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Did they make an SS Impala Convertible in 1963?


Steve-V
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Yes, they produced a '63 SS Convertible Impala model. The SS is designated as a "Super Sport" however. The most common engines were 327's and 409's. The SS body symbol was located on the rear fenders above the Impala name. There were many SS Impala converts produced in 1963, the most desirable model being the high horsepower 409, 4-speed combination. Good luck with your sale, it's a great looking auto.

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Wondering if anyone can validate there being no SS Convertible Impalas in 1963.  

In '63 the the SS was translated to Super Sedan.  

I have the car below for sale and would like to be honest.

 

Any Chevy gurus can confirm?  

 

EucmXgi.jpg

 

The 1963 dealer brochure claims that both the Sport Coupe and Convertible were available in the Super Sport version (see the first paragraph):

 

1963%20Chevrolet-04.jpg?m=1305484272

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Hemmings Classic car magazine recently featured the restoration work that went into a 1963 Impala SS convertible that came from the factory with a 6 cyl engine. A lot of praise was given to the owner who chose to keep the car a 6 rather than upgrading it to a v8.

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I don't think there's a code in the VIN or on the cowl tag that will definitively identify a 1963 SS. In 1964, the SS was its own model and was coded into the VIN, but prior to that it was just a trim package. So unless you have original paperwork like a build sheet, invoice, or window sticker, there's no way to positively identify this as an SS. However, if bucket seats are coded on the cowl tag, that's a very good indicator that it's a real SS, because buckets were not available as a stand-alone option but were part of the SS package. It's not 100%, but it's about as good as you'll get. Do a full cowl tag decode and see what's there, that will at least give you some supporting evidence when the inevitable questions come.

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Well the 409 was an opened up 348 and I always thought of it as a truck engine. OTOH with the right equipment (like FI) a 327 will wind to the moon.

Back in the day when autocrossing was more "run what you brung" I had a lot of success with a 67 Camaro 'vert with posi, 4 speed, 4 piston disks in the front, front and rear sway bars, Blue streaks on 15x7 wheels, and a Rochester FI on top of a 275HP 327. Guess today that would be a resto-mod. Back then it was just fast. Used to run with a guy who had a GT-350 and we'd put on a show. Think we broke about everything possible but parts were cheap. There mustabin a squirrel somewhere in my family tree.

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Yes my brother bought a 63 s/s but always bemoaned the fact that he had the 327 and not the much larger 409. The 409 I think was the subject of the song, Getty up, Getty up 409! A fantastic car. Wayne

Even though the 409 was a thirsty unit it did not inspire any gasoline reference in the song.  I believe the lyrics to be:  "Giddy up, Giddy up, 409."

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The Impala SS came out in 1961. Back then I only saw 2 factory SS cars and both were black 2dr post sedans. In '62 they were very common and did come in all engines. My buddy ordered a '63 SS 409, 425 HP 4 speed convertible which he raced every weekend at the Westhampton L.I. drags. A black/black/white top beauty which would be worth a small fortune today. Today many standard Impalas have been cloned into the Super Sport model especially the very rare '61 models. I've had many 1963 & '64 Impalas including a red impala conv I cloned into an SS back in 64. My first new car was a '64 SS conv in Satin Silver, A combo you never see today.  I see your car has standard full Impala wheel covers, not the factory SS covers. I believe you can tell if your car is an SS by the info tag on the firewall, but I'm not positive. Years ago at a Chevy meet at Eisenhower Park in Garden City L.I. I saw a fully restored '64 SS convertible with the 6 cyl engine. It's the only SS 6 cyl I've ever seen.  There was an ad in Hemmings years ago for a '64 SS with a 3 speed column shift, also very rare. It had a floor consule without a shift lever opening- Try finding one of those today- lol.  The last Impala SS was built in '69. My friend in Florida recently sold his '69 Impala SS, 4 speed, 427 convertible. Extremely rare car when built as the Camaros were all the rage.  Sorry for rambling on but these are my favorite cars.   Good luck selling yours.

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Well, the title of the song was "409"...  :D

 

By the way, that's "Giddy up, giddy up", as in what you say to a horse.  "Getty up" is a choice of gasoline.

Thank you for the clarification on Giddy. That was a very important clarification on your part and I will treasure the knowledge you have relayed to me. Now I will sleep better. Wayne

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Guest BillP

Well, the title of the song was "409"...  :D

 

By the way, that's "Giddy up, giddy up", as in what you say to a horse.  "Getty up" is a choice of gasoline. 

Good of you to point that out, Joe. Hard to figure anyone could get that wrong, but I guess they're out there.

And you even did it with a smile. :D

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Good of you to point that out, Joe. Hard to figure anyone could get that wrong, but I guess they're out there.

And you even did it with a smile. :D

Yes we are out there! The purpose of the site is to help others in matters regarding and related to automobiles not to try to show that there was a spelling mistake. I will say nothing about your poor grammar. Wayne

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I believe the OP was being a little tongue-in-cheek with the "super sedan" remark...

