The 409 also gave rise to the 427-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) mill, which was used in the Impala Z11, a unique configuration designed for drag racers. These lightweight, uncommon automobiles have 575 pound-feet (780 Nm) of torque and 430 horsepower, which made them underrated.
I should also mention that the Beach Boys also wrote a song about the Chevrolet 409 V8 engine before we talk about the automobiles I’m here to talk about. Because it amply illustrates the influence this engine had on the early 1960s American auto industry. And the owner of these vehicles must be a mill enthusiast because the collection consists of not one, not two, but four Chevrolets with the powerful large block.
A 1961 Bel Air is the first that shows up on camera. It’s one of those very desirable two-door hardtops, but that’s not the only awesome thing about it. This Chevy is also an unrestored and unmolested survivor. Sure, it’s covered in a thick layer of dust, but it’s pretty obvious that the red paint underneath is in excellent condition. The interior also looks fantastic in that two-tone gold/silver finish. As a first-year model, this one should come with 360 horsepower on tap.
The second “bubble-top” 409 tucked away in this garage is a 1962 model, again painted in red. It also has one of the most well-liked color combinations of the day, red over red, and seems to be an unrestored jewel in outstanding shape. Not just the Bel Air, but even the Impala and the Tri-Five frequently have it. 380 or 409 horsepower should be produced by this one’s V8, depending on the carburetor configuration.
As our host ventures farther into the barn and discovers a third Bel Air 409—a 1963 model in light blue—things get even more interesting. It’s also well-preserved, and despite all the dust, the original V8 still gleams, exactly like the red ones. Additionally, once it regains vitality,
As of the fourth 409 hidden in this building, it’s a 1964-model-year Biscayne. Yes, the entry-level full-size was also available with the range-topping big block, which is a cool recipe for an unassuming sleeper. This one appears to be white, a color that further enhances its status as an undercover hot rod. Granted, the two-barrel setup delivered “only” 340 horsepower, but that’s enough to move this full-size from 0 to 60 mph (97 mph) in less than eight seconds.
The huge barn is also home to a 1963 Impala, a 1955 Tri-Five, a 1968 Camaro SS 396 with an L78 V8, and a few C10 pickup trucks. But the quarter of 409-powered Chevys is arguably the main highlight. There’s no info on how long they’ve been sitting, but I have a feeling they will fire up without much hassle.