The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

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Lot 103

1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe

  • Chassis no. 21637S294496

Sold for $110,000

409 bhp, 409 cu. in. OHV V-8, dual Carter AFB carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with ball joints, upper and lower control arms, coil springs, tubular shocks, and anti-roll bar, rear live axle with three-link trailing arms lateral link, coil springs and tubular shock absorbers, and four-wheel, 11-inch hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 119 in.

  • Numbers-matching 409/409 V-8
  • Documented restoration completed in 2009
  • Multiple Best of Show awards

The bubbletop Chevrolets are an American icon. For the first time, the fifties’ fins were gone; now, Bel Air was a thoroughly Jet Age, pared down, and, in the sport coupe, deadly-looking street machine. Sales were, as they say, blistering.

Blistering performance was on tap, too, from the hot 409, which in dual-quad configuration, as here, reported one-horsepower-per-cubic-inch. In this lightweight coupe body, a drag racer’s favorite, as it is the best compromise between a stiff body and weight, 0–60 times were in the neighborhood of seven seconds, with quarter-miles in the 15s on street tires—and far quicker on race rubber. As the fastest car Chevrolet could build (Corvette’s biggest engine was a 327), it’s difficult to imagine someone specifying a car such as this with anything other than racing in mind—it was ordered without a radio, heater, clock, or cigarette lighter.

As one of the most sought-after engine specifications of the early-sixties, documentation for a 409/409 is important. It does not get more authentic than this car’s original order form and dealer invoice from Quality Chevrolet in Wichita, Kansas. Those documents indicate this Bel Air bubbletop was built exactly as you see it: in Roman Red over red and with the 409 horsepower engine’s mandatory four-speed with tachometer, power steering, and a positraction 3.55 axle. While a pure street racer might not have specified power steering, someone who also planned to drive to work in it would have, and it is surely appreciated today. All numbers and stampings appear to be present, and they appear to verify the configuration, as well. Additionally, it is complete with its original warranty protection plan book. Somewhere in Wichita, someone probably remembers this car lurking at a downtown stoplight on a Saturday night, a relaxed driver that was confident that, for one year at least, he had the hottest car in town.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more