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409/4-Speed: 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible

By modern standards, the 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible is a big and heavy classic. However, buyers in that year could walk into their Chevrolet showroom and order their new toy with an engine providing performance potential to match the car’s good looks. The original owner of this SS chose to do that, and the next owner will reap the benefits. It presents beautifully for its age and is a rust-free classic ready for some top-down touring. The Impala is listed here on eBay in Bee Spring, Kentucky. Frantic bidding has pushed the price to $50,000, although that figure falls short of the reserve.

Chevrolet introduced the Third Generation Impala in 1961, with the new model marking a seismic shift in styling. Gone were the tailfins that looked like arched eyebrows, with the vehicle assuming a squarer and more purposeful appearance. Our feature car rolled off the line during the second year of production, which brought with it some minor cosmetic changes. It wears stunning Roman Red paint that shines beautifully. The seller supplies a great selection of photos, and identifying flaws with the paint or panels is virtually impossible. There are no dings, dents, scratches, or visible rust. The single underside shot reveals a similar story, although it is interesting to note the oil pan is pretty battered and bruised. That makes me wonder whether there was an unplanned off-road adventure at some point in this Impala’s life. The White soft-top is as impressive as the rest of the exterior, while the same is true of the trim and glass. The Convertible is a classy vehicle, making the spinner hubcaps and narrow whitewalls the perfect finishing touch to the exterior.

Depending on the depth of their pockets or the thickness of their wallet, 1962 Impala buyers faced an enormous choice of engines to power their new purchase. This beast’s original owner selected the 409ci V8, producing 380hp. Those ponies feed to the rear wheels via a four-speed T-10 manual transmission, while they elected not to order power assistance for the steering or brakes. At 3,900lbs, the Impala is relatively heavy. That makes its ability to storm the ¼ mile in 15.2 seconds before winding its way beyond 130mph particularly noteworthy. The seller doesn’t provide specific information on this car’s mechanical originality, but there are changes worth noting. That wonderful V8 sports an Edelbrock carburetor with an electric choke, while cooling duties fall to an electric fan. Someone gave the generator the old heave-ho in favor of an alternator, and the factory air cleaner made way for a chrome unit. The seller indicates the car runs and drives beautifully, and they supply this YouTube video supporting the claim. It provides a walk-around and allows us to hear that 409 running. It sounds as sweet as a nut, with only a slightly squeaking fan belt to spoil the perfect tune emanating from the engine bay.

If this Impala has a weak point, that honor may fall to the interior. It isn’t horrendous, but there are a couple of flaws the new owner may choose to address. The wheel sports a couple of cracks, and the lower outer edge of the driver’s seat has a small hole. There are excellent restoration kits available that may allow the new owner to return the wheel to a pristine state, and an upholsterer might apply a blind patch to the upholstery tear. I also note some peeling paint on the steering column. Otherwise, this interior is acceptable for a driver-grade car. It features a column-mounted tachometer and some aftermarket gauges to monitor the health of the brute under the hood. There are no other additions, and the factory AM radio occupies its rightful place in the spotless dash. It isn’t loaded with luxury features, but the bucket seats and console should make life comfortable on the road.

Classics like this 1962 Impala SS Convertible make a bold visual statement and harken back to an era when manufacturers believed there was no substitute for cubic inches in their search for vehicle performance. Today, it is possible to buy a new car offering better performance with a smaller and more fuel-efficient engine. However, those vehicles lack the charm and appeal of this Impala, and it is debatable whether any will attract the level of attention afforded to this classic when they have six decades under their belt. This Convertible isn’t perfect, but its overall condition guarantees it will turn head. I am not alone in my opinion, with forty-nine bids already submitted with time remaining on the auction. How high do you feel the price will climb before the hammer falls? More importantly, are you tempted to drop a bid or two on this beauty?


  1. Avatar photo Bee 🐝 utiful

    The oil pan looks as if it was used to jack the car up to me.

    These beauties back in the day were driven hard and some thought nothing about putting a jack under the pan to raise it up.

    She is a looker for sure !

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo gaspumpchas

    Wonder what the reserve is? Pay no mind to the amazing amount of bids- half are zero feedback, and many are fishing for the reserve. Beautiful short. Need to look it over well, obviously. Did some driveability upgrades but still has single master cyl and drum brake, plus armstrong steering. Good luck and happy bidding!

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Chuck Dickinson

      I believe that PS & PB were N/A on 409s in 62. Same w/Fords w/406s & 427s.

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Mark

    Good grief….
    ..a few days ago it was the Ford LTD being sold and now it’s the 62 Impala Convertible….once again folks, both these cars and numerous others are being sold by S & S Classics in BEE SPRING, KY. Might as well visit their site and get the jump on a vehicle as opposed to waiting for their cars to be posted here over a period of time.
    Any questions their site is sandsclassiccars.com. Site says you can contact “Steve” by calling 270-259-1491 or by e-mailing him at steve@sandsclassiccars.com

    Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Dkampen

    Obviously a clone car. No SUN tach sender on the drivers wheel well cover.
    Appears to be wrong radiator and fan shroud

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo scottymac

    You guys that were more aware than me (at 10), or maybe even were driving in ’62, can you tell me, did many 409s twist the back axle out of the chassis? And while I’m asking about W engines’ rumors, did a lot of 348s have bad cranks? Thanx!

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo al

      have driven many new 409s and own a 1958 Impala 348 never have known of any crank problems I was 17 years old in 1962 and in 1962 I was driving a 1956 Bel aire convertible nice car but it was a 6 cyl powerglide traded up to 1958 348 3 speed great car

      Like 3
  6. Avatar photo PRA4SNW

    No one cued the music yet? Very surprised…

    Anyway, this one ended at $52,300, Reserve Not Met.

    Like 0

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