When you hear the word “Sleeper” what do you imagine? It’s probably something like this. A fairly standard looking, budget or mid-range car but with something rather special under the hood.
This 1962 Bel Air 2-door sedan started life with a more humble six cylinder engine but had a 409 cubic inch V8 fitted during a recent complete nut and bolt body-off rotisserie restoration and is just like it would be if you’d have ordered one brand new.
As well as introducing the Chevy II, Chevrolet revamped their full-size models from the beltline down for ’62.
Although the Bel Air interiors were relatively basic, they do look great and came with a few “extras” that the lower model Biscayne didn’t have.
This included; foam-cushioned front and rear seats, automatic dome light, glove box light, front and rear door armrests, a deluxe steering wheel and full color-keyed carpets.
And here it is… the really special part of this car – a 409 cubic inch V8.
There were actually two versions available at the time; one that output 380 horsepower and a dual, four-barrel carburetor equipped version with lightweight valve train and solid valve lifters – giving a total of 409 horsepower.
There is little to give away exactly what makes this car special apart from the “409” badge on the front fender. It’s a really fun car that will surprise most people at the lights.
If you wanted a Bel Air 2-door sedan for ’62 the base price was $2,456. This would have come with a 235 cubic inch Turbo-Thrift 6-cylinder engine. The base V8, a 283 cubic inch, 170 hp engine would have cost an extra $107.
For those looking at a 409 with a 4-speed manual transmission then original buyers would need to spend an extra $616 for the 380 hp version and $672 for the 409 hp one. That’s around 25 percent extra on the price of the car.
Chevrolet only recorded the production numbers by body style at this time so it is difficult to get an exact number. However, we do know that they sold 127,870 2-door sedans but this would have also included the Biscayne.
1962 was a great year for Chevy with sales up over 38% from the previous year and well over two million cars sold.
This 1962 Bel Air with 409 is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for more photos)