Original 409: 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible

This 1964 Impala SS Convertible has had three owners, and the second one appears to have been a man with a vision. He owned the car for 55-years, and it received an engine change early in its life. As you will see, this isn’t bad news and is something that will be a significant benefit to the person who buys this classic. The Impala is located in Peculiar, Missouri, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $45,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

The SS is a stunning looking vehicle. It received a repaint in its original Palomar Red many years ago, and this has survived beautifully. The paint still holds an impressive shine, while the panels are as straight as an arrow. There are no visible signs of external rust, and the owner makes no mention of any issues below the surface. He supplies photos of the trunk, and this is in as-new condition. The Impala features a power top, and there are no signs of any problems with this. The windshield has been replaced at some point, but the remaining glass is both original and in good condition. The exterior trim and chrome appear to be flawless, and the overall impression is that this is a classic that is ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately.

The interior of the Impala is nearly as impressive as the exterior, and it has no immediate needs. There is some wear to the outer edge of the driver’s seat, the top of the console armrest is warped, and I think that there might be a small crack in the dash pad. All of these problems should be easy to address, but finding a replacement armrest for the console could be the biggest challenge. If the pad is cracked, then that would be the one item that I would fix before it had a chance to deteriorate further. The remaining trim and carpet is original and is in excellent condition for a classic of this age. There is a cluster of gauges hanging under the dash, and these would help to monitor the general health of things under the hood. The SS comes equipped with a factory AM/FM radio, which is said to work, along with the original tach.

Technically speaking, the Impala is not a numbers-matching car. However, this isn’t all bad news. The engine bay houses a 409ci V8 of 1965 vintage, which should pump out 400hp. Backing this is the original 4-speed manual transmission, while power steering is also part of the package. The original carburetors, complete with tags, are bolted to this engine. There is also a set of headers, which should help the engine to breathe better. The presentation under the hood is immaculate, and that only tells part of the story. The owner states that the car runs and drives well, which is no real surprise. Included in the sale is a significant collection of documentation, including the Owner’s Manual and other paperwork.

Also included in the sale is the original 409ci V8, which has a bit of a story to it. When the second owner purchased the vehicle, it had a mere 1,400 miles showing on its odometer. When the car had accumulated 20,000 miles, he chose to pull the engine and fit the replacement 409. He didn’t do this because there were any mechanical issues. He decided to follow this path to preserve the original motor for the future. That is a pretty shrewd move and means that it shouldn’t take a lot of work to reinstate this vehicle’s numbers-matching status. This engine is the 425hp unit, which blessed the Impala with some outstanding levels of performance. With this engine back under the hood, the SS should be capable of despatching the ¼ mile in around 14.7 seconds. The buyer of the car might choose not to rush the swap back to the original engine. The car has covered a genuine 72,000 miles. That means that the current engine has only clocked 52,000 miles since it was fitted. There should be plenty of life still left in that 409.

This 1964 Impala SS Convertible represents a relatively rare opportunity for its next lucky owner. It appears that it has spent the majority of its life in the care of a fastidious owner. To replace the original engine to protect the integrity of the vehicle for the future is going above and beyond what you would generally expect to see with a classic car. It would also help to explain why it has generated a significant amount of interest since it was listed for sale. It means that the buyer will face an interesting decision. They could choose to reinstate the original engine, or they could leave things untouched and enjoy the vehicle unchanged. Which way would you go?

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  1. Moparman Member

    All this car needs is a set of whitewall tires to make it really pop! Black walls were the province of low spec/economy vehicles. GLWTA!! :-)

    Like 17
    • Skorzeny


      Like 2
    • JoeNYWF64

      Were is right. Look at the tires & prices of “cars” today.

  2. dirtyharry

    Since you get 2 motors, that is a license to kill at least one of them. I bet it feels very strong despite the size and weight. Great find!

    Like 9
  3. 370zpp

    Super nice car. Interesting choice the owner made way back when.

    Imagine doing that today with a contemporary car, say like a Hellcat Challenger, removing the engine and replacing it with another in order to save the original? Hmmm.

