Jump to content


Photo

Norm Beechey Chevrolet Impala 409


  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#1 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 7,131 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:38

Norm, as the patron of the meeting, had the big Chev Impala at Phillip Island historics 2007.

Is the car unique? as written on the sandwich board?

Posted Image

Posted Image

Advertisement

#2 seldo

seldo
  • Member

  • 1,628 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 26 March 2007 - 12:06

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4

Norm, as the patron of the meeting, had the Galaxie at Phillip Island historics 2007.


...Ermmm...Galaxie / Impala.....? all the same thing....We know what you mean though...;)

#3 Leo D

Leo D
  • Member

  • 420 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 26 March 2007 - 12:06

Mick......I know you're only doing this to see if we are really reading the thread titles....

That picture being of the Chev Impala of Norm's....... :wave:

I would have liked to see the Chevy Nova there myself, that being my favourite of his cars.... :smoking:

#4 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 7,131 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 26 March 2007 - 12:58

Ouch!!....I was reading a great tome about Galaxies....including about a fella at Hume Weir then went on to post the Norm thread....damn....why can't we have a few hours to modify threads :mad:


#5 Twin Window

Twin Window
  • Nostalgia Host

  • 6,611 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 26 March 2007 - 13:36

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4

Can a MOD plse can this thread...

No need; title now sorted. :up:

#6 MattFoster

MattFoster
  • Member

  • 4,777 posts
  • Joined: May 00

Posted 26 March 2007 - 14:00

What a beauty!!!

#7 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,285 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 26 March 2007 - 20:15

Inspired, no doubt, by the Dan Gurney effort at Silverstone the previous year...

That 409-engined 2-door Impala was a great looking beast and it sat around the paddock areas of our race meetings reduced to the role of tow car for a few years. I've just found out it languishes today partially dismantled in a shed in Sydney.

#8 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 1,681 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 26 March 2007 - 22:07

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
Norm, as the patron of the meeting, had the Galaxie at Phillip Island historics 2007.

Is the car unique as written on the sandwich board?

Posted Image

Posted Image


I am curious as to how things worked in Australia.

The plaque keeps saying Genreal Motors, and I sure as hell will bet every cent I have that in the sixties, General Motors was the LAST office one went to, or was awar of any high performance works going on.

A Chevy WAS a Chevy, a Pontiac WAS a Pontiac; any interchange was as mimimul as possible; A: to keep secrets from a competing make; B: to keep knowledge of racing related items far, far from GM offices.

Also the Pontiacs were every bit as strong as the Chevies back then, to a degree better.

Bob

#9 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,285 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 26 March 2007 - 23:42

I can guarantee that it had nothing to do with the Australian arm of General Motors... General Motors-Holden...

Quite likely Norm ordered the car through a US dealer, probably a west coast dealer. Someone who has contact with him should really clarify that point.

Your point about Pontiac is well taken. And one could go further to show that the 'early 60's' (sic) were not necessarily the domain of the 409 Chevrolet.

By about 1963, IIRC, all makers had an engine of 426 or 427ci capacity. This was, of course, as a result of regulations in either NASCAR or NHRA or both. The Pontiac certainly fared well in that field, as did the various Chrysler products.

The 409, per sé, was a very shortlived performance orientation of the Chevy truck engine.

#10 Robert Bailey

Robert Bailey
  • Member

  • 212 posts
  • Joined: August 06

Posted 27 March 2007 - 01:52

Norm needs to update his sandwich board,He has owned the 409 a lot longer then last year.I would say more like 20 years.

#11 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 1,681 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 27 March 2007 - 03:29

I think it was '63, but had he waited one year he could have had the ULTIMATE W or 409 engine: The Z11, which was bored out to 427 inches, and listed at 450 hp.
I believe it was offered only one year.

Not that he could not have readjusted his own car.

Bob
PS--On a side note, I read an article I think In Pop. Hot Rodding, apprx. twenty years ago, about a fellow down south who was casting his own aluminium block and head, 409s.(That is loyalty)
I did not buy the magazine, and have been searching the net to see if something might pop up, but so far nothing.

#12 Leo D

Leo D
  • Member

  • 420 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 27 March 2007 - 09:16

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
[B]Norm, as the patron of the meeting, had the big Chev Impala at Phillip Island historics 2007.

Is the car unique? as written on the sandwich board?

[B]

Mick there was a feature article written on the restoration of this car. It went right through the history of the car, including the restoration to the condition that it is in in your pics.

