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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The top 10 Corvette V-8s from the '50s, '60s, and '70s | Hagerty Media

June 30th marks the anniversary of America's Sports Car entering production. On that date in 1953, the first Corvette was built. Although there have been ups and downs, and supposedly a few brushes with cancellation, today the mid-engine Stingray is in high demand and the future of the crossed flags seems bright.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/the-top-10-corvette-v-8s-from-the-50s-60s-and-70s/
71 REPLIES 71
Pioneer27185
Pit Crew

I own a 327 with a Stromberg 2-bbl rated at 275 HP in a '68 RS/SS Camaro that was rebuilt by a Corvette shop in Lisbon, Iowa in 1979! Interested?
Oldroad1
Advanced Driver

GT350R and Cobra Daytona Coups were handily taking out small and big block Corvettes alike world wide at FIA road courses. All with a 289.
Brandan
Hagerty Employee

Can you imagine how fast they would have been if Shelby had made the deal he wanted initially and got Chevy small-blocks instead?
Oldroad1
Advanced Driver

Fast behind the wall with DNFs. Chevys back then had little endurance, Shelby made the correct choice at that time.
chrlsful
Instructor

my fav IS the Blue Flame (also '56/60 vehicle).
Musco03
Pit Crew

I remember my first big block 427.
I was having lunch in my favorite
restaurant when a friend of mine came in who was a salesman at Bard Chevrolet in Newburgh NY.
He told me about a new 66 Corvette with the 425 hp 427 sitting on the showroom floor.
Long story short I bought it on the spot, the sticker price was $5500.
No air, no power steering just pure power on 4 very unsafe tires.
I believe this was the most powerful of all big blocks and I blew away many 67s with the three carbs (after changing the tires of course) .
Great car and GREAT memories
West-end
New Driver

I’m an old Newburgh boy and can remember when you raced a red 427 coupe on Rt.84 you were at the finish line and we were trying to to get the red coupe out the ditch after he spun out. The good old days!
asphaltgambler
Pit Crew

The Shelby mention above is interesting as Caroll initially courted GM / Chevy division first. He was aware of the potential of the current gen small black at that time, but also had knowledge of the Mark IV big block that was on the drawing board. GM has no interest citing conflict with the Corvette. After that conversation of being shot down, he wanted to use the SBC with factory support, they nixed that too. So plan B was Ford, and we all know how that ended!
Oldroad1
Advanced Driver

Ya, well.
MrBill-1943
Intermediate Driver

Wish I had a Man Cave big enough to display a few of these as some are true works of art.
BigBore
Pit Crew

Seems the L79 didn’t make the top 10 but to be sure the hydraulic mouse surprised a lot of firebreathers from light to light. And not just in a Corvette, those Chevy II/Nova’s showed lots of tail lights.
Gary_Bechtold
Instructor

It would have been nice to just go and do the 80's, 90's, 00's and '10's and do everything up through the end of the C7. Nice list though. I'm partial to anything with some orange colored valve covers.
asphaltgambler
Pit Crew

To add to my post above, Ford didn't yet have a small block in service. Only FE engines in various displacements 

Oldroad1
Advanced Driver

FOMOCO began their small block production in 1960. Their Unibody production started in 1961.
VIZ28
Pit Crew

The LT1 dropped to 255 hp due to the change in how horsepower was reported (SAE / NET), so apples to apples, it dropped from 370 to 330.
40Ford
Detailer

I’m happy with my mild 283 but I’d love those valve covers on the L76 327!
RJB
New Driver

GREAT Article. Thank you!
TominOhio
New Driver

How can you leave out the 327-350 L79 1965-1968? FAR better street engine than the L-76 and in the lineup far longer than the L-76 for that very reason!
mbr2000
Intermediate Driver

I lusted after the 270hp/283 as a kid. I still remember the lopey idle and the sh-sh-sh sound of the solid lifters. One of the nicest lopes ever, along with the 271hp/289 Ford.
azteccopper57
New Driver

I've owned my 57 dual quad Corvette for 20 years so I know your info on the large single air cleaner is incorrect. In 56 and 57 there were 2 round air cleaners on the 2X4 carbed cars. 58-61 had the single air cleaner with 2 wing nuts.
Hal
Pit Crew

What about the 409. I know it was a short life span but would love to hear comments.
bobm
Pit Crew

Never in a Corvette.