Muscle Car Spotlight – 1963 Impala Z11 427

By Auto News Log • November 22nd, 2009

Chevrolet’s famed 409 engine was immortalized in the 1962 Beach Boys song of the same name, and was the desire of many muscle car enthusiasts in the early 60’s. In ‘62 the hot set-up was to order the 409 in the lightweight “bubble-top” Bel Air 2-door hardtop.

Well, kicking it up a notch in 1963, Chevrolet introduced the Z11 option package for its Impala line. The package included a modified 409 increased to 427 cid by way of a stroked crank, and had special heads, valves and a two-piece aluminum intake manifold sporting dual quads. Output was rated at 430 hp.

The additional Z11 features were not limited to the engine compartment however, as the hood, fenders bumpers and other items were made of aluminum to lighten its overall curb weight. This was a RPO (regular production option) package supposedly available to the general public, but appears to have only been selectively sold to racers with the intent of furthering Chevrolet’s cause at the drag strip.

No matter, the ‘63 Impala SS with a standard 425 hp 409 was plenty fast for the average joe, regularly turning sub-15’s in the quarter mile. Only 50 or so (qtys vary by source) Impala Z11s were sold in 1963, and there are 7 known to be still in existence today.

 

Leave a Comment

« | Home | »