My favorite engine of all times is the Generation II, Mark IV series Chevrolet ‘Big Block’ introduced in 1963 as a special ‘mystery motor’. It is kinda freaky to think about it now, in 2009 at how many of these coveted engines GM innocently installed in the entire car line. With the continued development of cars and trucks in the ’60′s they started to gain weigh, so Chevy introduced a bigger engine, that was the idea at time time, pure and simple. It was used in the big heavy station wagons inÂ detuned versions, to haul the kids around. They also had a bunch of hi-performance versions for cars like the Vette and Chevelle SS series.
Chevrolet produced the Big Block 427 until the mid 1990′s. The only 427 Chevy engines were available from 1972 to 1995 was a truck version that was used in GM medium duty trucks such as the Chevrolet Kodiak and GMC Top Kick until 1995. Throttle body electronic fuel injection was used on the 427 from 1988 to 1995.
My favorite Big Block was the 1966 427 cubic inch “Rat Motor”. It was designated as the L-72 engine and had 425 horsepower. Before I go any further, you could order a bone-stock Chevy Biscayne in 1966 with the only option being an L-72 engine, a Muncie M-22 “rock crusher” 4-speed transmission and a posi-traction rear end. We called it a ‘Bisquick’ back then. Nowadays when you see a stripped down car, it almost inevitably has a 4 cylinder engine in it.
The car that my Big Block Chevy engine came in was a 1966 Corvette, it has the rock crusher transmission and posi-traction rear. BYW, the ‘Vette was a bad ass car, it was the first American car to have 4 wheel disc brakes and an independent rear suspension (of production cars).
The engine was L-72 model and had an aluminum intake manifold and giant carburetor. The crankshaft, pistons and rods were forged steel instead of nodular iron. It came with an aggressive camshaft design and solid lifters. The heads were cast iron, but had the same port design as the aluminum L-88 heads. With 11 to 1 compression, it was a serous performance engine, not for the light hearted.
These engines were transmission breaking, tire burning propulsion devises that started the generation of cars with Big Engines. Like the Dodge Magnum with a 440 cubic inch engine, or the GTO with 389 cubic inch engine, three deuces and a 4 speed transmission. Even the Camaro and Firebird were not exempt from the giant ‘motors’, as we called them back then. It was a fun time for young car lovers to grow up. It was also one of the reasons I became a mechanic.
I can’t say I ever blew up or damaged my Big Block, but my friends were putting themselves in spots where they needed to find an engine for sale fast. I messed around with changing camshafts and intake manifolds and carburetors constantly. I drove the heck out of it too. I broke a lot of Muncie M-22 transmissions and many clutches though. I don’t think it was luck that I never needed a rebuilt or replacement engine. It was more the over-maintenance I performed and my natural instinct to know when to back off right before it explodes.
Every one should have a ride in one of the real, original muscle cars. If you think you have a fast car now, you ain’t seen nothing yet! It is remarkable to think about how computerized and luxurious it is to go fast now. Porsche cars are rated the best made, most trouble free cars made every year it seems, and it is worthy of that title, for that matter it will outperform my old Vette. The difference is the raw unadulterated power and lack of any luxury devices, just pure, raw go fast. The ultimate feeling for a car enthusiast.
Back then if you needed a replacement engine, you had to call about 1000 junk yards, locate the engine and actually go to the junk yard with your own tools and remove your own parts, an engine in this case. No guarantees, other than it runs. For a small faction of people, like me it was fun going to the junk yard, but most people don’t like to. Now, we can call companies like GotEngines.com @ 1-866-320-1065 and order a guaranteed pre-tested used engine, or a long term guaranteed rebuilt engine over the Internet or phone at a great price and have it delivered to your door or your favorite repair shop in no time at all. Good luck.