(first posted 6/30/2015) As I said yesterday, I’m on a two-door sedan jag (now I just need to find an actual Jaguar two-door sedan). And since today’s Montego two door is a hardtop, I’ll have to reach into my digital grab bag to find something suitable. How’s this? Fills the brief, except of course it’s not original. Good luck finding just about any old Chevy II in original condition, most of all the two door sedans and hardtops. They invariably have had a SBC-swapecotomy, like this ’63 sedan I shot in the Bay Area.
Admittedly, it’s a fairly mild case of hotrodding, but the peek into the tinted windows proves that this is not an original six with either a Powerglide or three-on-the-tree job anymore. I’m not up on my custom shifters, but this looks more like one for an automatic than a four speed. 350/350? Ever so common, although that requires some surgery on the transmission tunnel, and this one does seem a bit swollen.
The Chevy II became the perfect tri-five successor: light, simple, and eminently happy to have any kind of Chevy component thrown into it.
And Ed Cole made sure it was going to be very accommodating to accepting Chevy’s mighty mouse motor, the 327 V8. This excerpt is from the Nov. 1961 Popular Mechanics, courtesy of George Ferencz.
Folks started swapping in SBC the minute the first Chevy IIs arrived at the dealers. Here’s a Hot Rod article from 1962 that details the transformation. Typically, a four cylinder sedan was ordered for the purpose, but in this case a six cylinder coupe was the subject.
Given the very light weight of a Chevy II (2,430 lbs listed for the four cylinder), any Chevy V8 turned it into a deceptively fast car. A Chevy II V8 was the cheapest bang for the buck, especially when the basic sedans became cheap used cars. No wonder there’s hardly any original ones left, unlike the Falcon of the 60s, of which very many survived into six-cylinder hipsterhood service.
Prefer sixes? The quickest and slowest Turbo-thrift sixes