One-Of-One Chevy Biscayne Fleetmaster Headed To Auction9
The Chevy Biscayne received a full restyle for the 1961 model year, along with the rest of Chevrolet’s full-size passenger cars. The Biscayne was the economy offering in Chevrolet’s full-size lineup. The Biscayne was available as either a two- or four-door, and in Standard, Utility, or Fleetmaster trim. The Biscayne Fleetmaster, as the name suggests, was the fleet market-oriented version. Equipped with only the bare essentials, the Biscayne Fleetmaster had a lower grade of upholstery than the Standard, and many parts were painted rather than chromed. It lacked a cigarette lighter, passenger-side sun visor, and door armrests. This dearth of equipment served to make the Biscayne Fleetmaster the lightest of Chevy’s full-size offerings.
The Chevy Biscayne could be equipped with any number of drivetrains, including the inline six cylinder, 283 cubic-inch Small Block and 348 cubic-inch W-head Big Block, backed by either the Powerglide automatic or a choice of three- or four-speed manuals. However, the Big Daddy of them all was the 360-horsepower 409 cubic-inch Big Block. Only 142 409s were spread across the entire full-size Chevy line in 1961. Of those, a single 409-powered Biscayne Fleetmaster two-door is documented to have escaped the factory.
Ordered new by drag racer Allen May, this Chevy Biscayne Fleetmaster was delivered to Capitol Chevrolet in Salem, Oregon. A letter stating the car was going to be used only for racing accompanied the Oregon Chevrolet Zone Office order approval. This Biscayne is stuffed full of 409 goodness, backed by a Borg Warner T10 four-speed manual sending power through a 3.36 geared Posi-Traction rear end. It has a radio and heater delete.
As the Chevy Biscayne has lived its entire life in the Pacific Northwest, and has had just a handful of owners from new (the current owners have had the car since 1976), there is a complete history on the car. It has been the subject of a comprehensive rotisserie restoration. The Honduras Maroon paint has a deep shine. Original front and rear bumpers have been re-chromed, and all glass is crystal clear. Painted steel wheels are shod in correct bias-ply tires and topped with dog dish hubcaps. The original T3 headlights still reside in the grille. The undercarriage is beautifully detailed. The finished product is exceptional, as its Second Place finish at the Grand National Roadster Show’s Outstanding Display Award confirms.
This Chevy Biscayne is accompanied by a full race history, including wins at the 1962 NHRA Winternationals and 1982 World Finals, a Letter of Authenticity from Jersey Late Great Chevrolet’s Verne Fantz, Jr., historic photos, and an appraisal from Chevrolet historian and former editor for Super Chevy magazine Doug Marion. It has twice graced the cover of Super Chevy magazine, and has been featured on Torqtalk.com.
This rarest of all Chevy Biscayne Fleetmasters will cross the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale sale taking place January 22nd through 30th.
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I had a 63 Impala SS with a 409 back in the early1970’s, but sold it for a Chevelle. Wish I still had the 409!
The 409 was a real screamer.
Yes my friend very rare, i would love to have it in my garage . Will go for big bucks !!
Nice looking car and a rare car looks a baby Impala… They don’t make cars like this anymore!
These were truly amazing vehicles in their own right, basic as a “mud fence” but reliable and still useful as they had a big trunk and back seat. My father worked at the GM Van Nuys (Los Angeles) Assembly Plant as a Trim Department Supervisor from 1948 to 1980 (he retired in ’80) and I can remember as “kid” him bringing home various plant produced cars that he’d have to drive and evaluate or put up to 1500 miles so those cars could be sold to other GM employees that ordered those cars and receive a pretty decent discount…to which my father would allow my to order a new car every year for the family.
It had to be a top of the line Impala, in 4 door Sport Sedan or an Impala Station Wagon, it also was always “loaded to the gills” with every factory option, which at the end of a year or the model year my father could sell it and order another new Chevy! I had a ball ordering the biggest engine with an auto tranny, power everything and in various popular colors back in the day. We’d take “family vacations” in these factory ordered cars and they always drove so well with that “Jet Smooth” ride” that Chevy was famous for back in the day.
My father would also being into the Van Nuys Plant as a young kid (well, from 10 to 16 years old) showing me all of the many different parts of the assembly plant…I was so impressed that I went to work for the Van Nuys GM Plant right out of high school and while going to college! I worked there for over 38 years and it was a great place to work “IF” you found the right job and were able to enjoy all of the benefits that GM and The UAW supplied back in the day.
The Van Nuys Plant is gone now (since late 1992) but the fond memories are still in my mind and yes in 98 year old fathers mind too as we can still reminisce those days when GM and Chevy were the most popular vehicles on the planet and the Van Nuys Plant produced a millions different GM vehicles from it’s Grand Opening in Van Nuys in 1948 (the year of my birth) until the last 1992 Camaro came off of the assembly line! What a ride, what an amazing time to be born and what a great load of fond memories I had of these beautiful cars rolling off of the assembly line. Those days are gone now, but time marches on…and yes, I still drive my favorite brand of vehicle, a Chevy, except now it’s a classic Corvette!
God Bless The USA…nobody built amazing old (now classic) Chevy’s like GM and Fisher Body back in the day, it’s a great feeling to have been a part of Southern California’s automotive Production history when many other automotive businesses built vehicles here in Los Angels, besides GM, Ford, Chrysler and others made cars and trucks here for the masses, those days are forever gone now. Too bad, but it was an amazing ride, while it lasted!
The 409 Option was a $310 add on to a $2800 car .. big Bucks in 1961.
One of the differences which helped the Biscayne Fleetmaster to have a ‘whopping’ $32 lower base MSRP than a regular Biscayne was the door panels. They had the same design as the Biscayne panels, but they were only stamped cardboard w/NO vinyl covering on them.
nothing sounds as good as a 409 for many years chevy had more choices than others you could buy a impala a chevelle chevy11 camaro corvette different engines and options that the buyer wanted