The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

Lot 103

1962 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe

Sold for $110,000

  • Chassis no. 21637S294496


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.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

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 joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

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

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more