    Like 5
    • Dave

      You could..it’s only cubic dollars. Replacing that puny 392 with a 426 Helliphant…yep, I can see it. Now, where’s that Publishers Clearing House van?

      Like 3
      • Stan Marks

        In your dreams, Dave, with the rest of us.

        Like 1
  4. kiteflier

    Like the first new car I ever rode in. Next door neighbor came home from the dealership with the top down and the whole neighborhood wanted a ride. Our turn came and an older kid asked, “Can it peel the tires?”
    Guy didn’t say a thing but he stopped about 4 blocks away and lit ’em up.
    You never saw a happier bunch of kids in a car. Never forgot that “64.

    Like 27
  5. Stan Marks

    As beautiful as this ’64 is, why not repair the driver’s seat, not to mention the dash? Just sayin’……

    Like 3
  6. local_sheriff

    While this color is certainly not what I’d have on my ’64 I take my hat off for the original owner. Not only conserve the original engine AND get an appropriate replacement when they still could be bought over the counter(!) but also manage to keep it so original through decades when everyone found it to be just another ‘old gas-guzzler’. Nothing but impressive. 👍

    While I normally have no problems decoding ’64 cowl tags there’s still a detail that puzzles me and I want to ask whether there are any BF readers who can enlighten me: both this and my own ’64 SS were built at the same St Louis facility – would anyone know what those large digits on the cowl tag represent…? Not all facilities would punch them but appearantly St Louis did. Mine has the #s 1 and 5 at the RH side but they’re not on line; this ‘vert has the #s 2 in the center and then what appears to be 16 at the RH side. Anyone have any idea?

    Like 2
    • doone

      Shift and assembly line number. Why is there overspray on the tag?

      • local_sheriff

        Thanks for solving that mystery. As for the overspray it’s mentioned in the ad it was repainted some years back

  7. moosie moosie Member

    NICE,,,,,,,,,EXPEN$IVE, it looks like the kind of car I would have ordered way back when, except maybe mine would have been Black.

    Like 1
    • Dave

      Now…if someone were to have relocated that drivetrain to a 64 Chevelle…

    • Russell Ashley

      Yes, it is exactly the same kind of car that I did order in 1964, except mine was a black 64 Sport Fury convertible with a 426 and 4 spd. I sold it long ago and it still exists, but after a rotisserie restoration it is now red. I discovered it at a Mopar show several years ago.

      Like 1
  8. i8afish

    Beautiful car, should be driven! I would drive it as is until the current motor dies, then restore the entire car with new motor in place, and drive it again.

    Like 4
    • i8afish

      Restore with the original motor, I meant to say. Doh!

      Like 1
  9. George Mattar

    I inherited a 64 two door hardtop in 1081 from my 90 year old grandmother. She bought it new at Ferman Chevrolet in Tampa. Turquoise in and out. When she died, I was at Penn State and in the middle of finals. Dad flew down and drove it home to northeastern Pennsylvania. Didn t miss a beat. It had old lady dents, but zero rust. I put new tires on it, new radiator and carpet and drove it daily to 1984. By then the 283 was burning more oil than gas. I was a broke young college graduate so I sold it to a guy from Erie, PA. Very dependable and I could fix it myself unlike today’s computers on wheels. Stupid new cars. 60s cars forever.

    Like 8
  10. wayne

    New owner could put original power plant back in then sell me the current motor for my 65. Lol

    Like 3
  11. Dennis Zozula

    A friend had the same model. He used it to tow his wooden inboard ski boat. It was great fun passing people on the hill to our favourite lake as you saw their expression realizing we pulling a boat in the little race. I recall you could spin the tires in any gear. Here’s one for you. Once I was tuning it and as I tested it there would be a sudden blast of noise like firecrackers as I accelerated. Then nothing. Accelerate; firecrackers. I lift the hood. All looks normal. Then I rev it up gradually. At a certain rpm, a very fine spray of water comes out of the rad hose and passes right in front of the air intake. Those droplets expanding 1600 times in volume didn’t hurt anything but they sure caused a racket.

    Like 1
  12. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    If a car can be described as sleek and sexy this ’64 Impala SS drop top has my vote.

    Like 1

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