She’s Real Fine: This 1962 409hp 409 Is Stunningly Original and Complete – A True Time Capsule

She’s Real Fine: This 1962 409hp 409 Is Stunningly Original and Complete – A True Time Capsule

One of the things we love about the horsepower wars of the early 1960s is that they were really the launching pad for the muscle car wars that would follow a few short years later. Engines like the 413 Chrysler, the 421 Pontiac, and the mighty 409ci Chevrolet were the big players and as such, they were driven hard, beat up, and put away wet.

It is really amazing to see an engine like this 1962 409hp 409 sitting in shockingly complete fashion right down to the generator, the water pump, the starter and even the properly date coded transmission! Doubling down on the crazy, it has the proper date coded carbs with it, the heads match the manufacture date, and really the only thing of significance missing is a left side exhaust manifold!

The seller says that this engine was found in the nose of a 1957 Ford Thunderbird which had ben repowered by it. Those kinds of weird swaps were not totally uncommon in the 1960s. Guys would stuff Cadillac engines into Corvettes and all kinds of freaky stuff to make use of what was around.

Obviously a part of us would love to see this engine land in the proper 1962 bubble top Impala that it deserves to be in but we also love the idea that someone could build a killer “retro-swap” car with this engine as it would have been in 1962 and really show off what engine swapping was like 50+ years ago. As much as we love the fact that you can basically build a 409 from scratch these days, one this “factory correct” is still kind of magical, right?

What a neat engine!

eBay: This 1962 Chevrolet 409hp 409 engine is amazingly original and intact!

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8 thoughts on “She’s Real Fine: This 1962 409hp 409 Is Stunningly Original and Complete – A True Time Capsule

  1. Rand

    You mentioning swapping anything into anything reminds me of one of my weird purchases in the early 70’s right out of high school and making money and loving cars! Bought a couple of early 60’s Chevy 1/2 tons over the span of a year or so, one had a 409, T-10 trans and was butt ugly but WOW did it run! The second PU had a 394 Olds with a hydromatic, also kind of rat rod’sh but again a very fun truck to drive. Man I wish I had a Way Back Machine!

  2. Maxwell Smart

    Well… 348s had the dipstick on the drivers side and 409s had them on the pass side. I’m not seeing a dipstick here and no pics of the right side. Hmmm.

    1. Greg

      I noticed that as well. I’m far from a 409 expert, but I was told the oil pans interchanged between the 349 and 409s. That was sometimes done to a sleeper, passing off the big motor as the smaller one. Also, since this was swapped into an early T Bird, perhaps the pan was changed for clearance. If I was laying out almost 13 large I’d ask to remove a head to be sure.

  3. Len

    One of the hot swaps of the day was the “Studillac”, a (what else?) Studebaker w/a Caddy engine. One even showed up in a James Bond novel, driven by CIA guy Felix.

    I don’t recall if the car showed up in any of the movies.

  4. Piston Pete

    I think we’ve talked about this before, bubble tops were Bel Airs, not Impalas.
    Anyway, speaking of weird swaps and 409s, a locally well known Morgan County, Indiana street racer from the 60s and 70s put a 409 in a ’67 Camaro and pretty much ruled the roost until he moved on to a 454 El Camino.

  5. 69rrboy

    An old race car Chebby guy told me one time many years ago(back when there probably weren’t a lot of clones) that the best way to tell if something was a real 409 car or not was by looking at which side of the motor the dipstick was on.

    I’m almost positive he said a car motor had it on the passenger side and a truck motor had it on the driver’s side. He said most people who clone one don’t know that so most of those guys will get a slightly more available truck motor. Which is fine but I’m pretty sure there was a BIG difference in performance between the two.

    I just looked at pictures of the perfectly restored 63 Ronnie Sox Sinclair car online here with a dual quad motor and that one is on the passenger side anyway. Neat piece regardless.

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