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Monster motors were the order of the day in the late 1960s, and GM's 427 was a part of that class. The drawback to a big-block's burly output was, and still is, the increased weight of the engine. While big blocks are a hoot for straight line shenanigans, a small block car is often a better all-around performer. That goes out the window for most of us upon tapping that vast well of torque, and there was a solution direct from GM. The ZL1 was a 427 rendered in aluminum to save weight and carried a 430 horsepower rating. The ZL1 is the stuff of legend, commanding the sharp intake of breath when mentioned with the Corvette, and reverent silence should the COPO Camaro be cited.

GM Performance Parts is whipping up a limited run of all new ZL1s, built from the same tooling as the original. A total of 427 of the Anniversary 427 Big Block engines will be produced, creating a new piece of automotive unobtanium while leaving the ZL1 mystique intact. You might even argue that the new engine run will add to the lore. We'll get to see just how much of a clamor there might be for these new engines when the very first Anniversary 427 Big Block crate engine, serial number 001, goes up for bid at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction. The remaining 426 engines will be available soon from GM Performance Parts dealers, and will likely be snapped up like rabid moms going after Hannah Montana tickets.

[Source: GM via Winding Road]

GM to offer Rare Engine at the Barrett-Jackson Auction

Anniversary 427 Big Block serial #001 to be auctioned on January 18 - Collectible engines to be offered to public early in 2008

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ – The first produced, all-aluminum Anniversary 427 Big Block crate engine – based on the legendary ZL-1 – will be auctioned during the Barrett-Jackson auction on Friday, January 18 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Only 427 of the special engines will be built.

Simply mentioning the term 'ZL-1' stirs the emotions of Chevy performance enthusiasts. "By using the tooling that built the original engines, we're able to revive the spirit of that legend 40 years later," said Lisa Reffett, marketing manager, GM Performance Parts. "All of these engines will be pretty special. But, someone has to own #001 and we're excited to work with Barrett-Jackson to find that lucky person."

The Anniversary 427 is a modern recreation of the mythical, all-aluminum ZL-1 427 engine. It is rated at an underrated 430 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque. "This is a special engine and the lucky customers who buy one will know they got something unique," said Reffett. "Cars are collectable and we're sure the Anniversary 427 will be, too."

Each engine will come with a complementing Anniversary Edition package that includes a certificate of authenticity, an engine plate with specifications and a matching number owner's kit to add to its exclusivity. The limited run of the Anniversary 427 will go on sale early in 2008. See the Anniversary 427 Big Block at SEMA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4CATslWmFo&feature=related

For more information on the Barrett-Jackson auction, visit www.barrett-jackson.com/

Enthusiasts who crave the latest technology, horsepower and the expertise and confidence backed by GM, can purchase GMPP crate engines, blocks, heads and components, from GMPP Authorized Center dealers or any GM dealership nationwide. For more information or to locate the closest GM dealership visit www.gmperformanceparts.com or call 1-800-577-6888.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wasn't that 435 Horsepower rating back then SAE gross or at the flywheel with no power robbing equipment on the engine?

      I know that in 1973 the industry went to SAE Net H.P. that was much more accurate.

      Many high 300 h.p. cars of the 60's and early 70's dropped into the 200's when the measuring went to SAE Net.

      I'm not sure if SAE Net was at the rear wheels or not, but a drastic drop happened. I do realize that compression ratios were drastically dropped and fuel mixtures were leaned to extremes too, with EGR valves, and retarded timing.

      Anyway, the 426 Hemi was rated at 425 H.P. gross, but it's net figure would have been down in the low 300's after 1972, when the change happened in the advertised ratings from the manufacturers to net H.P. Torque.

      Nowadays, I'm not that impressed with the old H.P. figures of the 60's-early muscle cars, as those ratings were SAE gross.

      Nowadays when you get 300 ponies at the rear wheels, I would presume that your pushing figures in the SAE gross territory that would be close to 400 h.p..

      So all those 300 + Muscle cars of bygone years actually had some pretty dismal rear wheel dyno H.P. ratings, I'd assume.

