This may seem a bit trivial, but for someone who memorized all the engine options (and their detailed specs) of many cars of the era, but most of all Chevys, this one caught my eye: A 240 hp 327? Never heard of such a thing.
It must have been a special version just for police car use. It appears to be the the 250 hp 327 sold available a few years earlier (through 1965), but with a lower 8.75:1 compression ratio, for regular gas. But oddly, it has a dual exhaust, which the 250 hp version didn’t.
Meanwhile, the 275 hp version has only a single (large diameter) exhaust. Mix and match.
Were any 427 police cars built or deployed?
I don’t have a ready answer, but I would not be surprised. If the CHP had bought Chevys, they certainly would have.
Baltimore County bought a huge fleet of ’67 Chevys for their PD; they were 396s.
For some reason, Chevy did not sell nearly as many police cars as did Chrysler and Ford. That may have been in part because they didn’t have to, as their retail sales were generally very strong.
I think you’re on the right track regarding GMs attitude towards fleet sales. They just didn’t seem hungry for fleet volume in the 1960s. For example, Hertz featured Chevys in their early 1960s ads while Avis featured Fords. Sometime around the mid-60s, Hertz switched to featuring Fords while Avis switched to featuring Plymouths. I recall reading something about GM saying they had to cut back on the large fleet orders from rental car companies. Those orders typically occurred early in each model year. Reportedly this was starving dealers of retail inventory during the new model year kickoff at a time of peak GM sales.
Avis ads from same years.
For 6 years I lived on a small farm just south of Burtonsville, MD. The farm is now where Rt 100 and US 29 intersect. Just across Rt 29 was [and still is] Sport Chevrolet. ‘Craig’, a long time friend of mine, was a ‘Chevrolet super salesman’, with many GM sales awards in his private office, and large locking commercial Rolodex cabinets that held all his private contact info. Those Rolodex files belonged to him, not the dealership, and he called them his tool boxes!
Craig didn’t generally interact with the car buying public. Unlike other coat & tie salesmen, he would come in wearing tee shirts and jeans. His sales success came from fleet, corporate, and government sales. Back in the late 1970s he handled almost all the state, county and local Chevy bulk sales, long before GM took control of those sales away from the dealers. His demo car was almost always a new silver Corvette.
I learned so much from listening to him talking to various fleet buyers, and how he was able to convince buyers not to purchase cars without popular options. He would convince them that a well optioned car with power options & A/C, V8, and stereo, would bring a higher trade-in value, and drivers would feel better and more refreshed in a well-optioned car. While I can’t say for sure those Baltimore County police cruisers were purchased with 396 engines because of Craig’s smooth talking, I suspect he played a large part in that decision.
The CHP got Oldsmobiles around 1967, the first non-Mopar police cars I’d seen at state or our local county and city level. In 1975 or shortly later, Berkeley got Nova patrol cars, replacing Plymouth Satellites, but not for quite a few years after the 1977 downsizing did the Caprice became popular; then of course Tahoes and Chevy cop cars are now commonplace here. By the way, most if not all of the CHP Chargers which seem to now outnumber the “Explorer” Ford Interceptors are just V6’es. Some are AWD.
I remember in 1968 I saw 4 sheriff dept 427 Biscaynes parked in a line outside the sheriff office in Leavenworth, Wa.
That reference to “long lived smoothness” , in the “250 cid” description is a good chuckle.
Those motors were everywhere and proved “durable”. “Smooth”, they were not. lol
Inline sixes are inherently the “smoothest” (most balanced) IC engines. What makes you think they weren’t “smooth”?
Ours was smooth (actually the 230 c.i. version of the “Turbo Thrift”) in my father’s 1963 Bel Air). Dad always bought a stripper in those days; with good reason because a serious family illness in 1958 emptied the family coffers and made a cautious man even more so.
That car lasted long enough for me to learn to drive on it; three on the tree and all. It was a gutless wonder (especially to a sixteen-year-old in 1972); but once it got up to freeway speed it would purr all day.
