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  • Time To Buy My Childhood Dream... Big HP-Solid Lifters!
  • Time To Buy My Childhood Dream... Big HP-Solid Lifters!
  • Time To Buy My Childhood Dream... Big HP-Solid Lifters!
  • Time To Buy My Childhood Dream... Big HP-Solid Lifters!

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  1. #1
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    Default Time To Buy My Childhood Dream... Big HP-Solid Lifters!

    I've been lusting for a C2 or 3, and at 58 the time has come!

    I pumped gas in 1972-12 years old, and the pump jockey-mechanic had a green-saddle '66, I think. Factory sidepioes and a small block, I was bitten!

    The C2 are too pricey, I would only want a 365hp or 396-425, I don't like the '67. So 2 months ago on a regular-twice a year California to New York road trip, I stopped in at Fast Lane Classics in St Charles Mo. They had a nice LeMans blue '68 427-435. Supposedly all numbers matching. I looked the car over quickly, and 2 months later it's still on my mind, and still for sale. I called yest, and spoke to a salesman, he explained that there is minimal history with the car, and from my brief encounter with the car 2 months ago-it "looked very nice", I'm going to have to figure out if it's a good investment. Yeah, I know, buy it for the love, but at 55k, if I decide I'm tired of it, is like to get my money back. And if it's just a shiny but somewhat or gravely incorrect restoration, I'll suffer when sales time comes along.

    I was reading about an NCRS award winning '66 L71, and a number of the year specific details that make it a '68, like spring loaded rear compartments, stuff like that. I have a feeling that your average car salesman may not know or care much past "numbers match".
    My priority is that it run and drive very well-be well sorted. I can install the tower clamps and T3 headlamps. But beyond that, I'm hardly a Corvette expert. The salesman said he has driven the car and it was serviced to be ready for a purchaser who backed out.

    From my brief visit 2 months ago, the car did look great, but closer inspection of the online images reveals much black paint liberally applied to everything underneath. This apparently was because the restoration-frame dipping(?) may not have been neutralized and was leaching out, so a case of black paint was used to "freshen things up".

    If I could "order" my dream C3, it would be a '68 or 9, solid lifter 4 speed. I'm a real fan of options, so leather, headrest, stereo, power windows tilt telescopic and on and on... Color wise, blue or turquoise, I'm no fan of white or brite (Daytona) yellow. Black or red would work. I like red-red, I had a junker '70 GTO as a kid-red-red, 400-350 3 speed stick with Judge stripes...

    I always thot convertible Corvettes looked like Marilyn Monroe-big and voluptous with a "small head". But either T Top or convertible would work.

    I was reading about a '68 on one of these sites that was for sale as the restoration was nearing it's completion. It's a red 'vert-427-390 I think. I would only want a tri-power, so out comes the Impala engine and under the workbench, and a 435 goes in until I "get it out of my system".

    Somewhere there's a balance between investment-fun factor. That's where I stand...
    Last edited by CORVAIRWILD; 01-05-19 at 09:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Time To Buy My Childhood Dream... Big HP-Solid Lifters! Tuna's Avatar
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    You might want to check out the LT1 C3s - small block 350/370HP, solid lifters. 1970/71 as I recall.
    Last edited by Tuna; 01-06-19 at 11:53 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Hi Tuna, I'm aware of the LT1. When I was a teenager, before I got my driver's license in 1976, there was a kid around the block whose father owned a lot of real estate and a landscaping business. He bought him a red LT1 Camaro, used to beat the shoot out of it, running up and down the local streets, One day things got quiet and I saw it at the gas station next to his father's business. The engine was apart and there was a valve stuck in the valve seat sideways. So I stole the valve covers and air cleaner, and I still have them 40 + years later. Unfortunately the valve covers were in a damp basement, and the entire bottoms are rotted off. I had a lot of stuff in that damp storage area at my parents house, but these valve covers by far fared the worst.

    Coincidentally I was talking to a woman at a dollar store yesterday, and asked her where she lived, and it turns out she lives on the same street where that kid lived 40 + years ago. And this was over 60 miles away. What a coincidence huh?

