Giddy Up 409: 1939 Chevrolet Coupe

1939-chevrolet-409-coupe

I’m sure we’ve all heard the classic Beach Boys’ song 409, in which they sing about going fast in their 409 V8 equipped car. While they never specify what kind of hot rod it is in the song, I imagine it was quite a bit like this ’39 Chevy Master Deluxe Business Coupe! At some point in its life, it was upgraded with the might 409, making it one heck of a hot rod! The seller believes it was built in ’62 and has been off the road since ’83. You can find this hot coupe here on eBay  in Waxahachie, Texas with a BIN of $14k.

1939-chevrolet-409-v8

And here is that 409! This engine was quite popular with hot rodders looking for serious big block power. Output ranged from 360 horsepower all the way up to 409 for 1962. It appears that this one is the 360 horse single carb version, but that’s more than penlty of power for a car this size!

1939-chevrolet-business-coupe

Whether you repaint it or just leave it looking rough, this would be one killer hot rod! With the T5 and disc brakes, it would be an enjoyable all around driver. So do you think this is the car that the Beach Boys were singing about?

Have something to sell? List it here on Barn Finds!

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. williamcleary

    Black Friday?

  2. Rex Rice

    The ’39 Chev coupe has wonderful styling. This one could do without the monster engine. A 6 cylinder GMC with mods would be perfect.

    1
    • Jim

      A nicely built and detailed 292 would be cool in this body style. I like using different engines and it would fit nicely without making it nose-heavy and also turn a ps pump and a/c compressor if you want.

  3. Todd

    just paint the rims red to match the pinstripe down the body and accent those Vette hubcaps and leave the rest alone.

    1
  4. Dave57210

    Given the lines about
    “my 4 speed, dual quad, positraction 409”,
    together with
    “! saved my pennies and I saved my dimes,
    before I knew it there would be a time,
    when I would buy a brand new 409”
    I suspect that the Beach Boys were singing about a “new at the time” Impala SS 409, not a “409 motor in an old body” hotrod.

    1
  5. Jay M

    Absolutely Bada$$. I love it. I toyed around with a 454 in my 38 but it was too tight and too heavy for what I wanted to achieve.

  6. Terry J

    The Beach Boys told us exactly what car it was: ” I saved my Pennies and I saved my Dimes …..so I could buy a brand new 409″. Since that song came out in the spring of ’62 ( I was an 8th grader car nut) it was a new 1962 409 they sang about. So there ya go. My friends older brother Gary bought a brand new red on red dual quad 4 speed 409 Impala in 1963. Man would that thing go, and he always drove fast. Scary fast. :-) Terry J

    1
  7. RicK

    I think the 409 is what really make this ’39, plus a 5 speed manual, how awesome, I’d just leave it the way it is, since all the upgrades are done already (esp like the Corvette hubcaps) anyhow I’d just have fun with it and smoke the tires whenever I could get away with it! I’d jump on it in a heartbeat if I had the extra coin!

  8. 68 custom

    I like the car and the 409 looks like it belongs there, however the T-5 is not up to the torque demands of a 409 and needs to be replaced.

    • Scot Douglas

      Tremec TKO500 or 600 has all the same mounting points / patterns and should bolt right in with no changes. :)

      1
  9. Don E

    This rings my bells. Reminds me of a rum running bootleggers legacy. A bit pricey I think, but a cool ride!

    1
  10. mike young

    A 265-283 would be fine. And the trans would also be happy. Put that 409 into another machine. I had a 348 in a flat-bottomed plywood boat. Ran great!

  11. JW454

    I would want to make sure I had enough brakes to support that 409. In ’39 this kind of horsepower was not what the brake designers had in mind. Otherwise, it would be fun.

    • M/K

      i swear the artical mentioned disc brakes

      1
  12. Harvey

    the Vette wheel covers and the whitewall tires make it look cheap and crappy. Otherwise I think its a great car!