I "think" the magazine was Sports Car World Australia ????.... dated 1996 or 1998 from memory... Unfortunately I gave it away a year or so ago...

I think it was written not long after the restoration, as it included some pics of a test day that was conducted at Winton.... I distinctly remember Jim McKeown being in the pictures... I think they were getting the car ready for "Classic Adelaide"?..... or maybe the "Dutton Rally" ?.... I know it was for an event concluding in Adelaide.

I have seen the car on the road in the northern suburbs of Melbourne on more than one occassion since it was restored....

#13 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 7,131 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 27 March 2007 - 12:36

Thanks for the tip on the magazine :wave:

Posted Image

#14 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 27 March 2007 - 21:31

Who (Whom) does not love these "Monsters of the Midway" on a road circuit?

Simply beautiful car!

Henry

#15 Leo D

Leo D
  • Member

  • 420 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 27 March 2007 - 22:29

Originally posted by 275 GTB-4
Thanks for the tip on the magazine :wave:

Posted Image


Interesting to note the position of the speedo after the RHD conversion.... in the centre of the car...and the radio directly in front of the driver...

I also see a familiar hand throttle on the gear leaver..... a feature on several of his cars from memory... used when downshifting to save having to "heel & Toe" as far as I know...

#16 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,285 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 27 March 2007 - 23:37

That's not to enable reverse gear?

Interesting point about the LHD to RHD conversion...

#17 Leo D

Leo D
  • Member

  • 420 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 28 March 2007 - 00:17

Originally posted by Ray Bell
That's not to enable reverse gear?

Interesting point about the LHD to RHD conversion...


Ray, if you scroll down to the "Cockpit" section of this page
http://www.bowdensow...echeymonaro.htm
it mentions the similar throttle set up on the gear lever of the HT Monaro.
I definately remember seeing this on the HK Monaro, and I am almost certain it was on the Nova as well.

#18 Bob Riebe

Bob Riebe
  • Member

  • 1,681 posts
  • Joined: January 05

Posted 28 March 2007 - 17:54

Originally posted by Leo D


Ray, if you scroll down to the "Cockpit" section of this page
http://www.bowdensow...echeymonaro.htm
it mentions the similar throttle set up on the gear lever of the HT Monaro.
I definately remember seeing this on the HK Monaro, and I am almost certain it was on the Nova as well.


You could be right it might be the throttle set-up, but from looks, and how high it is located, it looks an awfully lot like the Hurst (I think that is a Hurst shifter) reverse lock-out.
Bob
PS--On Beechy's Holden, I am surpised he did not use the Buick alloy drums, as they are generally know to be the best drums ever put on any US car.

#19 WDH74

WDH74
  • Member

  • 1,158 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 28 March 2007 - 19:48

I can't seem to find any production numbers for '62 Impalas, but I am almost positive the Beechey car is not unique, at least in terms of being a four door 409. I read about a similar car in, I beleieve, one of the Hemmings magazines, probably the muscle car one. However I do not recall if that car was a '62 or not.

From what I understand, the 409 was not a "racing only" option, but was just the biggest mill available in the Impala/Biscayne/Bel Air model line, and over 15,000 409s were built in 1962 alone! This contrasts to the '63 Impala Z-11 option, which had a 427 and was meant for track use and included cowl induction, aluminum body panels, and other heavy duty items. Twenty '62 Impalas were built under a COPO (Central Office Production Order) with 409 engines (with what would become the Z-11 engine cams and induction bits) and aluminum front ends. (COPOs are the way dealers like Yenko and Dana managed to get 427 Camaros and such, when General Motors claimed that such combos were impossible).

I will go so far as to say that the car is almost certainly the only right hand drive four-door 409 Impala in the world!

-William

Advertisement

#20 Gerr

Gerr
  • Member

  • 687 posts
  • Joined: April 00

Posted 28 March 2007 - 21:19

WHD, the Hemmings article on the other '62 Impala 4/dr 409 is at this site:
http://www.hemmings....n_feature1.html

However it is a 3-speed and a sedan. Beechey's is 4-speed and hardtop.

According to another web forum, the Beechey Impala was originally a left-hand drive car and was converted in Australia.

GM Canada built right-hand drive Chevrolets (and Canadian Pontiacs) for export. AFAIK, the 409 was a US only engine and Canadian built GMs had the small-block V8s or the IL6.

