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Old-School Gasser Style! 1963 Chevrolet Impala

Nostalgic gasser-style drag cars may be making a comeback, but this 1963 Chevrolet Impala in North Judson, Indiana gained its lightweight beam axle front suspension in 1966! The drag-style classic ran a 409 four-speed combination for a while, followed by a big block Chevy in the ’70s. Now the unpowered roller with a 409 short block comes for sale here on eBay. At least nine bidders have this old school Chevy’s market value above $5300.

Sometimes done for purely cosmetic and other reasons, the conversion to a van-style beam axle and leaf springs began as a way to save weight, and propping up the front end helped with weight transfer to the rear wheels for added traction. While some gasser-style rigs cruised to collect hair bows more than time slips, they make a visual statement in addition to their advantages on the 1320.

Though not always elevated at the rear, this car sported this stance and these five-slot mag wheels since the ’70s, as evidenced by pictures in the listing. Before coming for sale this Impala had its frame “cleaned and painted,” as per the seller. My Dad had one of these in College, though his had a stock suspension and factory 283 I believe.

Vintage photographs of the modified ride in earlier days are solid gold for the new owner. I would put it back to that look and never change a thing.

The seller planned to drop in this 1964 short block, a period-correct 409 cid (6.8L). The original cylinder heads are long gone, but high-power versions are available from the aftermarket. The short block’s been inspected and the listing states “everything looks good.” You be the judge. A bevy of new and original parts comes with the sale. Chevy’s 409 was the hot ticket for years, powering performance cars down the drag strip and around many a NASCAR oval track. Do you like this old-school gasser-style Chevy?


  1. Lee Wells

    Not sure if the van/pickup front axle would be a weight saver, but the left hand front spring looks like it’s not parallel to the frame. Also, with the back jacked up, it’s a moot point as far as weight transfer.

    Like 5
    • Randy

      Gasser’s are built for exhibition runs, not top speed. They are for “wheelies”, nothing more. You’d never see one like this matched up against a factory SS409 4 speed in the 1/4 mile. And I’m sure that the front suspension could use some straightening here and there.

      Like 0
  2. Rw

    I would classifie as cool to start with and street freak to finish

    Like 7
    • Neal Jacobsen

      I love it! I had 3 of these cars (stock only) when in high school.
      Great cars.

      Like 2
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Wasn’t too many years later that the drag guys found out a raised body and frame really didn’t do that much good and the aerodynamics hurt worse than leaving them at stock height. Our ’53 Studebaker coupes, slightly lowered, killed the high risers every time we went out. Nice to see race car history saved.

    Like 1
  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member


    Like 1
  5. ACZ

    I love it. This really brings back memories of what was cool in the 60s. Today’s technologies were not available then, but we made do.

    Like 5
  6. Robert Joseph Achtabowski

    I’m not old enough to say I had one in high school, but I sure wish I did. I’VE ALWAYS LOVED THIS CAR. I hope to iwn one one day.

    Like 2
  7. Robert Levins

    All this car needs is a crate – “ turbo powered 502ci/ 8 liter engine “. Just roar down the quarter mile! Hey, it’s ready for it! This beautiful gasser should continue as such! It would be fun. Be just like old times. No need for an expensive restoration just raw power. Well , for a few seconds there I got excited. I guess I’ll go back to my “pillow tufted “ lounge cruiser and watch the younger crowd take their turn! Great article!

    Like 1
  8. ?

    death trap ?

    Like 0
    • ACZ

      It’s a race car. Not something you take the kids to school in.

      Like 0
  9. Chris Cornetto

    59 to 64 Chevies is there anything better, to maybe. I love them and rode thru high-school in a 64 convertible. I also had a 63 4 door hardtop I should have kept as it was a 327/300, posi, power windows,seats, ac, pb, cruise, light dimmer, and even a factory tachometer and rear window defroster. Unless these were super nice, these cars were pennies thru the 80s and early 90s and grossly abundant. I am glad I kept my favorites considering the prices for rough junk today.

    Like 0

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