The Top and Bottom Years for the Chevy 327 Engine

Decades after Chevrolet ended production of the 327, the engine’s esteem has grown to the point that diehard fans celebrate its legacy on March 27 of every year. Although Chevrolet outfitted some of its best-loved vehicles with the 327 engine in the 1960s, none were more universally adored than the Corvette. While not the first sports car produced by a U.S. manufacturer, the Corvette quickly earned the title “America’s Sports Car” once it entered the market, and has remained a Chevy favorite over several generations of innovation.

The Corvette already had a reputation as a speedster before Chevy started putting the 327 under the hood. However, the horsepower upgrade only bolstered that rep in the ’62 and ’63 models. It was in 1964, however, when the 327 arguably reached the pinnacle of its power, and a notable upgrade to that small-block V8 engine would eventually help that year’s Corvette break an impressive power record.

This upgrade came in the form of the so-called “30-30 Camshaft,” developed by Chevy’s team of racing engineers, which provided a substantial horsepower boost to the Corvette. As a result, the L76 build could push up to 365 hp. As for the L84 build of the “30-30” 327, it allowed the Corvette to push an astounding 375 hp, making it the first small-block engine to achieve such power. The L84 variant of the 327 would remain the only small-block engine to produce that kind of power for nearly four decades, until Chevy’s 5.7-liter LS6 V8 finally topped the mark in 2001.

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