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1963 Chevrolet Impala Z11 news, pictures, specifications, and information

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In the early 1960s, intense rivalry among the American auto manufacturers began to manifest itself on the short dirt tracks and the high-banked oval speedway in the southern United States. Chevrolet was right in the thick of the battle when Junior Johnson debuted his Impala at the 1963 Daytona 500. Johnson's Impala quickly had the competition taking notice when he ran 165.183 mph in practice (fully 8 mph faster than the previous year's pole speed).

Powering the Impala was the legendary 427 'Mystery Motor' that featured a new design cylinder head (called the Porcupine as the angled valves and rockers 'stuck out every which way') and a four-bolt main block. Unfortunately, mechanical problems robbed Johnson and the Impala of victory when leading the 1963 Daytona 500. For most of the races that year, Johnson's Impala was on the pole and by the end of the season, Impalas had scored eight victories during their first and only year of competition.

Chevrolet had learned a valuable lesson from the 'Mystery Motor' program and applied what they had learned on the track back to the engine's design. Within a few short years, production Chevrolet 427 Mar IV big block engines would dominate a wide variety of racing venues throughout the world.

The current owner is The International Speedway Corporation, Daytona, Florida.
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This car is the very first factory light weight car built on the assembly line at Flint, Michigan Chevrolet Assembly. It's still not known how many of these cars were built - somewhere between 50 and 57 are the numbers commonly used. The owner believes there were 50 built, based on a shipping document from an engine plant showing 50 Z-11 engines shipped to the Flint Assembly Plant.

Zora Duntov and his group of engineers developed the 427 Z-11 engine and body package for drag racing. The Z-11 427 engine was the first 427 cubic-inch production engine offered by Chevrolet in a Regular Production Order (RPO) car.

The base price of a 1963 Impala was $2,774. Adding the price of the RPO Z-11 option of $1,240 brings the total price just over $4,000, not including destination charges, taxes, etc.

This car was raced by Ronnie Sox (of Sox and Martin Fame). It was used as their match race car and was billed as the 'World's Fastest Z-11,' turning low 11.20 ET's. It in fact was capable of times as fast at 10.80 ET in the ¼ mile and indeed was extremely fast for its day. The car has factory aluminum hood, fenders, bumpers, brackets and other components.
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As the drag racing wars continued to escalate, so did the efforts to find ways to win. Lighter cars and bigger engines were one quick means to an end. For Chevrolet, one of their attempts was the Impala Z11 with a modified 409 engine. In 1963 and 1964, the Impala was could be fitted with various types of engines with results ranging from 340 to 425 horsepower. The Z-11 was devoid of heaters, radios, sound deadening insulation, and any other non-essential items. In total, there were only 47 examples produced and even fewer exist in modern time.

The RPO Z-11 Impala cars were built to race. They were used by many of the top drag racing individuals of the time and used with great success on many occasions.
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This 1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 Sport Coupe has just 1,080 miles and a distinguished racing career. It has a factory installed aluminum front end and bumpers. It was ordered from the factory with the Z-11 package that included the 427 cubic-inch 'Mystery Engine' with special Z-11 heads. The car has undergone a complete frame-off restoration and is one of the finest examples of a factory race car.
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When you pair a Chevrolet Impala Z-11 wîth the likes of engine builder Bill 'Grumpy' Jenkins and racer Dave Stickler, you get a combination that could only lead to victory.

In the early days of A/FX racing, different combinations were tried and tested on racetracks each weekend. With Bill Jenkins doing the tuning and Dave Strickler driving, Chevy had a winning team.

Only 16 factory drag racing Impalas were produced in 1962, and 57 in 1963.

This car was one of the first Impalas to have the Z-11 drag racing option, and, raced by Strickler, won over 90-percent of its races including Indy '63. Strickler is remembered as a tireless racer who played a very important role in the early years of A/FX racing.

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