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Old 10-26-2009, 04:37 AM
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Default Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

Cousin Eddie’s 1962 Chevy Impala
Nassau Blue with a blue bench seat interior, 409/409, 4 speed.
VIN# 21847J18XXXX

<u>In the beginning:</u>

My father's cousin Edward Nydam (Cousin Eddie) ordered this car brand new in 1962. His father worked in a steel foundry and Eddie complained that his Dad’s work car was always too dirty on the inside from his work clothes to take be able take girls out on a date. So they ordered up this 1962 Chevy with all of the go fast goodies.

Cousin Eddie ordered the car at Brigance Chevrolet in Oak Park, IL which is now long gone. When ordering the car only options that would make the car faster were checked on the option sheet. When asked if he wanted a particular option like an FM radio, Eddie’s response was, “will that make it faster?” Ironically then - when Eddie ordered the car they were not aware that they had a choice of rear axle ratios so by default the car came with a 3.08 ratio. After realizing the mistake he promptly went to Nickey Chevrolet and purchased 3 entire rear pumpkin assemblies - a 3.55 ratio, 4.11 ratio, and a 4.56 ratio. Money was not an object for Eddie as he lived at home and had lots of money to spend on cars. The 4.11 was the fastest combination evidently.

Mostly all of the speed parts that were installed on the car back in the day were purchased over the counter from Nickey Chevrolet. He got to know the parts guy (Dan) very well.

They (my dad and Eddie) also tried several different cam and intake/carb combinations in an effort to go faster. They tried the mysterious Z-11 cam and it did not run as good as the factory cam, so back in went the factory cam. They tried a larger single four barrel setup and it did not run as good as the factory 2x4 setup so back on it went. The final set-up was a .030 over “X” block, stock original camshaft, 13:1 forged pistons, single steel head gasket, stock valve springs, 3852583 heads with Ford sodium filled 2.19 &amp; 1.72 valves, stock 2X4 intake with ½”phenolic resin spacers stacked 4 high, velocity stacks on the AFB’s, stock distributor, stock coil, Delco-Packard solid core wires, Jardine headers, 4:11 posi rear gears, with a home made pinion snubber. Preloaded right rear spring, and 80/20 drag shocks up front. They ran Sunoco 260 fuel, and a “cool can” with a 3/8” aluminum coil in an ice bucket. All this and the stock original shifter! Evidently they swapped so many cam and intake combinations that they kept about a dozen gasket sets in the garage to facilitate making a change on whim if necessary.

Eddie drag raced the car around the Chicago area on the weekends and his parents drove the car during the week as their everyday car.

Eddie literally had a houseful of trophies he won from racing at Union Grove, Oswego, and US30.



<u>Stories:</u>

One of my favorite drag racing stories is:

Eddie was not a morning person and his lifestyle was such that he stayed out very late at the local taverns doing what people do at taverns. When they raced on Sunday mornings they had to leave pretty early as they usually had an hours drive to get to the track and you wanted to get there plenty early to assure a good pit spot. Being that Eddie lived with his parents my Dad did not want to have to wake them up in order to get Eddie out of bed to go to the races. So their solution was to have Eddie tie a rope on his foot before he went to bed (how he remembered after coming home from the tavern is anyone’s guess) and hang it out the window (his bedroom was on the second floor facing the alley). My Dad then came by early in the morning and gave a tug on the string and Eddie got up and they were off to the track.

<u>The story about the blown engine goes like this:</u>

When racing one 100 degree weekend they were in a round robin, hot lap type competition, meaning if you won your race you got right back in line and kept racing, which was not kind to the drive train from an overheating standpoint. In the 4th round of the races when he was going down the track the heat was so intense it melted the solder in the generator windings and froze up the generator, which in turn broke the generator/water pump drive belt, which in turn stopped the water pump from working, and ultimately the engine overheated and froze up. Eddie had removed the idler pulley, along with the inner front bumper brace, in the interest of saving weight.

