1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409Email Send Email
1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409Email Send Email
Model:Impala 1800 Series (V-8)
Body Type:
Engine:90-Degree V8, Twin, 4-BBL Carburetors
Exterior Color:Seamist Turquoise
Interior:Medium Turquoise Metallic
Transmission:Manual Shift, 4-Speed, Floor Mounted
Comment:Exact color & interior of 1st full size car I bought new in 1961


Original Base Price: $2704.00
Number Produced: 142 with 409 Engine
Wheelbase: 119-Inches
Track, Front: 60.3-Inches
Track, Rear: 569.3-Inches
Length: 209.3-Inches
Curb Weight: 3480-Pounds
Engine: 90-Degree V8
Displacement: 409cid
Compression Ratio: 11.25:1
BHP (Brake Horsepower)/Torque: 380@5800rpm/409 lbf·ft.@3600rpm
Carburetor: 4-BBL, Carter
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual
Differential: 12-Bolt with 3.55:1 (Posi-Traction was Optional)
Front Suspension: Independent Coil Springs
Rear Suspension: Coil Springs with Solid Rear Axle
Brakes: Hydraulic Drum, 4-Wheel
Front Brakes: 11-Inch, Drum
Rear Brakes: 11-Inch Drum
Ignition: Distributor and Coil
Battery: 12-Volt
Tire Size: 7.50 x 14
Fuel Capacity: 19-Gallons
Oil Capacity: 5-Quarts
Cooling System: Centrifugal Water Pump, 18-Quarts


The 1961 Impala SS ushered in the 409 engine. Known as the “W” Engine do to the unique shape of the valve covers, the 409 was introduced to help Chevrolet in NASCAR Competition. To be legal for competition Chevrolet was required to homologate a specific number of cars for consumer purchase. And any option that could help competition also had to be offered as a consumer option. The 1961 Impala was built on what was called the “X” Frame. It left little to no protection from side impacts, but was rigid and effective for racing competition. Henry had the “Dual-Quad” intake and carburetors installed, but they were not available until the 1962 model year. It was the Impala SS that inspired the Beach Boys song, “409”. Take a listen at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHRJCcCYAF4

If you examine the body lines and rear facia of this 1961 Impala SS you will notice the influence from modern day jets and rocketry during this period. Automobile manufacturers took their cues from the influences of the day. Jets and Rockets were the biggest thing going at the time. Everyone had “Space Fever”! And, of course, chrome was the thing! The more chrome, the better!