#21 Leo D

Leo D
  • Member

  • 420 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 28 March 2007 - 23:29

Originally posted by Bob Riebe


You could be right it might be the throttle set-up, but from looks, and how high it is located, it looks an awfully lot like the Hurst (I think that is a Hurst shifter) reverse lock-out.
Bob


Bob, I'm always willing to concede a point... The lever, as you and Ray metioned could well be a reverse gear lockout.
I'm wondering if anyone else has an opinion as to which one it is, or might be.... I think it'd be interesting to know, as both options seem a possibility...

#22 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 29 March 2007 - 00:00

Originally posted by Leo D


Bob, I'm always willing to concede a point... The lever, as you and Ray metioned could well be a reverse gear lockout.
I'm wondering if anyone else has an opinion as to which one it is, or might be.... I think it'd be interesting to know, as both options seem a possibility...


My opinion is also a reverse lock-out. Going into reverse while up shifting is not a very good situation.

Henry

#23 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,285 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 29 March 2007 - 00:14

The reverse gear story with this car is actually quite interesting...

Sandown Park, probably the second outing it had against Bob Jane's Jag, they were sitting together on the front row and Bob wanted to be first into Shell Corner, maybe a quarter of a mile down the road.

As the flag was raised, Bob reversed away from the line, slipped it back into first and hit the line at speed as the flag came down.

One should also consider how much of a beast this must have been at Catalina Park, where it won the NSW Touring Car Championship.

#24 normbeechey

normbeechey
  • Member

  • 167 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 29 March 2007 - 00:30

The lever arrangement looks absolutely identical to the hand throttle that Norm had on the Monaro, as previously mentioned by 'Leo D'. It seems that Norm reckoned he needed all his available strength in his right leg to put enough pressure on the brake pedal!

Ray, your Bob Jane Jaguar story reminds me of one day when Bob accidentally selected reverse gear instead of first gear on the start line in the Repco Torana Sports Sedan, also at Sandown .

Originally posted by Leo D


Ray, if you scroll down to the "Cockpit" section of this page
http://www.bowdensow...echeymonaro.htm
it mentions the similar throttle set up on the gear lever of the HT Monaro.
I definately remember seeing this on the HK Monaro, and I am almost certain it was on the Nova as well.



#25 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,285 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 29 March 2007 - 01:01

Originally posted by normbeechey
.....Ray, your Bob Jane Jaguar story reminds me of one day when Bob accidentally selected reverse gear instead of first gear on the start line in the Repco Torana Sports Sedan, also at Sandown.


Wasn't that so he could make a closer race of it?

#26 normbeechey

normbeechey
  • Member

  • 167 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 29 March 2007 - 01:45

It could've been , although it was a rather risky way of making a close race of it. The Sports Sedan field was never very strong at Sandown in those days.

#27 David Shaw

David Shaw
  • Member

  • 1,724 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 29 March 2007 - 02:49

I recall another Bob Jane reverse gear story.

One night as he was driving home in his road Jag, some hoons in a Customline started giving him some grief after recognising him. He pulled up at the traffic lights with the hoons behind yelling out to him and tooting the horn. When the lights went green, Bob dropped the clutch. In reverse.

The towbar of the Jag made a big mess of the radiator on the Customline, Bob selected first and drove off.

#28 WDH74

WDH74
  • Member

  • 1,158 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 29 March 2007 - 04:15

Originally posted by Gerr
WHD, the Hemmings article on the other '62 Impala 4/dr 409 is at this site:
http://www.hemmings....n_feature1.html

However it is a 3-speed and a sedan. Beechey's is 4-speed and hardtop.

According to another web forum, the Beechey Impala was originally a left-hand drive car and was converted in Australia.

GM Canada built right-hand drive Chevrolets (and Canadian Pontiacs) for export. AFAIK, the 409 was a US only engine and Canadian built GMs had the small-block V8s or the IL6.


Good point, Gerr, especially since I couldn't remember what kind of four door the Hemmings car was. At least I got the year right! It seems that most of the two door 409s I see are also hardtops and not post coupes, for lightness I imagine. Possibly the hardtops use stiffer convertible frames as well-I know I've read that about other cars.

I figured that the Beechey car was a converted U.S. built car because of the (previously noted) odd instrument panels. But I didn't know that GM Canada built right handers for export-learn something new every day!

-William

#29 normbeechey

normbeechey
  • Member

  • 167 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 29 March 2007 - 06:18

By the way Ray, could you please explain what 'Color Me Gone' means? There seems to be the many references to ‘Color Me Gone’ on the Internet, but no one makes an attempt to explain what the heck it means. Even the old Robbie Francevic Galaxie thingo had it written on the back.

