427s THROUGH TIME

TAKE A GLANCE AT OF FORD’S AND GM’S FINEST THAT RAISED THE PERFORMANCE BAR THANKS TO 427 POWER

FORD GT40 In 1963 Henry Ford II contracted UK race car builder Eric Broadley of Lola Cars to build him a Ferraribeating endurance racer. Early versions of the new Ford GT40 powered by Ford’s 289 V8 and then the 302 showed promise in competition in 1964-65. Then with Ford himself present at Le Mans in 1966, 427-powered. GT40s finished 1, 2, 3 in the 24-hour event. Job done!

SHELBY COBRA/DAYTONA Fitting a 427 in a car designed around small block Fords required substantial chassis, suspension and body mods– but hey, it was worth it.

FORD THUNDERBOLT This factory dragstrip-special Fairlane Tudor was powered by a twin 4-bbl version of the 427 that insiders say produced close to 450kW max power.

CHEVROLET IMPALA Z11 Another factory dragstrip special, along with 427 power, a 4-speed manual and aluminium front panels it had no comfort items like heater or radio.

CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 Bob Jane’s flying Camaro put its 427 to good use, convincingly taking out the 1971 Australian Touring Car Championship ahead of Alan Moffat’s Mustang.

FORD GALAXIE Two things worked for Ford in NASCAR racing in 1963 – the slippery shape of their fastback Galaxie and the power of the thundering 427 big-block powerplant.

MERCURY MARAUDER/MONTEREY The 427 engine option across these models mandated a 4-speed manual transmission. Marauder 427s came with a single 4-bbl carb, the Super Marauders got twin 4-bbls.

FORD FAIRLANE The Fairlane model range came with the 427 engine performance option inherited from the earlier Thunderbolt models. Potent R-code hardtops went racing.

MERCURY COMET/CYCLONE/COUGAR To avoid competing directly with Ford Thunderbolt cousins on the dragstrip, track-prepared lightweight 427 Comets ran in the specialised new experimental (A/FX) class.

CHEVROLET BISCAYNE/BELAIR/IMPALA/CAPRICE What a sleeper a Chevrolet family car would be with 427 power and a 4-speeder or even with a Powerglide.

FORD DRAG TEAM In 1969-70 Ford’s factory drag team included two Mustang fastbacks powered by the ultimate 427, the brutish SOHC “Cammer” that set the strips alight.

HRT 427 CONCEPT A local 427 connection, one that might have been, is the fast and furious 2002 HSV Monaro. Sadly only two pre-production examples were built.

HSV W427 This local stunner did make it into production. Launched to celebrate 20 years of HSV, with 137 examples built, it shares its 375kW LS7 427 with the C6 Z06 Corvette.