AJ's Car of the Day 1962 Chevrolet Be Air 409 V8 Bubble Top Coupe

Car: Chevrolet Bel Air "Bubble -Top" 409 V8 Coupe

Year: 1962

What makes it special: When Detroit took to the strip in the 1960s, it was a game of cubic inches, compression and carburetors , meaning the more you had, the better. Chevrolet built 365,500 Bel Airs in 1962, but only a few thousand were two-door, pillarless Bubble-tTop Coupes, whose curves were a carryover from the 1961 model year.

What made it famous: The rarely ordered factory RPO587 option 409 cu.in. V8 engine with dual Carter AFB carburetors, a forged crankshaft, solid lifters and lightweight valvetrain for a one horsepower per cubic inch rating of 409hp.

Why I would want one: It's sleek design for one, the fact that there were so few produced in comparison to the regular Bel Air models that year, and having such a powerful factory V8 under its hood just screams Super Stock drag racing.

Fun fact: As part of their factory racing efforts in 1962, various Service Packages were available through the right dealer that knew how to order them. These included the Z11-style heads and intake made famous on the 1963 Impala Z11 427 lightweight drag special. In this case, the rare Z11 parts are fitted to the 409 cu.in. V8. Other Service Package components included a new camshaft, valve springs and exhaust pushrods.

( 1962 Chevrolet Bel Air 409 Bubble Top photo from barrett-jackson.com )