Bubbletop Project: 1961 Chevrolet Impala

1961 Chevy Impala Bubbletop

I really can see why so many collectors want to own an Impala Bubbletop! These really are great looking cars. This one needs some work, but looks to be in fairly original condition and is packing the 348 V8! The seller doesn’t state exactly which version of the 348 it’s equipped with, other than that it’s a 4 barrel. These came equipped with anywhere from 250 all the way up to 350 horsepower from the 348. So this one could turn out to be one rocket of an Impala! Find it here on eBay in Fillmore, Utah with bidding at $12,300 and reserve met.

1961 Chevy Impala 348 Engine

This one definitely isn’t the top of the line 350 hp model, as that would have a 3×2 carb system. I’d be perfectly happy with the 340 horse 4 barrel though, simply from an easy of tuning standpoint! Even if this it only has 250 horsepower, I would be happy to cruise around in this Impala.

1961 Chevy Impala Frame

It of course will need work before it will be ready to hit the road. The seller claims the paint is all original. but admits there is rust that needs to be addressed. The underside doesn’t look too rough in the photos though, so that is a plus! It also is going to need interior work and some new tires, but those are all minor issues compared to the rust. To be honest, it looks to be solid where it matters most and should make for a fun project. So can any of you Impala experts figure out which version of the 348 this car is equipped with?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Robert

    Would love to see what Chip Foose could do with this

  2. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    I love the bubbletops, if I didn’t have a 61 Pontiac Catalina convert (but FS Clist P’cola) I would want a 61 Impala or Bel Air, I’d have to splurge and drop a 409 into it. Did you know the first Chevy SS was a 1961 Impala, the option was called Super Sport, although most drag race drivers and fans knew it came from S/S class of racing, Super Stock. 142 61 Impala SS came with a 409, out of a total made of only 453. I kick myself for not following up on a 61 Impala 2dr ht body in Hattiesburg, MS for $500 about a year ago, it didn’t sell fast. You could probably order a 409 without a SS option, but I don’t remember seeing one.

    • Rocco

      Chuck,
      Are you friends with Nick(black hat Nick) off Nine Mile Rd. by Gene’s Transmission in P’cola. I might know you.

    • 64 bonneville

      you could order the 409 without the super sport option. Have seen several Impala 4 door sedans with that set up, but were also fully loaded dealer demonstrator cars. Power steering, brakes, windows, seat, air conditioning etc. A/C was most likely dealer installed, remember that?

  3. John

    That looks like a Rochester 4bbl. If so, it’s a 250. That doesn’t mean much, though. All of the 348s were well underrated. They were powerful cars, even by today’s standards. And the 2 dr body was comparatively light in weight. They would eat rear tires. Remember, this was the immediate predecessor to the 409.

    But, I wonder why the motor appears to be so fresh. Maybe just cleaned up?

    Nice car.

  4. Gary K

    One of my all time favorite Chevy Impala’s. My father had one in the mid sixties two door hardtop 283 auto, white on blue, drove like a dream, sure would love to have that today. My brother had a rare 61 two door post Impala back about 15 years ago, sold it to finance another car project. He did not know how rare that was at the time.
    I like the vintage 348 in this but would prefer a nice 4 spd and the 3 deuce set up, talk about a nostalgic ride. Nice find here!

    • Rocco

      This was the last year for the cast iron Powerglide trans. Too bad it’s not at least a three speed.

      • mat

        I had a 63 bel air with the cast iron powerglide.
        As I recall, the six cylinder models still had it
        (air cooled) and the v8’s all had the aluminum
        with cooling lines.

      • Rocco

        Was this ’61 a V-8 or a six?
        A cast iron ‘glide is still a cast iron ‘glide. Not desirable with a big V-8.

  5. Ed P

    ’61 was the year Chevy cleaned up the 59-60 models. The X frame must have contributed to a smooth ride with all the flexing they were capable of. This one appears to have a lot of rust that is ready to poke thru. Go into this one with your eyes wide open.

  6. mark

    i have a 61 impala bubbletop sitting in (buried) in my shop it has been there for over 30 years , it has a 1963 409 425 horse power engine , and a muncie 4 speed roman red . would this be considered a barn find to you? haven’t started it in 25 years new 30 year old tires & crome wheels had a new interion in it new dual exhaust i’m going to have to dig it out someday i don’t think i want to sell it.

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