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Corvette Engines from the '60s

Several of the '50s engines carried over with the 1960 and 1961 model years.  But in 1962 Chevrolet bored out the 283 and made the long-running 327.

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A 283 CID 469C as installed in a 1960 Corvette

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RPO 354 was the top-of-the-line FI engine used in 1961.  It produced 315 HP. This engine and the similar RPO 353 replaced below the 579 for 1961.  (Thanks to Corvette Forum member Tom Crabtree for this foto and for giving permission to use them here.  Here's what he says about the car this engine is installed in: "The car is part of a private collection that a friend of mine has been accumulating over the years. It's a numbers matching, very low mile car, (under 30,000 if I recall correctly). It has an unusual history, as the original owner ordered it with the intention of racing it. But before it could be raced, he was paralyzed in a racing accident. The car spent most of the next 25 years in storage. After the original owner passed away it was dusted off and driven for a couple of years and then put back into storage. Sometime in the late 90's it was found again, given a complete Bloomington Gold frame off restoration, and sold at the Barrett Jackson in Arizona."

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An RPO 353(275 HP), 283 CID as installed in a 1961. 

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On the left is the RPO 468 and on the right is RPO 469.  Both are dual quad 283's.  The 468 was rated at 245 HP and the 469 at 270.  The center photo is another view of a factory-correct 468 owned and restored by NCRS member Ray Carney.  You can view more details on Ray's website.

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Here are two L84 327's installed in 1963 Corvettes.  The one on the left is in an original RPO ZO6 -- the first year for this RPO and the last time that RPO would be offered until 2001.  The ZO6 was essentially a race car you could buy at your local Chevy dealer -- it was even offered with a 36 gallon fuel tank option for long-distance races like the 24 hours of Sebring.  The L84 was rated at 360 HP.

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On the left is an L75 and on the right is an L76.  Both were single four barrel 327s offered from 1963 thru 1965.  The L75 made 300 HP from 327 cubic inches; the L76 was rated at 340 HP in 1963 and at 365 in 1964 and 1965.  

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In 1965 Chevrolet put the so-called "mystery motor" big-block in Corvette for the first time as the 396 CID L78.  It was rated at 425 HP with a single four barrel carburetor.

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A fuel injected 327 was still available in 1965 as the RPO L84 which was now rated at 375 HP.

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In addition to the base 250 HP 327 and the L75 and L76 carried over from the previous year, the 1965 Corvette also offered an L79 327 rated at 350 HP.

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Here's a "base motor" 327 installed in a 1966 Corvette.  It is essentially similar to the base motor offered from 1963 thru 1968. During this time the rated horsepower climbed from 250 HP to 300 HP.

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In 1966 the 396 CID big block was replaced by the 427 which was offered in two configurations.  The L36 on the left was rated at 390 HP and the L72 on the right produced 425 HP from an 11.0:1 compression ratio.

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The new 427 was also offered as RPO L68 and rated at 390 HP.  The triangular air cleaner is hiding three Holley two barrel carbs.

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Some people will say that the 1967 L89 was the most advanced engine ever installed in a Corvette considering the times.  It was a 427 CID big block with aluminum heads and produced a conservative 435 HP.

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Two views of a 1968 L36 -- the "base" 427.  Yeah, right.  It was rated at only 390 HP.

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Base 327 in a 1969 Corvette.

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If you don't agree that the L89 was the king, it's probably because you give that title to the "stump puller" L88.  It was a 560 HP 427 with a 12.5:1 compression ratio.

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But of course there's always a trump, and this is it: the 1969 L88/ZL1 which was an L88 with aluminum block and  heads.  This is a photo of one of the two cars produced.  Sorry to say, but it ain't mine!

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