409 (song)

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409 - The Beach Boys.jpg
Single by the Beach Boys
from the album Surfin' Safari and Little Deuce Coupe
A-side"Surfin' Safari"
ReleasedJune 4, 1962
RecordedApril 19, 1962
Western Studios
GenreHot rod rock,[1] car song[2]
Songwriter(s)Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Gary Usher
Producer(s)Murry Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Ten Little Indians"

"409" is a song written by Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and Gary Usher for the American rock and roll band the Beach Boys. The song features Love singing lead vocals. It was originally released as the B-side of the single "Surfin' Safari" (1962).[3] It was later released on their 1962 album, Surfin' Safari and appeared again on their 1963 album, Little Deuce Coupe.

The song is credited for initiating the hot rod music craze of the 1960s.[1]


"409" was inspired by Gary Usher's obsession with hot rods.[4] Its title refers to an automobile fitted with Chevrolet's 409-cubic-inch-displacement "big block" V8 engine.[3] The song's narrator concludes with the description "My four speed, dual-quad, positraction four-oh-nine." This version of the engine - at 409hp, achieving 1hp per cubic inch - featured twin "D" series Carter AFB (Aluminum Four Barrel) carburetors ("dual-quads"). It was offered in new vehicles (Impala SS ["Super Sport"]; Bel Air; Biscayne) and as replacement units in the 1962 model year.[5] It stayed one week on the Billboard Hot 100, at number 76, in October 1962.[6]



  1. ^ a b Breitenstein, Jeff. Ultimate Hot Rod Dictionary: A-Bombs to Zoomies. MotorBooks International. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-61059-235-2.
  2. ^ Hoffmann, Frank W.; Bailey, William G. (1990). Arts & Entertainment Fads, Volume 1. Binghampton: Haworth Press. p. 61-62. ISBN 9780866568814.
  3. ^ a b Profile at Songfacts
  4. ^ "The Beach Boys: 409". allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  5. ^ Marion, Doug (January 11, 2008). "40 Years Of 348 And 409 W-Engines - W-ow!". superchevy.com. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  6. ^ Hot 100 - The Beach Boys 409 Chart History, Billboard.com. Retrieved January 11, 2018.

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