to buy a new Impala Super Sport with the newly released 409 engine.

As we got there, we stopped at a used car lot where I saw a 1959 Chevy Biscyane with a 348 tri-power engine and a positraction rear for $1,900. I thought I could afford the payments. My Dad said let’s sleep on it.

Later, we came upon a Chevrolet dealership that had three 1961 Impalas sitting out with big signs that said “Sale.” The salesman came out and said they were special sale cars that were ordered with 409 engines but were not picked up so the customer lost his deposit and they were being sold at a reduced price.

I did not have enough for a down payment that would make my payments affordable. I said I would have go back and buy that 1959 Chevrolet the next day.

The next day my Dad left my aunt’s house early and I started to get a little mad. But after he’d been gone about four hours I heard a loud noise out front. It was my Dad. He had gone back to the dealer, given him the difference between what I had as a down payment and what it would take to make my payments affordable.

I had my 409!

Eventually, I sold the car to get married and raise a family. But 40 years later I came across another 1961, this one in Booneville Arkansas, that needed to be restored. Again, I just did not have the funds to do it.

My Dad found out about it and bought it for me (he did it again!). I restored the car and completed it two weeks before Dad died. I am so glad that he got to see the completed car.

Now, due to hard times, I sold that car to pay bills.  But maybe times will get better and my luck will change and I could be driving a 1961 Impala 409 Super Sport again.

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  1. I am interested to buy the 1961 Chevrolet and the 1956 Cadillac. Tell sellers to write me.
    Willing to trade off 1959 Chevrolet Belaire.

  2. have ’61 348 tri power 4 speed 2dht with 4K mi on frame off restoration done some
    20 years ago or so. A TBI has limited my activities and kept it storage all this

  3. Thanks for the story. Your Dad was great for helping you out. Always liked the 409 Chevys. My friend has a ’62 409/409 in storage on Long Island, NY. Hey, like your Motion t-shirt. I raced Joel Rosen in ’63 at Islip. We both had ’63 fuelie splitwindow Corvettes. Motion beat me and went on to beat a 413 Dodge (like the Beach Boys song) for “top eliminator.” I still have my ’63 Vette.

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