    1
  13. Mark S Member

    Remember the VW van from the other day, that’s what’s going to happen to this car if the rust isn’t delt with now while it’s not that bad. I’d also sell the 409 to help finance the build. Body off frame rebuild with a 292 inline 6 with this same 5 speed and camero axle. It to bad it’s not a 1937 I think they were nicer

  14. jeff6599

    360 hp 409s were available only on a few late 1961 cars. 1962 versions had 380 hp (one 4 bbl) or 409 hp (two 4 bbl). 1963s had 400hp (one 4 bbl), 425 hp (two 4 bbl) or a low po hyd lifter 340 hp (one 4 bbl). 1965s had a 340 hp lo po 409 until the 396s were offered.

    • Rocco Member

      You left out the ’64’s. I was waiting to see what they had for HP with 2×4’s, since I raced one around ’71 (three times before he conceded) with my ’65 289 Mustang.

      • David Montanbeau

        1964-340-400-425hp

    • David Montanbeau

      65 also had the 400hp 409. I had one in 68.

      1
    • Rocco Member

      David M:
      Did the 400HP have 2×4’s, or just the 425HP?

  15. Terry J

    A hot rod I remember: Circa 1966, Dennis built a 409 powered ’29 Model A Tudor Sedan. He was from a neighboring (small) town so I don’t know any details about the build. Athena (Ore) has one main street. It’s only a few blocks long and as you pass the High School, you’re heading out of town.The game was to Idle through town and PUNCH IT just as you approach the school and don’t look back. That Ford lit’em up right on cue and engine screaming, rubber burning, gear banging, GONE. Just like that. I’ll never forget it. :-) Terry J

  16. Kent Pearson

    I agree with Dave: The Beach Boys were singing about a brand new Chevy. But I like this better and the black gives it a somewhat lethal look.

  17. Ck

    This is a very kool OLD SCHOOL HOT ROD . LEAVE IT THE WAY IT IS.The 409 is one of those engines that when the hood is popped ,every one’s eyes get big ,and this come out of their mouth. Is that a 409!!! This car has been a Hot Rod for 54 yrs.It needs to be preserved.Although the nice thing about hot rods is that is that they were ment to be improved or updated.If I were to buy this car I’d fix the things that need to be done to make the car enjoyable to drive .Nothing crazy .I’d be ok with painting the car,but I would take a ton of pictures to document how it looked. Then paint it the same way.I’d also be ok with changing the wheels .How aboot a set of chrome reverse rims? With or without baby moons? Or maybe some old gasser style magnesium rims.Or just pop the vette hub caps off paint the rims red to match the pin stripe and throw on a set of chevy 1962 doggy dishes .Huh now that ive fixed it up the way I want it in My Head,I want it in my barn.

  18. JaguarE

    My 1963 Impala SS409 had the single 4 barrel of 340 hp. I never saw a 360 hp ever.
    They also made a 409 hp and a 425 hp and then in 1963 Chevy came up with the Z11 that was a W engine in 427 ci and that puppy put out 500-600 hp and that was a drag race car with aluminum front fenders and hood to lighten the car and these cars although rare can be found on the Internet occasionally for sale. There was in 1962 an SS409 that won the National drag racing championship and that car was out of Harding, AR and the next year that car was out of Abilene, Texas under new ownership and it won again the nationals in 1963. I watched in 1963 as that car was being prepped. The man in Harding that year had bought a brand new 1963 Impala SS409 and he got beat by his old 1962 car in the 1963 nationals.

    • David Montanbeau

      61 had about 157 409-360HP
      62 had 409-380HP-409HP
      Hayden Proffitt won the Nationals in 62 with this car that we cloned in 1979. But we outfitted it with the rare Z11.

      • Rocco Member

        David:
        What is the difference between a Z-11, & a later BB427 matching the Z-11HP?
        Is the block configuration(409 style?), heads, cam, internals, etc. different? This is very interesting. Thanks, in advance, for your info.

