Not what you think

March 26, 2015


Some people will look at this picture and see a
409 cubic inch Chevrolet engine. In this case those
people would be wrong.

The engine shown is a 1963 Z-11 427. This RPO
option would cost you $1,240 over the cost of a new
Impala. What did you get for that? You got a 427
cubic inch engine that produced a rated 430 hp
yet actually made 480-525 hp!

You also got aluminum hood, front fenders, front
and rear bumpers, fan shroud, and more that
dropped 300 pounds off the weight of your Impala.
Most were ordered with the heater delete option
to save weight.

There were metallic brake shoes and special
backing plates with venting screens and air scoops
for cooling, a T-10 4-speed, and a a bullet proof
posi rear end with 4:11 gears.

The RPO optioned Impala would set you back a total
of a little more than $4,000 and that didn’t
include destination charges, taxes, plates, etc.

This option was made for drag racing, but rumor is
that around 20 1962 Impala’s were sold COPO with
this engine also. That means they made it to the
dealer’s lot. Now the kicker, only 57 of these
Impala’s were produced and only 7 are believed to
survive today.

And there you have the story of this small piece
of automotive history. For those who don’t remember
or weren’t around, here’s a little musical history
from 1963.

Now we have to pop back to the present lest we get
lost in 60s again.
Comments are always welcome.

The mouse is 60

March 24, 2015

The year was 1955.

7 out of 10 families owned a car, new laws made
seat belts mandatory, the first McDonalds opened,
TV dinners arrived, Coca-Cola was sold in cans for
the first time, and the minimum wage was raised to

The average yearly salary was $4,130.00, a new
car cost $1,900.00, gas was 23 cents a gallon, Bill
Haley and the Comets played on the AM radio, and
Chevrolet introduced the 265 cubic inch V-8 engine.

The 265 for sedans with a 2-barrel carburetor put
out a whopping 162 hp, and the optional 4-barrel
engine produced 195 hp. The 1955 engine did have
a drawback though. It had no provision for oil
filtration built into the block. One could order an
optional add-on oil filter that was mounted on the
thermostat housing.

Displacement varied over the years but the engine
proved to be the favorite of gearheads, racers,
and hot rodders and still is today.

For years this was the only choice of V-8 in a
Chevy and it didn’t really have a nickname until
the mid 60s when the big blocks started to show up.
Everyone started calling them small blocks and a
little later, mouse motors when big blocks were
called rats.

As of November, 2011, over 100,000,000 small block
engines had been built. So we would like to wish
the mouse a Happy Anniversary! Thanks for the miles
of smiles.
Comments are always welcome.

Wild ride

March 16, 2015

There were so many gearhead events this weekend it
was almost like it’s June. Since the wife had
something planned for Sunday we caught up with what
we could via the television.

Nascar seemed to have gotten boring and we didn’t
know why. We would rather see the old school races
complete with cussing and fights.

But what I found most interesting happened down in
Gainesville, Florida at the NHRA Gater Nationals.
Larry Dixon crashed his top fuel dragster at an
estimated 260+ mph.

It looked like his rail just broke in half! Don’t
know if he has a pilot’s license but he was flying.
And he walked away from the wreck. Makes our day a
little easier to take.
Comments are always welcome.

Getting warmer

March 13, 2015

The weekend is about to begin, the weather is
getting a little warmer every day, and I just
stocked up on my Snickers. So here are some things
we came across cruising the information highway
and elsewhere.

Today through Sunday is the 1st Annual Hawaiian
International Auto Show. If you happen to be in
Honolulu for business or pleasure, you may want to
check it out. It’s being held at the Hawaii
Convention Center, 1801 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu,
Hawaii. Or go here here to see what it’s all

For those who have never witnessed such an event,
we found a video of an oil change on a Model A
after said Ford sat for 50 years. And we noticed a
practice we wouldn’t preach in the video. We would
never have started a motor that sat as long as this
one did without changing the oil first.

Since we’re on a Model A kick, here is a video of
a Model A that is one of two built to deliver the
mail in the harsh Nebraska winters. And tall rims
are new thing?

Since I learned I lost another friend to Vietnam
this War Memorial video seemed appropriate. Some
would say that war was long ago and didn’t kill
him but we believe they are wrong. RIP Butch.

We’ll end on a happier note with this from the
Moonlight Howlers.

And now we have to hunt up a Snickers and a Coke
for a late lunch. Enjoy the weekend and keep the
shiny side up!
Comments are always welcome.

One plate or two?

March 12, 2015


If you have a hot rod, muscle car, collector car,
or antique car and live in Iowa you should be aware
of H.B. 540. This bill has been approved by the
House Transportation Committee and will be up for
vote in the full Iowa House of Representatives

H.B. 540 would require only a back license plate
for vehicles in Iowa. Since some older vehicles
never had mounting holes for front plates this bill
could save you a ticket and the state would save
money making one plate instead of two.

The SEMA Action Network (SAN) has a list of the
email addresses for House members so we can email
them to ask them to pass this bill. We think it is
about time for this to happen.

Some have disobeyed the current two plate with
varying degrees of success but it would be one less
thing to worry about. And on fat fendered cars the
front end looks so much better without a plate. So
if this bill makes sense to you please send an
email to House members. They don’t know the level
of support there is for this if we don’t let them
Comments are always welcome.

Future cars

March 5, 2015

Since we haven’t talked cars in a few hours it is
time to share some videos of concept cars. A few
may even make it to production while others are too
far out into the future to predict. You can make
your own decisions.

If the 2016 Chevy Malibu SS looks anything like
the concept, we’re sold.

Another car that hope looks as good as the concept
version is Buick Grand National GNX.

Not a car, but have you heard that Ford is going
back to building bicycles? Here in the United
States the bicycles will be powered by the pedals
and a 200w electric motor.

A little farther into the future, Apple is saying
it will release the ICAR by 2020. Rumors have been
all over the map from it being a driver-less vehicle
to getting a rebate for a cell phone contract. Time
will tell.

What do think our cars will look like by 2030? We
don’t pretend to know, this but this video contains
some concepts that may just make the cut.

And what about tires? In 20 years, Hankook thinks
our tires could look something like this. These
look so wild they may just work!

You should now be prepared to buy a car, or a
bicycle, in the future. Don’t thank us, we’re more
than happy to share.
Comments are always welcome.

Helpful hints and oddballs

March 2, 2015

Although we are supposed to get more snow, with
freezing rain, tonight we think of summer. Since we
have central air at our place keeping cool isn’t a
problem in the summer months.

But if you don’t, or you are looking for a cheap
way to cool your garage, here is a video that will
show you how to make an air conditioner for $8. It
may not be the fanciest but it will cool you off.

Are you looking for a new car but don’t know which
models come with a manual transmission? there may
be more choices than you think. The people at
OPPOSITELOCK can help with that.

What if a car could be made that didn’t need
refueling for 100 years? Believe it or not it may
be in our future. Powered by a radioactive metal
called Thorium, and just 8 grams of Thorium could
power the car for 100 years!

For something a little different, how about a 48
cylinder Kawasaki making noise?

Since we’re on a Kawasaki kick, how about a snow
blower powered by a Ninja 900cc engine? Seems like
it works.

We’ll end with some music. This one from 1965 and
one you probably haven’t heard in a while.

So now you know how to build an air conditioner,
get a new car with a stick, a little about the
possible future of our transportation, seen a few
different motorcycle engines, and heard an old
song. We need a pizza.
Comments are always welcome.


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