When Eddie blew up the original 409 it was replaced with a 283. The original engine was rebuilt, and put in a black ’61 bubble top Impala, along with all the “race parts,” including a new 4:88 posi rear gear, and an E&amp;R rubber drive clutch! The blue ’62 then became the tow car, and he continued to race the ’61 for many years. The ’61 was sold in 1969, however the original engine from the ’62 was removed from the ‘61, and taken apart, and some of the parts were damaged so badly, that a new engine was needed. The camshaft was broken in 7 pieces, and 2 connecting rods had penetrated the block. It seems Eddie was accustomed to shifting the 409 at 7 grand!

<u>Uncle Sy and Aunt Lil Vacation story:</u>

Since Eddie’s parents used this car as their everyday driver, they had planned a trip to drive around Lake Michigan one summer. Eddie’s father (Uncle Sy) told Eddie, “your mother and I will be taking that car on a trip around Lake Michigan so take all of that drag racing stuff off of it and make it so we can take it on the trip”. Out came the big gears, racing exhaust, etc. One thing that did not come off was the carburetor spacers though. On one portion of the trip Uncle Sy was attempting to pass a slower car on a 2 lane road and laid into the 409, the secondary’s opened up and around the slower car they went with ease, however when Uncle Sy went to let off the gas pedal the car kept going and going. Turns out with the carb spacers the throttle sometimes stuck wide open due to being over centered and you’d have to reach down and pull the pedal back to un-stick the linkage. I guess it was quite a sight seeing Uncle Sy under the dash, trying to pull up the gas pedal, not to mention the look on Aunt Lil’s face when they raced through Manistique, Michigan at over 100 MPH!

<u>History and time line of the car:</u>

As noted above Eddie ordered the car in 1962 at Brigance Chevrolet in Oak Park, IL.

The car was raced extensively through sometime around 1969 when the engine was blown up per the above story. At this point in time Eddie was attending college to become a lawyer, and he no longer had time to race cars. The ’62 then sat until 1979 when my father's uncle wanted to get rid of the car. My family is a "car family" and at the time my father knew the significance of the car, both from a historical and personal perspective.

My father bought the car and partially restored the car over the period of a year or so. As part of this restoration he found a 1965 dated replacement 409 and the related missing parts from over the years for a complete engine. When he put in the replacement engine the oil pan, exhaust manifolds, intake manifold, and carburetors were the ones original to the car, the block and heads were what was replaced. The original exhaust manifolds were taken off the car by Eddie (for a set of Jardine headers) with only about 50 miles on the car and stayed with the car over the years so when my dad assembled the new engine the manifolds were virtually brand new. The car had approximately 21,000 miles in 1981. He had a good friend re-paint the car in our garage. His friend had been to the Carlisle swap meet, and bought 2 new NOS ’62 Impala fenders for the restoration. My father also bought a ’62 Impala “parts car” and used many little, hard to find parts to complete the restoration. When complete, he drove the car with a 4.56 rear gear in it from Chicago to Indianapolis to the Car Craft Magazine Street Machine Nationals in 1980.

One other story that sYc member Bill Stephenson (olredalert) recalls well is a night coming back from Duke’s Drive-In, located in southwest suburban Chicago. There was a 71 LS6 Corvette that a mutual friend was driving, the 409, and Bill in a 63 Fuel Injected Corvette. The group was coming up Rte 83 and the 409 and LS6 caught a light. The dual was on and the 409 and LS6 went at it. The 409 came out on top while the 63 fuel car was back in the distance.

In order to raise money to buy a brand new 1981 Corvette for my mother, my father sold the car to a specialty car dealer in Southern Illinois around 1980 or 1981. That dealer then turned around and sold it to sYc member Carl Bolander. I have recently been in contact with Carl and he sent me several pictures showing the car with his “Day 2” modifications to it.