  19. healeydays

    Sold – Sold – Sold

  20. RollerD

    “While they never specify what kind of hot rod it is”…I must respectfully state that the author of this sentence must know very little of early car culture and beach/surf songs.

    Great car.

    • Terry J

      Naw RollerD, He’s just young. If you were a teenager in the 60’s like me you listened to those songs on the radio,on the Juke Box and in your head every day. My wife Susan, actually went to the Beetles concert in Portland Ore in ’65. Who was also there? The Beach Boys! Her ticket was $4.
      In the 60s those incredible cars were actually driving around, some I only saw, some I rode in, a few I drove, but they were everywhere. What a time to be growing up! :-) Terry J

  21. Jim Reinhardt

    JEFF6599 has all the right 09 info except early 65’s still offered a solid lifter single 4V 400 hp motor although I’ve only seen 1 SS & 1 Belair post sedan with that option they did exist & both cars I’ve seen wete original #”s matching

  22. chad Member

    “Since that song came out in the spring of ’62 ( I was an 8th grader car nut) it was a new 1962 409 they sang about.”

    Y not go for broke w/the (1 yr) ’63 427 Impala?

    • 68custom

      The 63 with the 427 was the RPO- Z-11 it was a punched out 409 with lots of factory hipo internals. It also had aluminum hood front fenders both bumpers and other stuff I am forgetting.the Z-11 was built for racing! Chevy also stamped some aluminum parts for 62 but never installed them at the factory.

      • 68 custom

        oops stroked, not punched out!

  23. Terry J

    Never saw one Chad, but in ’63 everybody was talking about Junior Johnson’s NASCAR “Mystery engine” that was blowing everybody away in qualifying, but nobody had a clue what it was other than that it was not the W block 409. Of course that big secret was the 427 big block that replaced the 409. (396,402,427,454 plus truck versions). :-) Terry J

  24. Terry J

    Hi Rocco, That confusion has been around from the beginning primarily because GM engineers actually built a version of that 427 with 409 cu in to take advantage of the 409 W engines reputation. But the “Mystery” engine was not based on the old W engine. See…. their idea worked, confusing us 50 years later. :-) Terry J

  25. jeff6599

    From what you have already read here, there were two 427 motors in 1963. the first was the Z11 409 based 427 with 430 hp rating and used for drag racing. Looking under the hood proved nothing as it looked like any other 409.
    The second 427 motor was based upon the manufacturing tooling for the 409 to a limited extent. Boring equipment was already there for establishing the 409’s 4.84 inch bore centerlines. So the replacement mystery motor used those centerlines to enhance the changeover times and manufacturing economy of not having to purchase new boring lines. Remember, the 265/283/327 motors had already used their boring lines since 1955 at this point in time. When the time came for Chevrolet to seek new horsepower due to the limitations of the W design, there was only one limitation: the bore centers! Since NASCAR was such a significant application, it had to be a 427 sized motor to counter the 426 MoPars, 421 Ponchos and 427 Fords. So when one looked under the hood of those NASCAR racers, what engine they saw was a mystery; not recognizable to anyone. And not available to anyone on the street until a smaller bore version (396) with less power was made available for public consumption. Of course we haven’t gone into the mystery motor’s block deck being perpendicular to the bore centerline as most manufacturers did, as opposed to the W motor’s block deck being non perpendicular at something like 11 degrees.

    1
  26. 68 custom

    right you are! and that deck made a triangular shape that was the combustion chamber. I used to know this but I haven’t played with a 409 since the 80s.

  27. Terry J

    Great info Jeff and 68. The 348/409 didn’t have the combustion chamber in the heads, they were almost flat. Odd looking things. :-) Terry J

  28. Tim W

    I learn a lot just reading the comments! : ) Thanks Guys!! Oh,will there be a test on this later?

  29. jeff6599

    Right after the Chevrolet IQ test

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.