09 March 2007

Wasted Storage Space

If you're not a car nut you can stop reading now, because if you continue, you're gonna be bored.

"I coulda had a V-8!"
On the way to work the other day, I was thinking of stuff taking up space in my gray matter that needs to be deleted so it can be put to more profitable use.
Let me run some numbers past ya... those of you that are certified car enthusiasts will recognize them:

265, 272, 283, 292, 327, 350, 352, 383, 389, 390, 396, 409, 413, 421, 426, 427, 429, 454...

Are you smiling?
If you are, you already know where I'm headed with this thought-
Those numbers all have one thing in common... they are all V-8 engines that were available in American automobiles in the 50's, 60's, and 70's.
With one exception, a real car nut can tell you which manufacturer produced an engine that displaced the number of cubic inches corresponding with each of those numbers. Can you identify the ambiguous number? If you can, you are, as Barry Meguiar would say, "Car Crazy!"

That is the sort of information taking up space in the recesses of my brain.
Isn't that sad?


Mike said...


Do I win a prize?

Mike said...


I thought you meant which one more than one manufacturer used.


Here is my list:

GM - 265 283 292 327 350 396 409 427 454

Ford - (289) 352 390 429 (also 351c, m and w, and the 400 and the 427sc)

Mopar 272 (360) 383 389 413 426

Greybeard said...

My point is proven!
You were smilin', weren't ya Mike?

427 is the correct answer!
Both Ford and GM had a 427, (the GM 427 was the precursor to my own beloved 454).

I wanted to avoid an even longer list of boring numbers, so I left some out... the 351 Windsor and Cleveland you mentioned, along with the 302 and 305 Ford and GM Trans-Am engines, the Chrysler 318, and the (maybe obscure) 406 Ford from 1962.

The '55 Ford drag car that beat Bob Glidden was a 272 Mike. It grew to 292 cubic inches in '56, then 312 in '57 and was offered with a supercharger in the T-Bird and Fairlane 500.

The Pontiac GTO had the 389, ("Little GTO, you're really lookin' fine..."), which grew to 421 c.i. in the and was shoehorned into the '63 Catalina and Bonnevilles.

Other than those exceptions, your list aligns perfectly with my memory, making you certifiable.
I'm upset someone answered 427 that quickly!

Garrett said...

I saw a nice scale model of the 427 SOHC "Cammer" at my auto parts store the other day. Really tempting. Saw an original Cobra with a 427 side oiler in it sitting right next to another original with the 289 a couple summers ago. Quite a sight. I'm way too young to have been around when these things were new, but doesn't mean I can't enjoy 'em now. I think my next project is going to be of the "lets stick a smallblock in something it was never meant to go in" variety.

Greybeard said...

Hey Garrett, you prompted another memory!

In '66 I was 19, with enough money to go out to eat once a week with my girlfriend.
I lusted after the 427 Cobra from afar, knowing the $6,000 cost of admission to the club was 'way out of my reach.
When I returned from Viet Nam, I became a flight instructor in Savannah, Georgia. One day, on my way home from work on Abercorn Expressway, I noticed a traditional blue Cobra sitting at one side of a big Phillips 66 station, weight off the front shocks... obviously engine-less.
I stopped to inquire if it might be for sale, and the proprietor chuckled...
"The owner was offered $10,000 for the car last week and turned it down."

It had a side-oiler in it, and the guy that rebuilt it didn't realize that engine was different from the run-of-the-mill 427. He put in parts from the everyday engine, and the first time they started it, the valves holed the pistons.

So there it sat, needing another rebuild...
and it was still worth far more than $10K.
I still lust after that car, but now the prime examples bring $250,000 and more. I guess I'll be lookin' at a Corvette Z06 at some point in my future!

TwoDogs said...

In 1968, Chrysler (Mopar) came out with a 340cid in the Plymoth Barracuda. Quick, but couldn't quite keep up with the Big Dogs. I bought mine with money saved while in Korea and wrecked it 2 weeks after I got home.
Boy, Was my Old Man proud.

cary said...

Hey, garrett! From the Engines Where They Don't Belong Department:

In the mid eighties, I was just out of the Corps and had been knocking around with a buddy. I had some money, he had an idea, and we started... with the body from a 1976 Datsun King Cab pickup. And a '74 60° Mustang V-6. And some modified engine mounts, and a four speed tranny, and a heavily modded driveline and rear end. And ended up with a street legal pickup that would burn through three and chirp four; top speed was way over the 125 that the aftermarket speedo would show; and the insurance company wouldn't touch me. It was fun while it lasted. I sold it to a mechanic in Flagstaff just before I moved to the Land of No Way Your Going To Emission Test That Here (aka California), and I sure do miss that little pocket rocket. All kinds of misguided wannabees tried to race me, only to lose.

Ah, memories...

Mike said...


Italian, alas.. and more than a million bucks.

But, 60mph faster than a NASCAR cup car and it has leather!

I think the guy mentions it, but the tires last less than one hour at top speed (253 mph) and the fuel only lasts 12 minutes.

Greybeard said...

Mike's full link is here.
If you've got a few minutes, it's worth watchin'.
"Covering a football field every second."
Hard to imagine that in a street car.