    I'm aware of the issues with a big blocks. Very hard to change the clutch, heat in the passenger compartment, less chance of having AC on a tri-power car, and some of them are automatics which really doesn't appeal to me. Most of my classic cars are automatic, and it just takes the fun out of the whole idea. But I would consider an LT1 car, I just noticed that a lot of them are Steel Cities Grey or Monaco Orange or similar colors. I really don't want C3 in a shade that I don't like. I'd go for black or red or blue or turquoise or even (dark) green. But I'm in no rush.

    I could also invest this money in some more real estate and make some money instead of spending it... Decisions...

  4. #4
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    Camaro did use LT1 as a model name in the mid '70s but it had nothing to do with the LT1 engine used in the Corvette and Z28 in 1970-1972. Not even close to being the same animal. Just another example of GM recycling option codes and model names after they are no longer used. LT1 has been recycled two more times since then.

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    What engine replaced the 327 365? And what similarities does a 365 horsepower have to LT1? So what was used in 68 69 with solid lifters? If I'm correct the 350 horse was hydraulic lifter L 79

  6. #6
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    Yes the 350HP/327 are hydraulic lifters. Are you REALLY SURE you want solid lifters? Lots of maintenance there. And if you are thinking BB solid lifters, I could be wrong, but I don't think AC was an option with those engines. 390/427 and 400/427 will leave you holding on to your teeth. The BB is just so torquey.

    All said, I hope you find the one you want.
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  7. #7
    Time To Buy My Childhood Dream... Big HP-Solid Lifters! Tuna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toms007 View Post
    Yes the 350HP/327 are hydraulic lifters. Are you REALLY SURE you want solid lifters? Lots of maintenance there. And if you are thinking BB solid lifters, I could be wrong, but I don't think AC was an option with those engines. 390/427 and 400/427 will leave you holding on to your teeth. The BB is just so torquey.

    All said, I hope you find the one you want.
    I'm with Tom007 on this. Solid lifters are not for the faint of heart. They require a lot of routine adjusting. I'm thinking that you need to find the car you want and put the engine in it that gives the performance you want. Unless you're totally into a matching numbers car with resale value beyond the driving enjoyment you're receive.
    Last edited by Tuna; 01-09-19 at 11:46 PM.
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    I would tend to agree with you Tuna and Toms. I care much more about driving enjoyment than original looking, . Number matching date code correct is nice, but I'd rather not pay for it.

    I've always lusted over a bigblock, specifically a 396 425 or 427 435, but I drove a '69 Impala SS427 convert in 1981, 35k, original woman owner. It was a total dog. I couldn't even get it to do an open diffy burnout! It had BFG radial TA's, 60 series. And I'm 99% sure I loosened the secondary air valve spring.

    As far as adjusting valves, I prolly wouldn't put on more than 1000 miles a year. I have a business to run, I have alot of toys, and I'm building an apartment adjacent to my shop, so no commute, if I took a toy to work!

    So I'd consider a non NM assemblage of a '68 or '69. I kinda wanted the push button ('68) door, but beggars can't be choosers.

    What I don't get is what happened to the solid lifter small black in '67-'69? I guess Chevy was too busy dealing with the big block, but interestingly the LT1 and LS6 were intro'd for 1970.

    Ok guys, talk me out of a big block

  9. #9
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    1965 was the last year for the 327/365 which was the same engine as the 327/375 except for having a carb instead of the FI. The L79 was the only high performance small block in '68 and it was replaced with the 350/350 in 1969.
    The 350 horse 350 was basically a bigger cube version of the L79 with a different cam profile. The L79 was also the same engine as the 365 horse with the exception of a hyd. cam and it was close in performance. I think the reason that the solid lifter small block went away in 1966 was because the 375 FI went away mid 1965. I feel that the only reason the 365 existed was because the long block was the same as the FI. All they had to do was swap the intake and carb off of the L79 and they had another option in '64 and '65. Plus it continued the practice of offering a fuelie with a carb that they started with the 340 horse in '62 and '63. I also believe that they didn't offer a solid lifter 350 until 1970 with the LT1 because they wanted to be sure that the durability was there before offering a high rpm version.