 

Actually I wonder if the post-er may have be confused somewhere by reference to the "sport sedan" as shown in your brochure page.  Just to clarify to the reader GM divisions often labelled their four door hardtops (with no post) as "sport sedans" in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  A two door hardtop was labelled a "sport coupe" but these were marketing terms that did not then relate to bucket seats or any other "sport" features, just use of the hardtop body styles.  Hope this helps, Todd C      

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The Impala SS came out in 1961. Back then I only saw 2 factory SS cars and both were black 2dr post sedans. In '62 they were very common and did come in all engines. My buddy ordered a '63 SS 409, 425 HP 4 speed convertible which he raced every weekend at the Westhampton L.I. drags. A black/black/white top beauty which would be worth a small fortune today. Today many standard Impalas have been cloned into the Super Sport model especially the very rare '61 models. I've had many 1963 & '64 Impalas including a red impala conv I cloned into an SS back in 64. My first new car was a '64 SS conv in Satin Silver, A combo you never see today.  I see your car has standard full Impala wheel covers, not the factory SS covers. I believe you can tell if your car is an SS by the info tag on the firewall, but I'm not positive. Years ago at a Chevy meet at Eisenhower Park in Garden City L.I. I saw a fully restored '64 SS convertible with the 6 cyl engine. It's the only SS 6 cyl I've ever seen.  There was an ad in Hemmings years ago for a '64 SS with a 3 speed column shift, also very rare. It had a floor consule without a shift lever opening- Try finding one of those today- lol.  The last Impala SS was built in '69. My friend in Florida recently sold his '69 Impala SS, 4 speed, 427 convertible. Extremely rare car when built as the Camaros were all the rage.  Sorry for rambling on but these are my favorite cars.   Good luck selling yours.

i kinda question the 1961 post 2dr as a real ss. i always thought the 61 ss was a 2dr hardtop, and all had the 409. in 1962 you could get any powertrain combination with the super sport package, and you could get the 409 in the 11 model(biscane 2dr)

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I don't think there's a code in the VIN or on the cowl tag that will definitively identify a 1963 SS. In 1964, the SS was its own model and was coded into the VIN, but prior to that it was just a trim package. So unless you have original paperwork like a build sheet, invoice, or window sticker, there's no way to positively identify this as an SS. However, if bucket seats are coded on the cowl tag, that's a very good indicator that it's a real SS, because buckets were not available as a stand-alone option but were part of the SS package. It's not 100%, but it's about as good as you'll get. Do a full cowl tag decode and see what's there, that will at least give you some supporting evidence when the inevitable questions come.

Matt,

I believe you are in error in your statement. There is a way to positively ID the/an Impala as a real SS. If the TRIM code on the Trim Tag has the numerical code for bucket seats, it is in fact a true SS. You were close, but no cigar.

If the poster will post the info from the Trim Tag (also incorrectly called the cowl tag), I would be happy to decode most of it for him or her.

Edited by George Smolinski (see edit history)
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Well the 409 was an opened up 348 and I always thought of it as a truck engine. OTOH with the right equipment (like FI) a 327 will wind to the moon.

 

 

Not really, common mistake. The 409 was bored and stroked, the 409 has a higher deck then the 348. The 348/409 was no more of a truck motor then a 350 or a 454, which were also used many trucks. The truck 409 has relief's cut into the cylinder walls that lower the compression. Unlike the small blocks where the combustion chamber is in the head, they are a wedge motor and the combustion chamber is in the block

True the W blocks don't like to wind up,

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
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Yes, the 348 was designed to be used in trucks, then was put into 1958 autos.  The 409 was based on the 348 design.  Before the 348 was available people who wanted a Chevrolet truck with a V-8 bigger than a 283 got a nailhead Buick engine.  There is a '57 Chev. fire truck from Maryland that makes a lot of shows and it has a factory installed Buick engine. 

 

Yes, a 327 will wind.  I had a '65 Impala SS conv. I bought new with a 327/300 hp.  The tachometer read to 6,000 rpm and it would go well past 6,000 in second gear.  By the way, it was a 4-speed manual.  It was never my favorite automobile so I kept it less than a year but it had plenty of acceleration. 

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i kinda question the 1961 post 2dr as a real ss. i always thought the 61 ss was a 2dr hardtop, and all had the 409. in 1962 you could get any powertrain combination with the super sport package, and you could get the 409 in the 11 model(biscane 2dr)

 

I do remember seeing these 2 cars in either '61 or '62. I doubt they were cloned into SS Impalas way back then. Also, the Impala was offered as a 2 door sedan in 1961, and as far as I know the SS was offered as a factory option on any Impala 2 door model. 

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I do remember seeing these 2 cars in either '61 or '62. I doubt they were cloned into SS Impalas way back then. Also, the Impala was offered as a 2 door sedan in 1961, and as far as I know the SS was offered as a factory option on any Impala 2 door model. 

