1962 Lightweight


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As I understood Valerie was asking something like $20,000 to use his name.
I applaud Valerie for preserving his name, but the number of people that even know who he was is thinning. She should rethink that plan.
An example would be Dicks 62. If the guy that bought it at auction(?) for $81,000 I think and now is asking $195,000 all without Dicks name, what would he have paid the first time and what would it be worth today. That should be a manner Valerie could joint market her dads name.
A piece of the action.


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This car was Dick Harrrells. Because of Dick’s daughter, Valerie, owning the rights to her dads name no one is allowed to do so without her permission.
A friend of mine bought the car many years ago from I believe Don Hardy or Charles Therwanger, I have forgotten. Can call Bill and find out. It was setting out back of a shop and Bill acquired it. Another friend of mine worked for Dick and helped put the aluminum front end on when they received their parts.

I have spoken to the current owner several times and he does admit he is a Pont guy with little knowledge of this car or the Z-11’s.
Without getting into that story, I can share that in 1962 Chevrolet built 20 SS cars with the aluminum front end, hood, fenders and inner fender liners, no aluminum bumpers brackets or grille components. All of these cars came with the 409/409 engine not the 2 piece intake and heads.

Here is a newspaper ad for 2 of the cars at Don Steve’s Chevrolet. Don and Chevrolet were very tight. I spoke with Dons son and he said his dad constantly had engines, parts and cars coming and going. Lots of prototype parts. There were really big in racing Corvettes.

View attachment 58117

More, I’m repeating myself I’m sure but, here goes. Chevrolet wanted to win the NHRA Nationals at INDY in 62. Throughout ‘62 they developed many Special Service Package parts. At various times they shipped these parts to the big drag racers of the day, as well as making some available over the counter.

In late summer of ‘62 Chevrolet shipped a crate with the pre-production 2 piece 2x4 intake manifold and high rise heads along with cam, springs, etc. to the factory racers like Hayden. About 10 days later they shipped the aluminum front end.
All of these engine parts were the preproduction “0”-part numbers, not a for production part like the Z-11 in 1963.

Hayden and I have discussed this several times and he said the front end came later.

No cars were built with these parts, rather just “go fast stuff” shipped only to the racers like Hayden.

Hope this fills in some of the question gaps.

Pat, there is a post on Facebook now with a picture of Harrells 62, and see they are saying that the 62 Impala's didnt come from the factory with any of the aluminum installed. i always thought they did produce 20 of them late in the year and that maybe Harrells and some other ones that added the aluminum them selves were earlier built cars. i though you could help clear this up. thanks,Ray


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The aluminum front end and the pre-production Z-11 top half for the 409 were an early summer 62 thing.

I have the dates somewhere. Might have been May. The plan for Chevrolet was to win at Indy at all costs. Hayden told me Chevrolet paid him, I believe $180,000, in 1962 and his task was to win Indy.

There were 2 initiatives, one shipping the parts to the drag racers of the day, Harrell, Hayden, Strickler, etc.
There were 2 shipments, first, all the engine parts in a crate, then about 10 days later a shipment with the aluminum. Chevrolet had to convince NHRA they were production stuff. They got push back on the aluminum and top half for stock instead pushing them into S/S or F/X depending on a given track(happened to me).

Several of the racers would bring both the steel and aluminum to a track.

Anyway, 20 or so Impalas ONLY were built with the aluminum parts with 409/409 engines not the pre production Z-11 stuff right at the very end of the 62 production.

This would have been probably June-July and they were all built in Flint. I have not checked dates but can.

Also the Z-11 designation was ONLY for 1963 for the 427 with the parts we know, prior to that it was a Special Service Package collection of parts, most people do not know the stuff came out in 62.

No one really knows why these cars were built, but I believe it was to see how the production for the 63’s would go. I believe the reason for this is in 63 Chevy eliminated the crushed looking inner fender liners the 62’s had and they added aluminum bumpers etc. I also believe while only 50 cars were built Chevrolet was prepared to build more as demand increased.

There were not 57, that rumor came from a copy of a letter response I received back from Chevys Paul Prior, I copied it and sent to a friend.
Remember Chevrolet killed all racing in early 63, my Z-11 is the next to the last built, after the killing of all racing, as the top management knew :)


Wrinkled 62 inner fender liners.


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yup,thanks for the info. as i was sure there were at least 20 of the alum nose 62's built. like i said,some guys on Facebook are saying none came through from the factory with the aluminum noses installed at the factory.


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The original Dick Harrell 1962 Impala (W409/425 HP a early version of the new regular production 1963 W409 according to the publication Chevrolet by the Numbers) originally believed to be one of the “Factory Built” limited production racer. Now believed to be a “one off” Harrell built 409. (See Harrell’s disqualification noted below).
Raj Reddy reports:
Noted: Disqualified, same issue as Frank Sanders RPO Z-11 Impala at Pomona Winter Nationals ‘63. “Illegal valve spring pressure” in B/FX with the Tuxedo Black Impala.
(July 1962-Prototype Z-11 Parts)
Shared from the 348/409 forum. It’s being reported that In 1962 there were somewhere between 18-20 cars 1962 Impalas built with the aluminum front ends. Those cars had the W409/409 engine, some had the W409/425 1963 version BUT NOT the Z-11 which was a W427 cu in.
Mark S. Johnson reports
Somewhere I have a copy of the newspaper ad from Don Steves Chevrolet with 2 of the cars with the aluminum front ends for sale and I will post it also.
It’s believed Chevrolet shipped the parts to the drag racers of the day and never built a car with both the 1. Aluminum Front End Body Components and 2. the 409 Special Service Package parts that eventually included the two piece Winters intake. It should also be noted that there were many releases of various combinations of cams, springs, and heads as Chevrolet strived to get the proper combination that would allow them to win big at Indianapolis in 62, that was the goal. Hayden Proffitt won Mr Stock Eliminator, Dave Strickler in his Old Reliable II won SS/Stock. Both driving 409 BelAirs.
I have validated this info from 2 pretty good sources, Hayden Proffitt whom we all know and respect and Dick Harrells wrench, Charlie Gaines. Both told me the cars they built, they did so with parts shipped to them. Hayden and Charlie both told me they received the heads and engine parts in one crate and a few days or a week later the aluminum front end parts came in a larger crate.
Mark Warrick and his 82 year old father have a thing for 409 big block 1962 Chevy Super Stockers. In fact, they have three including Dick Harrell "Mr. Chevrolet" - Dick Harrell Performance Center all aluminum front end car. C'mon out to Funny Car Chaos Amarillo Dragway, this Saturday June 2nd to see Mark and his father race. And, while you're there, check out this piece of drag racing history. Every spectator ticket is a pit pass. See ya there!
Mark DeSantis reports:
HIs friends said Dick Harrell had Two (2) 1963 Impalas, they were 409 409s then the z11 high ports heads and lightweight fenders were shipped to him after he bought the cars with the help of Bill Allen

W Head

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While living in Odessa, Texas, back in the day, I raced a lot at Hobbs, NM ( Dick H home track), One weekend the black 62 had a steel front clip and the next weekend it was alum. Do not remember the dates.

W Head

59 Impala 409-2,4s


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One of the things I never understood back in the 1960’s was why so many racers would chose a high trim level car which was not always the lightest.
IE, putting an aluminum front end on an Impala instead of a 2 Door Biscayne, the 63 Z-11 in an Impala, etc.
I do remember we all wanted to see what the newest and best looking versions would be, but for drag racing the body style with all the chrome stuff really didn’t matter, but it got built.