There probably isn't a more famous engine than the 409, thanks to the Beach Boys. The 409 was first available late in the 1961 model year, and it really took off in the 62 and 63 model years. As great as it was, Chevy knew that it wasn't the engine to carry them to victory in the street wars. The 396 didn't arrive until mid 1965, and the 409 held on until then. But for four shining years, this was the engine that had the mystique, the cachet; it was real fine, that four-speed, dual-quad, positraction, four-oh-nine.