‘Bubble-top’ 1962 Chevy 409

‘Bubble-top’ 1962 Chevy 409

The Pick of the Day is a Chevy that packs the big-block performance V8 that was the subject of a famous Beach Boys song

“Nothing can catch her/Nothing can touch my 409 (409, 409, 409, 409)”

How many songs were written that celebrated an engine displacement? I can’t think of any others, especially not in recent years. No odes to 5.7-liters or 2.0 turbos.

But the Beach Boys nailed it when in 1962 they sang, “She’s real fine, my 409.” Sheer poetry. It was also an anthem to the coming generations of muscle cars as the ’60s unfolded.

The slim roofline and huge rear window makes the ‘bubble-top’ designation

And here it is, the much-celebrated 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air 409 that serves as Pick of the Day. This is a real-deal 409 bubble-top coupe that has been fully restored, according to the Orange, California, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com. Confirming the lyrics of the song, it is indeed a “four-speed, dual-quad, posi-traction 409.”

“This is a stunning example of a correct 1962 Chevy Bel Air ‘bubble top’ 409,” the ad says. “This is a complete restoration on this correct date-coded dual-quad 409 motor and Saginaw 4-speed transmission with Hurst linkage mated to a limited slip differential with 3.36 gears.

The 409cid V8 in all its big-block glory

“Dual Carter AFB carburetion, aluminum intake manifold, forged crankshaft, solid lifters and lightweight valve train.”

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Chevy engineers pulled out all the stops when they designed the big-block performance engine, which cranked out 380 horsepower (conservatively estimated) in 1962 when equipped with dual carbs and other factory enhancements. This coupe also has received some additional touches, such as a performance exhaust system (although the original headers come with the car) and power front disc brakes, so you are able to stop at the next traffic light.

The simple interior with its four-speed shifter and tachometer

The Chevy looks strikingly original in the photos, from its Roman Red paint job and simple bench-seat interior to its dog dish hub caps mounted on paint-matched steel wheels. It appears to be a nicely presented period piece that the dealer calls, “a truly remarkable slice of Chevy performance history.”

The asking price of $78,500 seems fair considering the Chevy’s condition, not to mention its lofty position in automotive pop-culture history.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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5 Comments

  • Tony
    April 3, 2018, 6:19 AM

    Re: 62 bubble top 409
    Bob… interesting article. I bought a 63 409 new in 63. I have never seen a 62 bubble top. I thought the Bubble top was only mfg in 61. A friend had a 62 409 and the body was basically the same as my 63 except for the side molding. Also thought the 62 had 409HP. Could that 62 possibly be an early production before the roof design changed to resemble the 63 & 64. Thanks in advance. Great article.

    REPLY
    • John Drysdale@Tony
      April 3, 2018, 3:38 PM

      62’s definitely had bubble tops and I think 409 HP was the solid lifter dual quad.

      REPLY
    • Roy Goodin@Tony
      April 16, 2018, 2:56 PM

      The confusing pair that people don’t realize is that in 62′ they were Bel Aires not Impala’s.

      REPLY
      • CARL@Roy Goodin
        May 17, 2018, 6:04 PM

        MR. GOODIN, YOU NEED TO DO SOME RESEARCH. YOU MUST NOT HAVE LIVED IN THIS DECADE. CHEVY MADE IMPALAS,BELAIRS,AND BISCAYNES ALL IN BUBBLE TOPS.

        REPLY
  • Rob stone
    June 10, 2018, 4:36 AM

    remember seeing this same car at a car show in Philadelphia and drooling over it! Beautiful styling and those dog dish hubcaps look great on this car! Love the all red paint scheme & interior! A true classic!

    REPLY

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