      Nowadays, we have V6's and turbo 4's and even the new GM H.O. 5.7 used in the Vette, that would be considered doubly awesome in power compared to those muscle cars back then.

      Remember that most of the old muscle cars would just barely crack the 14 second 1/4 mile in stock form, and their 0-60 times were in the 6 second bracket.

      You can say that their rubber wasn't as sticky back then, but power ratings of their mills were overrated or not compatible or measured similarly to present day vehicular engines at the rear wheels where it counts.
        • 7 Years Ago
        gary what you have to understand is the horsepower ratings for these engines were usually only for insurance purposes if i remember correctly this engine on a dyno is at or damn near 500 hp and torque and if memory serves me right the king kong of all engines the 426 hemi was well over 500 hp and damn near 600 ft lbs of torque, on leaded gas of course but thats another discussion for another time
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm clueless about V8s, but IIRC the development team of the new Hemi had a goal to match the output of the original. Close to the end of development, after spending a couple trying to figure out how to test the old engine under the new SAE rules, the light went on and they ripped everything off the new one and pumped it full of leaded race gas. Bingo! Much lighter engine, much better economy and emissions, and (IIRC) slightly higher output than the original.

        I'm trying to find the article I'm barely remembering . . .

        • 7 Years Ago
        I tend to agree with you, Gary.

        Although I am a huge 60's musclecar fan, the conventional wisdom still stands: new fast beats old fast, just about every day. As quick as a 69 Charger with the 426 Hemi was, an 08 Charger R/T with the Hemi package will run circles around that classic. In fact, the new four door Charger boasts a 14-second quarter mile. Same goes for other classics: the old Mustang? would probably get embarassed by the 08 stock GT with its under 5 second 0-60 time and 14-second quarter. We won't even go into the new Camaro specs.

        I love old classics. I just wouldn't use one to race the new breed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "The story about it being "underrated" is largely a myth. The Hemi story, I dunno - I've heard that one, too."

        Actually, a lot of the bigger motors were underrated, and the ZL-1 was probably as well. The tv show American Muscle Car did a whole program on this. They set up many of the popular big block motors of the 60's in their original configurations and put them on the engine dyno. Basically all of them were putting out numbers way above the stock rating.

        427 L-88 Chevy 527 hp. 501 tq.
        421 SD Pontiac 488 hp. 470 tq.
        426 F ord 637 hp. 554 tq.
        426 Hemi Dodge 860 hp. 629 tq.

        And I would surely think the ZL-1 would make more than its L-88 sibling. So that's at least a 100 hp underrating, probably 150 or more.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mike - if you check out the Wikipedia entry on the ZL1, you'll find some links to dyno tests. The story about it being "underrated" is largely a myth. The Hemi story, I dunno - I've heard that one, too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Now this is a kind of engine I'd like in a Nova or Camaro! Big block power, without all the weight.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The "rating" was purely for horsepower purposes and to discourage young novices from buying such a hardcore engine. The ZL-1 was basically meant only for enthusiasts, and those in the know were aware that its true output was well north of 500 horsepower. Far from being an overrated engine, it truly is a monster among mice.
      • 1 Year Ago
      God I loved the 1967 427. Driving along at about 80 MPH and then shifting into 3rd and laying Rubber at about 90 MPH, what a RUSH and a Neck ache LOL, My all time love though was the blue 1965 GTO 389, 3 Duces @ $3300,00 or about, oh forgot the white bucket seats and 4 SP. Take one of thes over the newer cars any day (for old time sake).
      • 7 Years Ago
      As someone mentioned before, there's nothing like the sounds and smells of a big block with a honking big double pumper carb sitting on top.

      I understand the benefits of fuel injection but it robs you of the primal sounds you get with a lopey cam hitting-a-lick thru a set of hi-flow headers...nothing like it.

      I bet these suckers are had faster than they can assemble them. And god bless them for it!
        • 7 Years Ago
        How does fuel injection rob you of lopey cams and headers? Have you ever listened to a built LS(x)? Fuel injected and sounding mean as ****ing hell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As a crate motor to drop into a Nova or something I don't know. You can get so much power out of a stroked small block these days. I think the value is in people trying to create ZL-1 Camaros and Vette clones.