Ever since the car was sold we wondered where it landed. We always knew that Carl Bolander owned the car shortly after we did but did not know anything beyond that. In the spring of 2009 I began to do some searching for the car. During this search I was able to locate and talk to Carl Bolander (We are both in the commercial construction business and our companies had actually done business together over the years – what a small world.) Carl gave me some additional history and photographs of the car when he owned it but did not know anything about the ownership history after the guy he sold it to. Carl did not do much to the car and sold it around 1993-94. Carl wanted to restore the car because it wasn’t being driven. He and his wife just had a baby at the time, and figured it was best to sell the car rather than restore it. The next owner supposedly restored the car and gave to his 16 year old son, realized it was not the right thing to do and bought the son a Mustang and sold the 409 sometime around 1998.

Carl called the guy he sold it to a few years ago looking for information on who the subsequent owners were as Carl wanted to buy the car back but there was no information as to who bought the car. Once I knew that Carl no longer owned the car I had to try and figure out how to find it.

I then ran across the sYc website and quickly figured out that the members there were the type of people that would potentially know the whereabouts of a car like this. In May of 2009 I started a thread asking if anyone knew of the car based on a description and VIN #. (Ironically I did not know at the time Carl Bolander was a sYc member as well). On June 27th 2009 I received a private message from a sYc member that has access to a VIN# database and gave me some information as to the current owner in Los Angeles, California. I googled the name of the person and turns out he is a tax attorney in LA. So via his company’s website I sent him an e-mail the same day asking him if he in fact was the current owner of the car. That evening Bob Nagata responded indicating that yes he still did own the car. Over the next couple of weeks we exchanged numerous e-mails and I recounted the above stories to him. When Bob purchased the car in 2005 (from a dealer that was 3 miles from the house I grew up in, and where the car was restored during my Dad’s previous ownership) it had already been converted to an SS including the change to bucket seats in lieu of the standard bench seat the car was delivered with. In addition Bob had added aftermarket power front disc brakes, power steering, and an electronic ignition system. In one of my e-mails I indicated that if he should ever decide to sell the car we would be interested in buying it back. Given the significance of the car to our family it is only fitting that on August 8th 2009 we received his offer to sell (via e-mail on a Blackberry phone) while on an annual family boating trip on the Chain O’ Lakes in Northern Illinois, another place steeped in Dykstra family history over the years. Bob made us an offer we could not refuse and we were ecstatic about this wonderful opportunity.

From there we proceeded to finalize the deal and organize the logistics of purchasing and transporting a collector car some 1,700 miles away. Given the family significance and history of this car it was important to my Dad that my brother Dave, my 9 year old son, and I accompanied him to LA to consummate the deal. This was not something he wanted to do over the phone or internet. My brother Dave and I were my son’s age when my Dad had this car originally and we remembered him taking us for a ride in the car late at night when he got it running again for the first time – no mufflers, no back seat, no hood, no seat belts, etc. What a ride it was! Dave and I distinctly remember the smell of burning tires and smoke coming through the area where the rear seat should be while my Dad enjoyed the power of the 409 brought back to life. We were 7 and 10 years old at the time. It was great and the start of our own car fascination that we still enjoy as a family to this day.

On September 12th 2009 we flew to Los Angeles to complete the transaction and take delivery of the car. The entire process went very smoothly and Bob Nagata was a gentleman and first class guy throughout this process. The car was better than we expected and Bob made sure that he included all of the original parts he took off the car with the exception of the original brake system which was long gone. Reliable Transportation got there early and did an excellent job of loading the car and getting it ready for its 1,700 mile journey back home. The car arrived safe and sound on Tuesday afternoon 9/15/09. The car will need a thorough cleaning and detailing. Right now the plan is to re-install the original components that came with the car, new tires, different exhaust system, and correct some details/fasteners/etc. throughout the car.

Thanks,

Jake





<u>Vintage pics</u>



















<u>Some restoration photos</u>





















<u>[b] Car Craft Street Machine Nationals-name the guy by the car!