 

The Impala sedan was no longer offered after 61

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Actually I wonder if the post-er may have be confused somewhere by reference to the "sport sedan" as shown in your brochure page.  Just to clarify to the reader GM divisions often labelled their four door hardtops (with no post) as "sport sedans" in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  A two door hardtop was labelled a "sport coupe" but these were marketing terms that did not then relate to bucket seats or any other "sport" features, just use of the hardtop body styles.  Hope this helps, Todd C

All very confusing Todd. Confusing because in this case GM mixes it's terminology without a thought of confusion which occurs. What is the difference between a hardtop coupe 2 dr. or 4 dr. ? Nothing, they are both hardtops right? Buick in 1955 calls two door and 4 door hardtops Riviera's. Pontiac's two door hardtop created in 1950 is referred to as Catalina. In 1956 when Pontiac introduces it's "New" 4 dr. hardtop to go along with the two door Catalina hardtop they call it the Catalina Sedan. Pontiac already had a "REAL" 4 dr. sedan to confuse things further.

In the picture above Chevrolet ( post #3) confuses the nomenclature again calling the top car a four door hardtop a sports sedan, while the middle car is correctly called a 4 dr. sedan.

In 1962 a Pontiac Catalina ( A Catalina starting in 1959 depicts a series of car, not a hardtop from days past ( 1950 to 1958 )-further confusion) 2 dr. sedan is called a 2 dr. Sport sedan, while a 4 dr. sedan is just a 4 dr. sedan.

The 62 Pontiac 2 dr. hardtop is now called 2 dr. hardtop coupe, while the 4 dr. hardtop is called the Vista sedan...it is NOT a sedan.

Originally the BelAir ( 1950 ) was supposed to denote a hardtop, but starting in the early 50's Chevy sought to hang that badge on anything upscale and eventually like Pontiac used the name as a model of car like Buick did in 1963 with the Riviera name. Only Oldsmobile and Cadillac seemed to keep their hardtops of Holiday and Coupe de Ville to what they were originally intended for longer.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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Even though the 409 was a thirsty unit it did not inspire any gasoline reference in the song.  I believe the lyrics to be:  "Giddy up, Giddy up, 409."

Yes, but in the lyrics when it says " when I take her to the drags she always shines, she always turns the fastest times, my 4 speed Dual Quad Positraction 409. Those terms in itself depict about almost Zero miles to the gallon!!!!

One word about the lyrics. It says when I take her to the track she always shines. Listen to the song as it says, when I take her to the drags she really shines.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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I do remember seeing these 2 cars in either '61 or '62. I doubt they were cloned into SS Impalas way back then. Also, the Impala was offered as a 2 door sedan in 1961, and as far as I know the SS was offered as a factory option on any Impala 2 door model.

1961 SS option bowing to Impala hardtops and convertibles only.

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The Impala sedan was no longer offered after 61

1962 Impala sedan;

http://www.2040-cars.com/_content/cars/images/37/535037/006.jpg

1970 Impala sedan;

http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/70-Impala.jpg

1976 Impala sedan;

http://www.impalaforums.com/attachments/chevy-caprice/1295d1264884124-1977-impala-9c1-whats-it-worth-exterior-5.jpg

You may say that this is a Landau coupe, however it's in the same configuration ( frame around the door glass and a "B" pillar ) as any two door sedan of 1961. The name is different but the hardware is the same;

http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/1978-Chevrolet-Fullsize-10.jpg

2009 Chevrolet Impala sedan;

http://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/226523/2009-chevrolet-impala-ss-photo-226525-s-986x603.jpg

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The 61 SS was not exclusive to a 409. Nor was the 62 SS exclusive to 409's.

Robert

Absolutely, you could order a SS car, and if you took the stock engine it would be a six cylinder after the 61 model year.

And as said in the #6 thread by TerryB, one of those Impala SS's are in the current Hemming's Classic car magazine this month and the car is a Impala convertible SS with a straight 230" six.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
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"Yes, a 327 will wind. I had a '65 Impala SS conv. I bought new with a 327/300 hp. The tachometer read to 6,000 rpm and it would go well past 6,000 in second gear"

AFAIR the 327/300 hp had hydraulic lifters but the solid lifter Duntov cam was a popular option. Stock hydraulics would pump up past 6 but if you backed then off to 1/4 turn past click weeeellll.

Of course my new (to me) LQ1 has the same stroke and a factory redline at 7.

post-76431-0-37877700-1457242822_thumb.j

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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Had a friend years ago that had a new 63 Chevy Impala Convertible SS with a 409 and 4 on the floor. Loaned it to his cousin who decided to show off for the girls about 6 months later with too much Alcohol in the mix and the car was totaled. Believe it or not, they did remain friends until death. He had photos of it. I'll have to ask his brother or son if either of them have those photos today. Dandy Dave! 

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You might want to check that info

You are correct John, the 348 was purposely designed for the new, lower wider, longer, heavier Chevrolet cars from 1958 and into the future. They were also designed for the trucks as well. In other words for the car and truck in mind.

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