The other thing I remember about that car was the VERY long and tortuous exhaust pipe, which made a final bend over the rear axle.
My experience was all Chevy straight sixes were smooth as silk. Unless, of course, there was something wrong.
Straight sixes have a noticeable lack of vibration, due to their perfect primary and secondary balance. That inherent balance allows them to have very large displacements, which is one reason why that configuration is often seen in large trucks.
The 194-230-250-292ci Chevy sixes had seven main bearings, yes smooth.
Almost all inline engines are smoother than their ‘V’ counterparts, see BuzzDog’s comment above .
Yes, well aware of that, but many were four main bearing and the seven can help a bit more.
Many years ago I read an engineering article from Austin wherein they claimed the new and better solution to getting more power out of the tax busting 1,000CC displacement engine was to delete TWO main bearings . (!) .
The reduced friction allowed for more usable power .
As anyone old or who’s owned any L.B.C. from the 1940’s ~ 1970’s knows, the cranks flexed badly, if you were lucky all you needed to do was replace the mean bearing shells during your (ahem) normal 35,000 mile overhaul .
If you were unlucky or perhaps ran it too hard the cranks broke .
Not my idea of good engineering but then I’m a mechanic not an Engineer .
All buy one of my ‘A’ Model Fords had terrible crank vibration on over run, the one had a ‘C’ Model crank, those were balanced, earlier ‘T’ and ‘A’ models didn’t have balanced cranks .
Chicago Police Dept. [CPD] had Chevy Biscayne cop cars in the late 60’s, mixed with Plymouth Fury I’s. Only Ford’s that I recall seemed to be 65’s.
Maybe Chevy dealers wanted more retail Impalas/Caprices, since rental companies didn’t get bare bones Biscaynes?
I’m pretty sure the 240 hp 327 was the same unit installed in trucks. My ’68 had one. No dual exhausts though. I don’t recall what it used for cylinder heads or pistons but it was not fussy about gasoline grade, unlike the 10.25:1 327s were.
Yes. A friend of mine had one in his ’68 GMC 2500. It was a truck 327
I might add, ’68 was the only year you could get a Quadrajet on a 327. ’67s had the 4GC, and ’69 327s were 2GC only.
Chevy small block truck engines of the day often (can’t swear to always) used higher quality metal in the block castings and four bolt crankshaft main bearing caps. Likely a good choice for extra reliability on hard-use, high-mileage law enforcement vehicles.
Racers always wanted to build their old-school Chevy small block engines using four bolt truck engine block cores (until it all turned to crate engines later on).
The truck blocks had their own specific casting numbers. I don’t know what they are, but I suspect someone does.
And in 1967 we had to mention replaceable oil filter as a selling point? I doubt any police departments were cross shopping Chevy sedans against something like a VW beetle without a replaceable oil filter.
Sounds like the L73 spec
Yes, it does. That regular gas 327 four barrel was available on regular Chevys starting in 1968, and apparently quite popular. One source said it was also available in ’67 on special order. The 240 hp rating is what’s curious, as the ’68 L73 was rated at 250. But then these are all gross ratings and there was a fair bit of fudge factor involved.