<u>The Carl Bolander years</u>




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Old 10-26-2009, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

Reuniting dad (Jake) with his old car...Key exchange!



He can't believe it's his again!!





Jake asking Grandpa Jake for the keys





Some outside shots...

























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Old 10-26-2009, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

Getting ready to put it on the transporter for it's ride "Home"!









Arriving "home"...







Out in familiar surroundings again!!





And finally at a show...





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Old 10-26-2009, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

Here is a video that I hosted on Youtube for Jake...with his dad's car in it!

It seems that Photobucket recognized the Beach Boys song as a copyright infringment....

Check it out!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXpL5S8H4UU
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:41 AM
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Default Re: Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

Wow Jake! Congratulations on getting back the one that got away. Just terrific to see it come full circle. I have a '62 Plymouth that was a regular at Union Grove, Oswego, and US30 (Cordova too). Maybe you remember it. It was a medium blue Savoy with a 413 Max Wedge package. The fellow that owned it in '62 was Gordy Carlson (He and his son still run Biel Upholstery @ 6200 block of North Clark St.) and the link to its story is here! Jerry Zielinski was the second owner from '63 to '70. They both still live in Chicago.


Terrific story - thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

Great story and a great feature!
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

Great history and great car, Jake. Recall it well when it was with Carl - no dog, for sure! Congrats to you and family!
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:45 PM
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Default Re: Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

------Boy!!! Does this bring back good memories. Jake (seniors) trip to the Car Craft Nationals was alongside my white 69 454 re-powered El Camino (definitly a day 2 car). What a great time we all had that weekend. Especially Jake as the car had just recently been finished and there were so many great memories for him.........Bill S
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

Sam-

I forwarded your response to my dad and this is how he replied:

I don't remember that particular car, but as I remember, the Mopars were lighter, and consequently in a different class. When we ran the 409, I think we were in the C/S class. Most of the Mopars we raced on the street were automatics. Eddy raced on the street, and he always chose to race weird cars, like a '55 Chevy with a 401 Buick, and an early 4 sp. Hydramatic. He knew the combination he had worked, and could figure out in his head the power to weight ratio of the cars he raced against. Sometimes it was very close, but he always won. I do remember the Pie Pan restaurant. We raced a 421 Pontiac on Eden's expressway one foggy night, and Eddy had the 409 sideways at about 100 mph. It seemed perfectly natural, and he never lifted! Later when we returned to the restaurant, we saw the Pontiac driver, and he said Eddy was crazy! There were many "Hot" cars there, and they would test their tune-ups on the Eden's Expressway on Friday and Saturday nights, prior to going up to the Drag Strip on Sunday. After being beaten on the Eden's, they would ask Eddy where he was going to race on Sunday, and they would go to another strip! Usually on Fridays, we would go to Skips in Melrose Park, and race on North Ave. When the Police stopped the racing on North Ave, we would go to a side street next to Amlings, and race there. Saturday's were usually spent preparing the car for Sunday at the drag strip. If the car felt really strong, we would go to the Pie Pan, and embarrass the "Big Boys" on Saturday night.


Ah, the memories! I feel like I'm 20 again!

Thanks -

Jake
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Jake Dykstra's 1962 409/409 Impala!

Thank you Bruce for posting this, great job as usual.

As I look at some of the pictures again I have to laugh - anyone diggin' the period correct Farrah Fawcett poster in the back wall of the garage in the picture of the car being painted?

That's Bob Zimmerman "Stretch" who painted the car in our attached 2 stall garage with the big door open and a old Craftsman compressor back in 1980. It turned out amazingly well for the conditions back then. I am the one at the very right edge of the picture looking on - I was 10 years old at the time.

Funny thing about the tire/hubcap picture. My dad installed those Sears tires in 1980 as part of his restoration back then and they were still on the car when we picked it up in LA - almost 30 years later. They were the first thing to be replaced when he got it back.

Jake
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