Rum Runner '63 Chevy 409/425

Impalla SS (Super Sport)
409/425 HP With Power Brakes
    Shortly after doing Leon Hurd's Z06 racer Gerry McCarthy asked us to do the interior of his red '60 Corvette. While doing the Corvette work he asked us if we were interested in doing the body and paint to his newly acquired '63 Super Sport, a former rum runner. Gerry had seen Leon's car and liked it. The car delivery to our shop was delayed a few weeks because its entire frame was packed full of dirt due to the off road antics of its former use in evading arrest by law enforcement. The car was sold in '63 to what became known as the "Shine Brothers" in the High Point, North Carolina area by Lyles Chevrolet. After their arrest and lengthy incarciration the car spent the next two decades under a tree in High Point.
    During the restoration process we validated its authenticity with photos showing such things as the factory two tone paint break under the pillar mouldings, etc. After its restoration Lyles Chevrolet displayed the well known "Shine Brother's Rum Runner" in their show room for one year. Gerry owned and enjoyed the car for nearly twenty years. Early on when he began using the car often he repowered it with a 502 crate engine to preserve the original 409 which ran like a fine Swiss watch. As Gerry tells it: "The 409 Rum Runner was sold with both engines, spare parts, extra wheels along with pictures and paper work to a 409 collector from New York, since deceased. For all we know it could be under a tree in New York."


    The term "Rum Runner" is used to describe a person or vehicle engaged in transporting illegal alcoholic beverages, and has been in use since Prohibition, (1919-1933 law prohibiting manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages enacted and enforced by the federal government). A heated conflict arose since Prohibition between moonshinners and law enforcement, often resulting in blood shed on both sides and remains to this day.
1940 Ford Business Coupe

    During the 1940s and most of the 1950s, a popular Rum Runner Car of Choice was the 1940 Ford powered by Ford's flathead V8. The prerequisite for the car of choice was large trunk and large engine. The informed auto mechanic of the day also preferred an engine that was a winner at the race track and had modification parts readily available to keep the car faster than those driven by law enforcement. A good example was the Ardun Heads manufactured by Zora Arkus-Duntov and his brother Yura at Ardun Manufacturing in New York during the late 1940s and continued in the 1950s by the Allard Company in England. Approximately 400 sets of heads were made and enabled 300 horse power from Ford's flat head V8.

Ford Flathead V8 With Stromberg 97 Carb

The End
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