Special Order Z-11 "SS" 1963 Impala, well ..not really


Well Known Member
Supporting Member 6
Well………I can’t hold it back anymore!!!..........Thanks to Phil Reed’s unbelievable help and kindness, I now own what I thought was (and still do) impossible for a non-player like me to own!

I’m new to the 409 community, I have two teenagers, self-employed and work my ass off to stay even with the taxes here in Connecticut.

The story of how Phil and I made the agreement that allowed me to purchase this Z-11 motor is a story unto itself and too long to discuss here. Those of you that know Phil will totally get it, however. Let’s just say…a better salesman is not to be found.

I will also state that my wife gave me 50% of the purchase price after her I told her the price!........A ballsy move on my part; don’t ya’ know!...... Without her help, this opportunity would not have been possible.

The build will start soon and be built using the stock 13.5 pistons, original rods and crank. It will have the original 427 C.I. The cam and valve assembly however, will be a solid roller system that will replicate the original Z-11 camshaft.

Currently, this motor will go into the Ivy Green ’63 that is currently under construction and be driven on the street. This will be a “driver” and the motor will be built with all the stock, NOS, components possible with the intent to keep it as original as possible and yet preserve some margin safety due to fact that I could not afford to break it!!!!

If the interest is there, I will post updates as I move along.

A few images that I took while at PR's shop. Are posted below.....I only took 63 photos! :love

Again, this would never be possible for a man of my means without the help of Phil Reed and my wife. And speaking of wives, Phil’s wife Candy, is a remarkable woman and I’m very fortunate to have met her.

IMG_3161.jpg IMG_3163.jpg IMG_3200.jpg IMG_3164.jpg IMG_3174.jpg IMG_3175.jpg IMG_3176.jpg IMG_3178.jpg IMG_3179.jpg IMG_3185.jpg


Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
We're all at least a little jealous (ok.... A LOT!!!) and very happy for you Dennis. Can't go wrong with a car that nice, a legendary Z11 engine that's as close to a brand new one as possible, and such a great group of people behind it all. (Buyer, seller, and wives!)

I like the build plan, but have a couple questions / suggestions:

Normally for such a rare beast I'd say just leave it 100% stock, but considering the value of it and that you're already straying towards a street roller cam you sure don't want to risk it ever coming apart.

1. Are the Z11 rods different than regular 409 rods? They look a little beefier. Maybe have the beams polished to eliminate stress risers and some ARP bolts installed??

2. What about having the pistons lightened? I don't think I would want "max lightened" for it, but I bet a good bit of weight could be whittled away and them still be plenty strong. Maybe target around 750 grams or so?? Seems like a shame to do any milling on such rare pieces. It would be a worse shame for something to let go because they are so heavy.

3. You're probably going to do this one already, but for sake of mentioning:
Get the best lifters (probably Isky Red Zone with bushings instead of needle bearings), valvesprings, and pushrods that you can to compliment that camshaft.

4. No suggestion here just a question/observation. I noticed the balancer is weighted like a 454 or 400 small block. I never knew the Z11 was externally balanced. Did they have an externally balanced flywheel as well or were they just weighted on the front end of the crank?

5. Is there a Commandment - Thou Shalt NOT Covet Thy Friend's Z11 ?


Well Known Member
Way to go Dennis, I also currently have a 409 QB engine with Tony at Day automotive ,without Phil it would've been impossible. Congrats on your Z 11 purchase The cream of the crop. I'll be watching this build very interesting.