autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 
This $1 Million Z-11 Is Frank Sanders' 1963 Speed-Bred, Drag Strip-Ruling One-Off Impala
If you're an avid collector of automotive masterpieces adorned with enough glory-clad performance to fit an eighteen-wheeler, look no further. This one-million-dollar '63 Impala is the King of the Ring, the Whip of the Strip, the Snag of the Drag. And it is for sale. The car is no ordinary Chevy, and its build code strongly contradicts the "regular" in RPO: Z-11, Frank Sander's racer, 99% original.

This $1 Million Z-11 Is Frank Sanders' 1963 Speed-Bred, Drag Strip-Ruling One-Off Impala

1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership1963 Chevrolet Impala Z-11 asks $1 Million for ownership
That's it, end of the story for you, hardcore Impala worshipers. For everyone else, we'll delve into the spicy details further on. This vehicle is the most successful drag racer of 1963 in the "factory stock" category. I mean everyone, not just Impala, not just Chevrolet, not even all of GM. With 19 wins out of 20 runs (best-two-out-of-three ruling), this 1963 Chevy Z-11 was a raging speed addiction.

If the term "no-nonsense" could be applied to one car only, this Impala would take it. In January 1963, it blasted past 120 mph (193 kph) at the end of the standing quarter-mile sprint. Thanks to some unique characteristics, it was the first stock racer to achieve this feature.

To begin with, the Z-11 lineage was a 50-limited 1963 Impala production run dedicated to track-only use. These drag strip kings are some of the rarest racing cars ever, and only 15 are rumored to be roaming around today. Well, Sanders' car seen here is the crown jewel. It's a one-in-one automobile, thanks to a unique body, interior color combination, and an impressive number of original parts.

Twenty-four of those parts are aluminum-made body panels (to save as much weight as possible), and the same metal shaved off some pounds from the engine. Since we opened this V8 topic, note that the Z-11s had a particular 409 CID (6.7-liter) engine. Over-stroked - by longer piston rods – to 427 cubic inches (seven liters), the tuned plant would unleash 430 hp (436 PS) and 575 lb-ft (780 Nm). However, because Frank Sanders installed his S&S headers, this Z-11 is stated by the seller at 510 hp (517 PS) and 520 lb-ft of torque (720 Nm). All in a 3,504 lbs. (1.5 tons) two-door rocket.

The comprehensive engine modifications list includes the forged stroker crankshaft and rods, forged 13.5:1 high-compression pistons, and a deep eight-quart oil pan (with a matching oversized pump). Big-port heads (with custom-made rocker arm supports), an aluminum water pump, a two-piece intake manifold (with larger ports), and a degreed camshaft (325°, with heavy-duty pushrods and rockers arms) added the winning Z-11 horsepower to the Impala.

We're not done yet: the factory-installed RamAir cowl induction air cleaner, the sintered metallic brakes (with vented braking plates), the high-performance, heavy-duty 4.11 Positraction rear axle, and the Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed manual transmission put the Z-11 in the high 11s at the checkered-flag end of the 1,320-feet straight. It's the only Azure Aqua Z-11 built, and its line-lock lever (for staging) is an explicit statement of the car's sole purpose of being.

As a cutthroat means to a happy end, the Sanders Z-11 Impala was the ultimate track weapon, opening the 1963 racing season with the barrier-breaking 120 mph (193 kph) run in January. It wasn't a one-time-only achievement. In February, Sanders and his Impala were NHRA Winter Nationals Champions in the Limited Production Stock class.

Since there were ten more months left of the year, Frank looked to his laurels in the "Drag News Top-10 Mr. Stock Eliminator Record List." By April 1963, his Chevy was at the top of that competition. It held on to the spot for the rest of the year – with one exception – collecting 19 wins in 20 races.

That's a 95% win-to-race performance for the Z-11 Impala; then again, the Top 10 would see between three and six Z-11s (check the gallery for the spring standings) at any time. Furthermore, the no. 1 rank would be a Z-11-exclusive affair, with just three Impalas switching places between them in 1963. Overall, this Z-11 is one of the rarest factory-made racing engines, so this $1 million arm-and-leg deal for this history-weaving, one-off Chevrolet might be worth it.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories