1962 Chevy Bel Air - Time Warp

Mike Cortina's '62 409-Powered Bel Air Brings Back The Good Old Days

Frank H. Cicerale Apr 1, 2009 0 Comment(s)
Sucp_0904_08_z 1962_chevy_bel_air Shifter 2/12

Topped by iron heads, an aluminum intake, and a pair of 600 cfm Carter AFB carburetors, this monster could ingest enough atmosphere to leave its competitors breathless. Exhaling through stock exhaust manifolds feeding into a two-inch exhaust system, the engine swallows dead dinosaurs provided by an AC Delco mechanical fuel pump before spitting fire thanks to the spark emanating from the Delco Remy points ignition system. Anyone who is anyone knows something is up as soon as the dual-snorkel air cleaner comes into view. After all, this W-motor pushes out 409 ponies, which for '62 was more than enough to get the job done.

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Finally, the time has come. That stunning 409 is rumbling, asking you to make it roar. You push the clutch in and move the vintage shifter into the First gear position. Slowly, with just the right amount of throttle control, you slip the clutch enough to get the Bel Air moving. You can't hold back any longer and you drop the hammer, punching the loud pedal to the floorboard and making the rear BFGoodrich Silvertown bias-ply sneakers scream in agony. You bang through the gears in the T-10 four-speed, praying to someone up high that each time you powershift the Bel Air, the 3.36-geared drop-out rear will hold up. It does, and when your fun is over, you cruise back to the scene of the crime, where evidence of your deed has been left in the form of two long black tire marks thanks to the posi unit that resides in said rear.

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A crowd forms around the bubble top Chevy, and as you hop out, you realize just how unassuming the car looks. No shiny rims here, just those now molten BFG's wrapped around a set of 14x6 steel wheels with the dog dish hub caps. The car sits normally thanks to the stock Chevy suspension components. Maybe later on when you hit the strip, some changes can be made to get the weight to transfer, but for now, she sits just right.

The Tuxedo Black PPG single-stage paint job belies no ulterior motive other than to stay under the radar until the throttle is held wide open. While the chrome bumpers and trim give off enough shine to make the Bel Air gleam in the sun, you make damn sure you stand in front of the 409 fender badges. No one needs to know what your baby is packing until it's too late to get their money back.

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For Mike, he gets to live this dream every time he hops into his Bel Air. Thanks to Don Scinto Automotive, who assembled the legendary W-motor, cousin Bob Cortina, who handled the paint and body work, and Frank Faille, who tackled the final assembly with Mike, a dream like that gets to live on.

While Mike plans to build a Pro Mod-style '67 Nova packing a sauced-up 632 fat-block next, any time he wants to go back in time, he can take a short walk to the garage and turn on the tunes from the Bel Air. It's guaranteed to be a chart topper.


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