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1 of 153: 1961 Chevrolet Impala SS

Chevrolet introduced the Super Sport (SS) in the middle of the 1961 model year and only assembled 453 copies. Of those, 153 were convertibles and the rest hardtops. The minimum engine was a 348 cubic inch V8 that could be had with a 4-speed manual. The seller goes into a lot of detail building a case that this convertible is one of those rare cars and that scarcity and its condition is driving the asking price. Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, you may have to hit the jackpot at a local casino to pick this one up here on eBay where the Buy It Now price is $200,000 (or you can make an offer).

These early Super Sports were as much about looks as they were about muscle. So, in a strategic move to improve sales, the looks part of the car was emphasized, but you could now order an SS with any Chevy engine and transmission combination. The result: Chevrolet built more than 99,000 of them in 1962. And by 1964, the car would be promoted to series status.

The seller has done his homework relative to the Super Sport and his own car. Based on this research, he believes he’s only the fourth owner of the automobile. This convertible wears its original Ermine White paint that looks flawless, although we’re told that a prior owner touched up a few tiny chips with hardly noticeable nail polish. The red stripes on the sides have been repainted and the chrome pieces all look proper. It’s unlikely that rust has never been a problem with this drop-top.

Once inside the Chevy, more original pieces are in play, except for the carpeting which has been replaced. And the steering wheel was repainted a few years ago. We’re told the “Roman Red” upholstery was “professionally brightened up” two decades ago, but exactly what does that mean? If all of this isn’t nice enough for you, the seller is throwing in a NOS interior kit.

While the engine is original to the car, it has been rebuilt, perhaps about 5,000 miles ago (the indicated mileage for the Impala). This looks like an auto that would start right up and take you anywhere you wanted to go. For a car in this price range, the seller’s listing is surprisingly void of really good photos and appears to spend most of its time in a single, cramped garage. More visuals would help position the vehicle for a serious collector rather than defending it for not being a fake.

Comments

  1. Will Fox

    The owner may have done some ‘homework’ on the car, but left out some important details. Which engine does this “SS” have, the 348 4bbl. or 360HP 409? Visually I’d say it’s just a 348. Of the 153 convertible “SS” models built, does he know where his fall in line numerically? (I don’t care but true “SS” buffs will want to know)
    And finally, how can they justify $200K asking price? I can see for a numbers-matching 409, but not a run-of-the-mill 348 of ANY flavor. He’s priced himself out of the market on this one.

    Like 34
    • gbvette62

      The listing says it has an “FL” code 348 (305 hp, solid lifter, single 4bbl, manual trans). He claims this version of the 348 was only available in the SS, but I’ve never heard that before.

      It’s a pretty car, nicely equipped, but as the seller says, the 61 SS is easily cloned. There are a couple minor details to look for on a “real” SS, but it’s actually almost impossible to tell a real one, from a good clone. Because of that, I would never be comfortable paying a premium for an SS, over any “regular” 61 Impala (especially not $200K), except maybe for a car with paperwork.

      Like 17
      • johnny

        If it is a clone and he is trying to pass it as a SS. He is committing a felony and the FBI does have a team. Just looking for fraud people. It is a nice looking car. For $200,000 it should start up and take you any where. The feds arrested a man in Ohio. Who tried to pass a clone 64 for a SS

        Like 1
  2. Ralph

    Back in 1972 my Grandpa bought the twin to this car. His had a 409 and 4 speed. He paid $200 bucks for it. Ran like a bat out of hell, and got about 8 mpg. Of course Gramps was almost 70 and not so great with a clutch by then. He was constantly doing burnouts with it, but not on purpose.
    Used it to commute 5 miles to his job as a university professor. When the first gas crisis hit no one wanted it. Ran good, looked good, but towed to the wrecking yard. He then bought a VW fastback. (more his speed) I sure do miss him. Sorry but 200K for this one is absurd. YMMV.

    Like 14
  3. Mike

    At that price he probably really don’t want to sell it unless some guy with more money than brains comes along, which sadly there seems to be a lot of those these days

    Like 13
    • BillB

      Yes, that’s a testing-the-waters price.

      Like 7
  4. Johnmloghry johnmloghry

    I don’t know why everybody puts down the 348, I once owned a 58 Impala 348 stick shift. drove it from Tacoma to Vancouver British Columbia a few times and that car sang to do believe me all the way. Anyway everybody has an opinion and that’s mine, nothing against the 409 cause she’s real fine. Now $200,000.00 is a bit ambitious. But a nicer convertible of this vintage may be hard to come by.
    God Bless America

    Like 9
    • johnny

      Yes the 348 was a good engine and ran pretty good. I had a friend had a dark green 58 Impala and it was a really sharp and powerful car. I agree with you Johnmloghry. It was a good motor.

      Like 1
  5. Euromoto Member

    “ It’s unlikely that rust has never been a problem with this drop-top.” Can’t say for certain, Russ, but that sounds a lot like a double-negative to me…

    Like 4
  6. Bob McK

    This sure is a fine example of a 61!

    Like 5
  7. Bing

    Wow! 200 Large? I’d buy a 67 Corvette coupe, 427, number 2 car and put the rest of the money in the bank…

    Like 6
  8. Al camino

    What’s up with the white firewall compared to the rest of the car?

    Like 3
    • gbvette62

      Seller says in the ad that the firewall’s been repainted. Considering how nice the rest of the car appears to be, they didn’t put much effort into matching the whites when they painted it.

      Like 3
  9. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Inflation seems to be hitting the hobby now. As if prices weren’t high enough to begin with. Welcome to Vegas!
    I haven’t seen this car around, but, the city has grown exponentially. And with the price of gas here, I’m not exactly just cruising around for fun. Haven’t been on the strip since forever. Gotta keep my eye out for this one.

