HomeAutoHunterAutoHunter Spotlight: 409-Powered 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air

AutoHunter Spotlight: 409-Powered 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air

“Bubbletop” and four-speed for the win!


Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by, is this restored 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air “Bubbletop.” Powered by a 409 transplant and four-speed transmission, this two-door hardtop features manual steering and brakes, AM radio, capped exhaust dumps, and more. Painted dark blue over blue cloth and vinyl seats, this Bow Tie Bubbletop comes from the consigning dealer with a clear title.

During the frame-off restoration done 20 years ago, the Bel Air’s body was finished in the original Midnight Blue metallic lacquer (code 914), though it originally was a two-tone car. Blue Dots on all four taillights lend the Chevy a vintage look. Other exterior features include a front fender-mounted antenna, dual side-view mirrors, and a chrome spear that runs longitudinally on both sides.

A set of Midnight Blue steel wheels with chrome hubcaps is wrapped in Allstate 7.50-14 bias-ply tires.

The interior is furnished in blue vinyl and cloth upholstery (code 839). Whoever originally spec’d this Bel Air meant business due to the four-speed shifter and lack of power steering. Tunes come from an original AM radio.

The instrument panel consists of a 120-mph speedometer, factory column-mounted 7,000-rpm tachometer, and gauges for the water temperature and fuel level. An aftermarket set of gauges that includes oil pressure, water temperature, voltage, and engine vacuum is located under the dashboard.

The original powerplant for this Chevrolet was a 348 but now features a rebuilt, 1964-spec 409 with a four-barrel carburetor and cast-iron manifolds. Engine features include chrome valve cleaner and air cleaner housing. This car was originally equipped with a four-speed manual transmission.

The underside features an independent front suspension with solid rear-drive axle. The differential features 3.36 gears with Posi-Traction. Braking is managed by manual four-wheel drums. A dual exhaust system dumps fumes behind the rear wheels, plus this Bel Air features exhaust dumps behind the front wheels.

The auction for this restored 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air “Bubbletop” ends Tuesday, July 2, 2024 at 11:45 a.m. (PDT). 

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and a photo gallery

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in metropolitan Phoenix.


  1. Really nifty car. One comment I would make is that the column mounted tach is not factory, but it is for sure period correct. This thing brings back a lot of good memories.


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