Police dept. targetted marketing may have had slightly less hyperbole. I’m curious to know what heads / cams etc…
ahh, via the chevelle site
Engine Blueprint Specifications: 1968 Chevrolet 250 HP 327 V8
CHEV-68 Issued: 7/1/1968 Last Revised: 1/1/2014 Revisions: 25 July 1980, 11 Aug 1994, 6-9-96, 12-01-98, 9-5-03, 3-23-04, 7-27-04, 11-10-05 WR, 2-8-05 CL, 4-26-06 WR, 5-2-07 WR, 6-11-08 WR, 5/30/11 PC, 10/21/13 PC, 1/1/14 PC
Engine Family: General Motors, Chev V8 Small Block Advertised Comp Ratio: 8.75:1 Induction: 1-4 Bbl Engine Type: V8
Basic Specs:BoreStrokeMain Journal DiaRod Journal DiaMax BoreMax StrokeMax Displacement 4.001″3.250″2.450″2.100″4.081″3.265″341.7 ci
Piston-Rod Specs:piston WeightComp HeightPin WeightRingsRings WeightRod C/CMax Rod C/CRod WeightMin Assy Weight 547 g1.650″80 g5/64, 5/64, 3/1650 g5.700″5.725″520 g1197 g
Compression:Deck HeightHead GasketPiston TypeDome/Dish VolDome/Dish HgtComb Chamber VolMax Compression .002″.018″Flat0 cc068.8 cc10.3:1
Valve Train:Int Rocker RatioExh Rocker RatioIntake ValveExhaust ValveLifter TypeSpring TypeLifter Dia. 1.50:11.50:11.725″1.505″HydOuter w/damper0.842″
Camshaft:Intake LiftExhaust Lift .390″.410″
Cylinder Heads:Casting No. Intake VolumeExhaust Volume 3917290 142.0cc59.0cc 3917293 144.0cc58.0cc 3946813 138.0cc72.0cc
Intake Manifolds:Casting No. 3860384Cast Iron 3872783Cast Iron 3875954Cast Iron 3905393Cast Iron 3919803Cast Iron
Carburetors:NumberManufacturerTransTypePrimary ThrottleSecondary ThrottlePrimary VenturiSecondary Venturi 1901EdelbrockALL4-Bbl1.375″2.250″1.108″.000″AV Secondary. Replacement for GM small venturi Quadrajets. NOTE: Venturi specs include .015″ maximum allowable tolerance. 4MV-7028207RochesterAuto4-Bbl1.375″2.250″1.093″.000″Air valve secondary 4MV-7028212RochesterAuto4-Bbl1.375″2.250″1.093″.000″Air valve secondary 4MV-7028213RochesterSM4-Bbl1.375″2.250″1.093″.000″Air valve secondary
Notes: Rod JournalOptional 2.000″ small journal Main JournalOptional 2.300″ small journal
Power Factors:Stock Man Stock Auto S/S Man S/S Auto GT Man GT Auto GTFwd Man GTFwd Auto Base Factors2459/27/012459/27/0125012/19/0225012/19/022691/1/102611/1/162691/1/102611/1/16 Exception: Chevelle2459/27/012459/27/012427/8/14242
Found this …
Police ad copy may have been less afflicted with marketing dept. hyperbole?
Replacable oil filter!?
Whoa, who won the lottery???
I wonder if they meant spin-on filters, versus the traditional canister type.
I noticed that weird language—it’s ambiguous; did they mean you replace the whole filter (spin-on) or did they omit the word element (“replaceable-element oil filter”)?
Replaceable element. Spin on came to Chevy for the ’68 model year. Ford was the early adopter of the spin on. My ’66 Dodge 273 was not spin on.
One slight addendum to that: V8’s in the Chevy II received a spin on filter a few years earlier… I’m guessing 1964. This was due to Chevrolet having to modify the block casting to clear clutch linkage on manual transmission cars in this application. A few medium duty trucks retained a cartridge filter into the 1970’s, though they used an adapter to facilitate this on the 1968-up blocks.
Was it actually the block casting, or a 90 degree spin on filter adapter, like on my 4×4 350 to clear the front driveshaft?
Both types were available from the factory on most Mopar engines in ’66, including the 273, but the spin-on was overwhelmingly more common. Chrysler began aggressively phasing in spin-on filters for ’60 on the 6-cylinder cars and ’63 on the V8s, with the replaceable-elephant filters remaining available as an option commonly specified by fleets and occasionally on private cars. Donno when Ford started with spin-ons; maybe you do. But your note about ’68 being the first year for spin-ons on Chevs reminds me of this page from an excellent 1976 Petersen auto repair guide:
My 273 was a truck application (A-100), so maybe that is why. My dealer had the spin on adapter plate and the filter insert was getting hard to find, So I converted it.