    Like 1
  10. John Phillips

    I thought ’62 was the first year for the 409. I’d also heard that the ’61 SS package was available as a dealer add-on. That would mess with the production numbers.

    Like 1
    • ruxvette

      I had heard the ‘dealer add-on’ often. As I understand it the ‘package’ was a few SS emblems and may (or may not) have included some suspension parts. It could be had with any drivetrain from 6 on up.
      Just my recollection.

      Like 3
    • gbvette62

      There were 142 61’s built late in the year, with single 4bbl, 360 hp 409’s in them. They mainly went to racers.

      “Dyno” Don Nicholson had one of the first 409 engine’s, which he put in a white Impala 2 door hardtop (non SS), and won Super Stock with at the 61 Winter Nationals, as well as other NHRA races. Dan Strickler drag raced a Grumpy Jenkins tuned 61 409 powered Biscayne. Dan Gurney road raced a 61 409 in the British Saloon (stock car) series. 409 61’s were raced in NASCAR by I think Rex White and others.

      Supposedly, there was a dealer installed SS package available, but the factory built ones were only available with the 348 or 409, and only available on Impala’s (supposedly one 4 door SS may have been). The Super Sport option required PS, PB, HD springs & shocks, metallic brake linings, and 4 speed ones came with a steering column mounted tach. A dealer built one likely wouldn’t have all these same features.

      Like 4
      • Rex B Schaefer

        Get it straight***Dave Strickler!

        Like 0
      • Fernando Soto

        Nicholson used a 1962 409 with 409 hp in his 61 Impala he was one of the first to do so also it was a factory 4 speed duel quad

        Like 0
  11. James Martin

    What no ls swap? Funny how you don’t see as many in chevys as other makes. It is a beautiful car. And of course an ls would to me be a waste in this. But 200000 is the I don’t want to sell it honey price. But since everybody else is asking 3 times what there is worth why not?

    Like 4
  12. T. Mann Member

    Right colors,
    Right options,
    Fair price IF it is real.
    Does anyone else think, Poor Pictures…

    Like 8
  13. joe

    I had a 61 convertible in 1968, big, heavy and floated down the road. No thanks.

    Like 0
  14. John

    If we ever have to push a wheel barrow full of cash down to Walmart to buy a loaf of bread, you’ll wish you’d have bought this car so cheap! The way things are going anything could happen…

    Like 2
  15. Glenn Schwass Member

    I am confused about the steering wheel in this. I’ve seen diffetent ones but is this an Impala wheel? Would a Belair have a diffetent one?

    Like 0
    • Chuck Dickinson

      That is the 61 Impala wheel. Used only on Impalas and only in 61. BA and Biscaynes had a completely different wheel.

      Like 2
  16. Joe Haska

    Love the car, but all the comments make me a little nervous, even if I thought 200 grand was not a big deal. I really want a bubble top and I have seen those for 1/2 of the asking on this car. of course that’s twice what I can afford.

    Like 0
  17. stillrunners

    Haven’t we seen this car before ?

    Like 0
  18. wellington morton

    As the owner of a ’61 SS convertible, restored by Sterling in Wichita, Kansas with copious amounts of documentation I would sure like to know the VIN on this car. My car,S212396, with the 350 hp engine, was purchased by Therron L. Taylor at Don Judd Chevrolet in Hooker, Oklahoma on 4/17/61. It was traded back to the referenced Chevy dealer for a ’63 Impala and subsequently purchased by R.L. Daugherty from Hooker. All SS models came with black wheel rims, (and by the way, the SS option was available on all ’61 Impalas except the station wagon). I don’t see the heater hose bypass, mandatory on all 348 solid lifter engines. In addition, there was never a ‘dealer SS package’ although some dealers might have purchased emblems, etc. to enhance selling of their inventory. With these cars, all are accepted as guilty unless proven otherwise as they are the most cloned of all Chevrolet, ever. For 200K, I’d prefer to see the correct radiator cap!

    Like 7
    • T. Mann Member

      “All SS models came with black wheel rims”
      NOTE: the wheels on seller’s car are RED.

      Like 4
  19. T. Mann Member

    A fine statement: “For 200K, I’d prefer to see the correct radiator cap!”

    As the highest powered Chevelle manufactured in the model’s lifetime, the most cloned Chevrolet is the 450 horsepower 1970 Chevelle SS 454 LS6.

    Every car show has at least 4 red ones with perfect documentation!
    Just ask the owners…

    Like 6
  20. Gary

    If it was one of the 142 409 powered cars built in very late 1962 it maybe worth that but a 348 probably won’t bring 200k.

    Like 0
  21. George Mattar

    Wrong radiator cap. And no one who commented did not mention the seller cannot spell. Breaks and specks. Get a dictionary. If you want the facts on the 61 SS, read Terry Boyce’s excellent book, Chevrolet Super Sports. I bought it 1981. Long out of print.

    Like 3
    • T. Mann Member

      Great book.
      Bought one to read the 20 pages about the Chevelle
      Yes I have a 1970 Chevelle.
      Yes it IS a clone.

      Like 5
  22. JGeezer Member

    That last paragraph, “There is nothing stopping me from calling this 61 a Super Sport” sure sounds like he’s justifying a clone.

    Like 4
    • T. Mann Member

      Geezer, You Are So RIGHT…!

      Like 5
  23. AnthonyD

    So the owner is asking $200k? Is this a misprint? BTW, a car is worth what someone is willing to pay for it…NOT what someone is asking for it.

    Like 0

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