I was beginning to think it was a Galaxie thing, until someone found this: http://images.google...0&sa=N&filter=0

Note: you may have to highlight this web address link and manually ‘copy’ and then ‘paste’ it onto your Internet web browser address bar.

#30 kayemod

kayemod
  • Member

  • 7,264 posts
  • Joined: August 05

Posted 29 March 2007 - 07:28

Originally posted by normbeechey
By the way Ray, could you please explain what 'Color Me Gone' means?


It was originally a line from a popular song, possibly sometime around 1960, but don't ask me which one.

#31 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,745 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:49

When Norm raced the big Chev it was LHD.
The lever on the stick is a hand throttle, Norm couldn't heel-toe.

#32 normbeechey

normbeechey
  • Member

  • 167 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:50

Thanks kayemod, you gave me a good lead.

Now that I know, I can sleep at night again (see link)
http://www.phrases.o...ssages/747.html
Note: you may have to highlight this web address link and manually ‘copy’ and then ‘paste’ it onto your Internet web browser address bar.

The Petula Clark song "Colour My World" perhaps had a variation of the theme in 1966

Anyway, Colour Me Satisfied :)

#33 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 7,131 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 29 March 2007 - 09:24

Originally posted by normbeechey
Thanks kayemod, you gave me a good lead.

Now that I know, I can sleep at night again (see link)
http://www.phrases.o...ssages/747.html
Note: you may have to highlight this web address link and manually ‘copy’ and then ‘paste’ it onto your Internet web browser address bar.

The Petula Clark song "Colour My World" perhaps had a variation of the theme in 1966

Anyway, Colour Me Satisfied :)


It was just a popular saying....along with a whole lotta other things you could add to "colour me"....just something that sounded cool...:smoking:

....you have a simple mental impression of someone using a colouring in book to clearly show something.....then the cool, zonked out, people of the Sixties/Seventies turned that around with a typical ironic twist to say "Hey, I'm outta here man!!"

as an example, there were Christmas/Greeting Cards with "colour me this"/"colour me that" etc etc

You had to be there (cripes!! I was :blush: )

#34 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,285 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 29 March 2007 - 11:46

Originally posted by WDH74
.....I figured that the Beechey car was a converted U.S. built car because of the (previously noted) odd instrument panels. But I didn't know that GM Canada built right handers for export-learn something new every day!


This is how it worked...

All the US manufacturers had branches or facilities or even subsidiaries in Canada, which is a Commonwealth country.

All Commonwealth countries had reduced import duty on goods from other Commonwealth countries.

For instance, in 1911 or so Regal set up in Canada to export to England. Ford had a Canadian plant for the same reason, though their Model T sold well enough that it led to them setting up their own plants in England and Australia and probably other places.

So Canada became the place where the RHD cars were made... or more usually, where the kits from which the RHD cars would be assembled were made.

Some strange things happened. For instance, the Pontiacs sold in Australia after the sixes were phased out were built on Chevrolet chassis. Different stud patterns, different tracks (no 'Wide Track Pontiacs' here... unless they were privately imported), different engines... yep, they were 283s etc.

But the dashboard of the '64 Chev was out of a Pontiac, I was told today. Just as the dash of the Dodge Phoenixes sold here were always not the same as whatever the original car that was rebadged to become a Phoenix had. Up to '64 they were Dodges, after that they were Plymouths, but we never knew that, we always had Dodge Phoenixes until the Valiants grew and had up-market versions that took their place.

Apparently it was to do with simpler conversion of the dash to RHD.

#35 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 7,131 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 29 March 2007 - 12:29

Alright...time to fess up....as a schoolboy...I admired a local (salmon pink) Pontiac Parisienne ...

there...

I've said it :| :blush:

#36 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 29 March 2007 - 20:51

Originally posted by normbeechey
Thanks kayemod, you gave me a good lead.

Now that I know, I can sleep at night again (see link)
http://www.phrases.o...ssages/747.html
Note: you may have to highlight this web address link and manually ‘copy’ and then ‘paste’ it onto your Internet web browser address bar.

The Petula Clark song "Colour My World" perhaps had a variation of the theme in 1966

Anyway, Colour Me Satisfied :)


Well, when discussing '62 Chevrolets lets go two door 'bubbletop" and "Color My World" gold.

The stories Rex tells of the "409" truck motor are quite interesting.

Henry

Posted Image

And, in a '60 Chevrolet!