    I had a 1967 coupe with a 427/390 and it was plenty fast. The cam was slightly upgraded. It had a 780 Holley and header side pipes and it was a ball to drive daily and I didn't have to take the valve covers off every week before the weekend street racing ritual commenced. Too bad the 454/450 LS6 never made it into Corvette production in 1970. It was a great engine. I had a '70 El Camino SS454 LS6/M22 four speed combo that was an absolute beast. I never had the opportunity to drive a 1971 LS6/425. I think it would have been a good runner and handled well with the weight loss of the aluminum heads.

    I think you should drive a L79 '68 or a 350/350 horse '69 before you make up your mind. The most popular engines in '68 were the L79 first, 427/390 second and the base 327/300 third. There has to be a reason so many people liked them. I used to spend a lot of time in a '66 Nova SS L79, 4speed. 4.10 rear. He would shift at 7000 in 1, 2, and 3 and run it out to 7200 in 4th. Not bad for hyd. lifters.

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  10. #10
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    Now that's the answer I was looking for! Thank you Tom. to expand a little further... What happened to the 23hp from the 327 350 to the 350-350? A friend of mine runs an (almost) strictly MOPAR shop. I asked him about dyno tests of various engines, what's underated, what's overated... He said based on what he's seen on his dyno, and he dynos EVERY engine that he builds. His answer, small block Chevys. Now I understand that since we are Chevy guys, and I call myself a GM guy, we're going to cry foul. But he builds any engine for anybody, when I was there last year he was building an Olds 350, he builds Ford engines, Pontiac, you name it. If an American manufacturer made a high-performance version of it, it's probably been on his Dyno. You can visit his web page and YouTube at Nicks Garage, or elsewhere he's known as Nicks Dyno. Of course now that he threw down the gauntlet, I'd be curious to have him build me a small block Chevy, and see what the numbers show. The dyno doesn't lie!

    If you're a fan of Mopar products, Super Bees GTX's, Rodrunners etc, you should go watch his videos on YouTube, he posts every Monday. And if you have a weak spot in your heart for HEMIs, that's his specialty. He's been building and racing Hemis since the early 70s. He's currently building a 1970 Q code Challenger, very similar to the one Kowalski drove in Vanishing Point. He's varying slightly from the car that appeared in the movie, and from originality in the basket case that he's putting together. Q code is a 440 4bbl 4 speed.

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    Thanks again Tom ��

    Image is me on your left, my Ford friend Nick, and the dyno man Nick(rt). Taken last week
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    Last edited by CORVAIRWILD; 01-11-19 at 07:47 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CORVAIRWILD View Post
    I would tend to agree with you Tuna and Toms. I care much more about driving enjoyment than original looking, . Number matching date code correct is nice, but I'd rather not pay for it.

    I've always lusted over a bigblock, specifically a 396 425 or 427 435, but I drove a '69 Impala SS427 convert in 1981, 35k, original woman owner. It was a total dog. I couldn't even get it to do an open diffy burnout! It had BFG radial TA's, 60 series. And I'm 99% sure I loosened the secondary air valve spring.

    As far as adjusting valves, I prolly wouldn't put on more than 1000 miles a year. I have a business to run, I have alot of toys, and I'm building an apartment adjacent to my shop, so no commute, if I took a toy to work!

    So I'd consider a non NM assemblage of a '68 or '69. I kinda wanted the push button ('68) door, but beggars can't be choosers.

    What I don't get is what happened to the solid lifter small black in '67-'69? I guess Chevy was too busy dealing with the big block, but interestingly the LT1 and LS6 were intro'd for 1970.

    Ok guys, talk me out of a big block

    Ok, I will.

    Get a restomodded C3 wth a LS3, 6 speed Tremec, convertible in coal black. Reliable and fast as hell if done right. Quality restomods hold their values.
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    Hmmmm....

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    Quote Originally Posted by CORVAIRWILD View Post
    Hmmmm....


    I forgot to add Crager SS 15" chrome spoke wheels.......... (16" and bigger look kind of funny to me)
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  14. #14
    Administrator Tom Bryant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CORVAIRWILD View Post
    Now that's the answer I was looking for! Thank you Tom. to expand a little further... What happened to the 23hp from the 327 350 to the 350-350?

    Thanks again Tom ��
    They were both 350 horsepower, the 327 cube and the 350 cube.
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