More meaningful progress

In terms of big pieces left to get, the engine and transmission were (obviously) the biggies – through a twist of fate, one of those puzzle pieces is now sitting in the car!

The original plan when Mark was alive was to buy one of the 350 Chevy “crate” motors that an area speed shop offers and just drop it in. Well, now there just wasn’t the budget for it. As you read in my last post, I figured I’d have to build a budget SBC myself, and I have been trolling for parts just to price things out, and I’ve also been looking for engines as a starting point.

Last week I spied an ad in the local Craigslist for a built 327 Chevy with 2500 miles on the short block, and 0 miles on the heads- which are not camel humps, but 305 heads with some bowl work done and larger 1.94 intake valves and 1.50 exhaust valves fitted. So I called. Talked to a guy named Dave who races circle track up at the Roseville Speedway, and we tentitively planned on meeting up on Sunday. Well, long story short, we met up on Monday night and I drove home with a 327 in the back of my truck for WAY under what the parts bill alone would have been!

The specs are small journal 327 (which means factory forged crank!) and running the number shows that it was built between ’62 and ’65 and was used in trucks and Corvettes. Perfect! There is something awesome about having a period engine in the car that I’m trying so hard to make look as close to 1963 as possible. I know the 305 heads aren’t period, but what the hay. Anyway, it’s been balanced and has Pink rods in it and TRW pistons at 11:1 compression and a Milodon high volume oil pump. Right now it’s got a Comp Cams camshaft in it, but it’s hydraulic and more of a street grind, so that will come out and a Schneider 299F cam and solid lifters will go in once the money tree grows again. I was also able to talk Dave into swapping the stock stamped rocker arms with a set of roller-tipped rockers, so that was also money in the bank!


Tuesday evening, the engine got a new red paint job


 And last night I was able to wrangle help from my neighbor Chris and we dropped it in the car!


Of course I couldn’t resist putting the headers on and test fitting the Hilborn manifold and Vertex. I am going over to a friend of both myself and Mark, who was able to snag the ram tubes for the Hilborn from Mark’s garage before they inadvertantly got packed and shipped back to North Dakota with the rest of Mark’s stuff. But it’s getting there and starting to really look like something!


I’ll push it out onto the driveway to take more photos this weekend with the stacks on and the tail section on as well. I’m going to have to pie cut the oil pan in order to get the right amount of ground clearance, and that’s what they used to do back in the early 60’s, so it’s appropriate. It’s a GM racing pan so it has a windage tray and baffles in it. I’m going to try to make that work. Even used, those Milodon pans are pretty pricey,and while I don’t want to take any unneccesary short cuts, I have to be realistic about the budget. If this was a stock pan, I’d stay forget it and go straight for the Milodon, but at this point, I think I can make this work and have a good pan out of it. 

In the short term I will probably get back on the tail section- I’d like to have that all done by fall.

So if anyone has, or knows of a shorty powerglide, rated to 600 HP (just a typical entry level bracket racing type) and perhaps a 10″ converter that is sitting doing nothing and needs a good new home for not too much money, please get in touch!

Thanks for reading-



One Response to “More meaningful progress”

  1. Brian Fox Says:

    Great to see Dean.!!! Be on the track before you know it. Keep up with the up dates. Great to see. Oh and great lookin shirt too!!!

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