Today Is 3/27 Let’s Celebrate The Little 327 Small Block With Some Dyno Video Action

Today Is 3/27 Let’s Celebrate The Little 327 Small Block With Some Dyno Video Action

Since today is 3/27  we thought it was only right that we honor the diligent little 327 small block Chevy. The 327 arrived on the scene in 1962 and over the years there were a bunch of different versions. Millions of them powered Chevy trucks in “high torque” form with camshaft grinds far more suited to the low end grunt necessary for the yeoman work that trucks were designed for. In cars, there were economical, low horsepower, small carb equipped 327s that pushed stripper sedans around but the most BangShifty versions of the engine were found in machines like the Corvette and Chevy II.

The 327 is one of those engines that has built a strong heritage in both the muscle car world and the drag racing world over the years. There are thousands of them competing on strips across America each weekend and the 327 in all of its various forms can be found in NHRA stock and super stock action anywhere there is a race. We actually have a 327 super stock engine being dyno tested below and it is a fun watch along with the other 327 videos we have to share.

Engine codes defined the mill through its life. Of course there was the L-76 that was healthy, the L-79 that was a nasty little piece, and the L-84 that was the king of the small block heap for many years with its crazy 385hp factory racing. Of course the engine was equipped with Rochester mechanical fuel injection for a short time as well. The biggest change for the 327 came in 1968/69 when the main journal size was changed from 2.3 inches to 2.45 inches.

The first year for the 327 was 1962 and it debuted with a 4″ bore and a 3.25″ stroke. The hottest version that year, with its famed “Duntov” solid lifter camshaft and fuel injection made 360hp according to Chevrolet. The version with the cab was rated at 340. That was a BIG number for a little engine back then and frankly, it is impressive still today. While the horsepower numbers are fun, the fact is that the 327ci small block was one of the most reliable and anvil like engines any manufacturer has ever produced. Checker made 327s optional in 1966 and installed them in taxis that went on to rack up incredible mileage in tough city environments.

In modern times the 5.3L LS engine which has become one of the most popular engines for use in hot rodding continues the legacy of 327ci GM small blocks and will for the foreseeable future. They can make incredible power on stock parts and there is as vast and deep an aftermarket for them as there ever was for the traditional small blocks of the 1960s. We respect and enjoy those engines but today we’re honoring the “old man” in the family with the videos below. Little displacement and big revs forever!

Happy 3/27 out there 327 owners. You have a little small block that always made a habit of punching above its weight class!


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3 thoughts on “Today Is 3/27 Let’s Celebrate The Little 327 Small Block With Some Dyno Video Action

  1. Piston Pete

    My first three cars had 327s. The original 250hp/Powerglide in my 1st ’62 Impala, the swapped in ’66 Corvette 327/300 and 4 speed in my 2nd ’62 Impala and a shoddily executed swap (not by me) of a 327/250 into a ’67 Camaro 6cyl/3speed.
    The 1st Imp seemed to be hard on starters and I learned a lot from doing several replacements. I was hard on the Powerglide and had it rebuilt twice, pretty spendy for a kid making $1.50 an hour washing dishes after school and on the weekends.
    Then one day it coughed at a stop and caught fire. My insurance was paid up and I didn’t feel like trying to be a hero, so it burned until the MFD made it the 2 blocks to the scene of the incident. Two days later I had a check and found the ‘vette equipped Imp up in Indy.
    I was so taken with it that when the insurance company showed up to claim the old one while I was at school, it was several hours before I noticed that it was gone. I woulda liked to have gotten the weed that I had stashed behind the rear speaker grill out, but I though better of pursuing the matter.
    I busted a rocker arm in it one night after a perfectly executed 2-3 shift and thought I’d lunched it, but I was young and my mentor explained to me that shifting before that happened would be prudent.
    The car eventually got a Z-28 302 that was doing drag strip duty in a ’63 Nova wagon. A friend and I bought it as the centerpiece of an SCCA Camaro we were gonna build, til we found out that those boys were SERIOUS and that there was no way we could afford it. The car was fast and known as such throughout Morgan Co. Indiana, but the engine finally started oiling pretty bad and I sold it to buy the ’67 Camaro. I have no idea what became of either car, but the 302 Imp sat in the same spot in Mooresville, IN. for at least 5 years, then one day it was gone.
    The Camaro was hard to engage 1st gear with the cheap floor shifter and the gearing was all wrong for a V-8, to the point that my mom remarked that you didn’t drive that car, you rode it. It also had a recurring brake light on continuous problem that persisted through several switch adjustments and replacements
    I tried to blow it up one night in a fit of anger that can only be experienced by a frustrated 19 year old, new husband/father, but either I wasn’t as mad as I thought or that little sob was waay tougher than it shoulda been cause I twisted on it hard and it lived.
    The last time I saw it was the night I drove outta Speedway, IN. with $600 in my pocket and caught the brake lights shining in the driveway of the guy that had just bought it. Two days later I was in basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas. For all I know it died a horrible death at the Speedrome in the ensuing years.
    So, that’s a not so brief review of my first 3 years of gearhead life. Thanks Brian for bringing up topics that remind me of things I hadn’t thought of in years. Keep ’em coming ’cause I’ve got a million stories and not much else to do besides tell them.
    327s ruled then and I’ve never tired of the sound of a high winding small block roaring through the night. VIVA 3-27!

  2. MGBChuck

    I too have been through several 327s, all of them gave more then should of been possible. My current toy (MGB) has a ’67 small journal 350 (Lunati crank, aluminum rods, Venolia piston, .600″ lift solid roller cam, ported 492 angle plug heads)–Big Fun in a 2350 lbs. 4-Speed equiped MGB. SBCs Forever !

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