Off topic, but as you are a Mopar expert, why was my 273 solid lifter while the 318 in my dad’s ’69 A-108 was hydraulic?
A restored 1966 Tennessee State Trooper car
I miss those old “Gumball” police lights .
Chevrolet offered a low compression, 8.75:1 327 4bbl engine for export use. From 1965-66 this was rated at 230 hp. I have a few old road tests for export Chevrolets with this engine. In 1967 the engine was bumped up to 240hp. These low compression engine were also offered in police vehicles. In 1968, the 250 hp L73 327-4bbl, also with a 8.75:1 compression, was available in domestic Chevrolets and also used in export Chevrolets. I don’t have the specs on the earlier export engines, but I have read that the export engine diffrent head, which means compression may have been lower despite advertised numbers. Also, while domestic Chevrolets were limited to a 327-2bbl in 1969, export markets had a low compression 4bbl with a 250 hp rating, as in 1968.
It makes sense for Chevrolet to offer this export low compression engine on police cars, as for a fleet vehicle, running regular gas would have been a big advantage. This was also the reason it would have been used in export markets, where fuel quality would have been more suspect.
That’s exactly what I was thinking…like the Mexico market, for example. Or some municipality with a really small budget, regular fuel could have been a real selling point!
Here is a page from the 1967 Chevrolet brochure that shows the same 240 hp 327
What brochure is that? The US brochure doesn’t have that.
Update. I see that’s an Australian brochure.
Sorry Paul, I forgot to say it was the Aussie brochure. They also show the 230 hp 327 for the ealier years and the 250 hp engine for 1968.
I came here with the same image. Vince C for the winl
Many interesting details here. Copyeditor replaced one instance of the American term windshield by windscreen, but missed the other instances. And whichever name we call it by: wow, a ‘modified-zone’ windshield/screen! Also called “zone-toughened”: a piece of single-ply tempered glass with the region directly in front of the driver specially treated to resist fragmenting. The half-baked idea was that the driver would still be able to see through the unfragmented part, even if the rest of the glass got hit hard enough to turn into popcorn. Okeh, sure…and in that case, what’s holding that specially-treated region of glass in front of the driver? Skyhooks?
Interesting that the domestic U.S. laminated windshields—much safer—were not used on the cars sent to Australia, but now I think on it, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen reference to zone-toughened windscreens on Australian-spec cars made many years after laminated ones were standard equipment in the States. I wonder if an obsolete Australian regulation, written to require something better than bare-minimum windscreen glass, carried on requiring them for some years after better kinds of windscreens were available.
No comment about the police hood sign?
The ad men just called Lansing MSP HQ for a photo. MSP still uses that sign today.
My parents had a 1967 Impala SS with the 327 with 275 hp and 2 speed Powerglide transmission. Not quick off the line, but would throw you back in the seat when flooring it at 40 mph. Sounded nice with the dual exhausts. This is the first I heard of the 240 hp version. I recall the owner’s manual posting the engine specs for the Impala, from the 250, 327, 396 and 427 cid engines. I think parents got the Impala in 1968. Although I was only 11 years old I became familiar with the potential power of an engine based on friends and family’s vehicles – but based on the gross horsepower ratings. My first car, a 1967 Chevy Caprice had he 283 V8 rated at 195 hp. To this day I can relate more to the gross ratings as related to a vehicle’s power potential. I know SAE net has been the standard for about 50 years.
May have been for Military Police overseas. I was in Okinawa in ,1970. MPs their had 1967 Belairs with the 327.
All General Motors Holden (GMH) assembled RHD 1967 Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedans and 4 door sedans were equipped with 240 hp versions of 327 cubic inch V8. These ‘67 Impalas were assembled by GMH in Australia from imported Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits.
The GMH assembled 1965 and 1966 Chevrolet Impalas had 230 hp 327 V8s. In 1968 GMH used 250 hp version of the 327 V8.