#37 seldo

seldo
  • Member

  • 1,628 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 30 March 2007 - 02:01

Originally posted by Catalina Park
When Norm raced the big Chev it was LHD.
The lever on the stick is a hand throttle, Norm couldn't heel-toe.

Maybe something to do with his size 15 feet.....;)

#38 C_Stock_409chevy

C_Stock_409chevy
  • New Member

  • 1 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 30 March 2007 - 05:29

Originally posted by Gerr
WHD,
GM Canada built right-hand drive Chevrolets (and Canadian Pontiacs) for export. AFAIK, the 409 was a US only engine and Canadian built GMs had the small-block V8s or the IL6.


Hi guys !
I was just given a link to this site by a friend on the Net :wave:
I guess he KNEW the above statement would get me going !

In 63, 64,... the 340HP, 400HP and 425HP 409's were available in ANY Canadian built Chevrolet or Pontiac Parisienne, Laurentian, or lowly StratoChief. Yews, under the skin, a Canadian Pontiac IS actually a Chevrolet :up:

In case you're wondering... Here's the holy grail of actual production 409 cars....
1964 Parisienne Custom Sport rag, 409 425HP , 4 speed :cool:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

#39 cosworth bdg

cosworth bdg
  • Member

  • 1,350 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 30 March 2007 - 05:45

Thanks very much for the info ,Cheers Peter N.

Advertisement

#40 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,745 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 30 March 2007 - 09:30

Originally posted by seldo

Maybe something to do with his size 15 feet.....;)

I have size 14 and I can do it. :cool:

#41 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 30 March 2007 - 10:05

Originally posted by Catalina Park
I have size 14 and I can do it. :cool:


I have size 8 and never could do it properly! :confused:

Henry

#42 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,745 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 30 March 2007 - 10:27

The trick is to bend the pedals to suit your feet. (Avis and Hertz hate me :p )
It is not really heel and toe, it is spreading the foot across both pedals however you can. ;)

#43 Leo D

Leo D
  • Member

  • 420 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 30 March 2007 - 10:31

Do all these references to shoe sizes translate into votes for my hand throttle on the gear lever theory??? :wave:

And for a bit of nostalgia...... does anybody remember the meeting where Norm won the feature Touring Car event of the day at Calder, and after accepting the Trophy, climbed aboard a helicopter which had landed on the main straight ..... the helicopter being used for a short commute to the airport to catch a plane to the US for what I believe was a "Motor Sport" oriented shopping trip..... Ahhhhh. what Showman!!! :)

#44 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,285 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 30 March 2007 - 10:47

I voted for the hand throttle as soon as I had a close look at the picture... it certainly isn't the Hurst (or other...) device for releasing the reverse lockout...

In the meantime, I will assure everyone that only the 283 came in the Australian market versions of the Canadian-built cars. I would suggest, actually, that no 409s were ever assembled with right hand drive.

#45 Catalina Park

Catalina Park
  • Member

  • 5,745 posts
  • Joined: July 01

Posted 30 March 2007 - 11:08

I have a couple of old magazines with write ups of Norms Monaro when it was new and they mentioned the hand throttle.

#46 HistoricMustang

HistoricMustang
  • Member

  • 4,076 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 30 March 2007 - 11:08

Well, it is time for me to "heel and toe" myself to the soap mill to make a few dollars. :p

You gentlemen have a nice day!

Henry

#47 normbeechey

normbeechey
  • Member

  • 167 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 31 March 2007 - 08:16

Leo D, I remember watching the Channel 0 telecast of the 1968 Victorian Touring Car Championship the meeting in March, which Norm won. At the presentation he said he was about to fly off in the helicopter to go to the USA to buy a replacement for the Chevy Nova. The Chevy Camaro was the result.

I'm sure he would have had some fun on the trip as well and I remember a year or two later seeing a photo of him, accompanied with Margaret, in Racing Car News at the site of some famous (infamous?) American street drags location.

Colour Me Shocked! I didn't think he would be into such things, but then I did lead a sheltered life...

#48 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,285 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 02 April 2007 - 23:55

Seeing as we're discussing racing Chev 409s that came to Australia...

http://www.348-409.c...59&d=1062976908

And 'colour me gone'...

http://www.modelsmod....biz/hrs027.htm

#49 Leo D

Leo D
  • Member

  • 420 posts
  • Joined: June 06

Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:24

Just happened to come across this clip today ...... the relevant bit starts at 3:21





#50 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 54,285 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 25 September 2009 - 08:26

Shows one thing at least...

Norman was still stormin'!