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Corvette 1965: Cubic Inches, That is

Cubic inches, that is.  We’re ready if you are.


It’s no rumor.

                 You may have heard talk of a new “mystery” V8 from Chevrolet.  You probably discounted some of what you heard as exaggeration.  It wasn’t just talk, and chances are it wasn’t even exaggerated.

                  This is the genuine article.  Officially, the Turbo-Jet 396 V8. Unofficially, it’s a production engine raised to the nth power, an outright masterpiece, almost the kind you could expect to get only with cams and gadgets and exotic labels hung all over the outside.  The 396 gets everything it needs on the inside.

                   425 bhp at 6400 rpm.  415 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm.  (Nice, round figures that give a specific output of 1.073 horsepower per cubic inch.) 396 cubic inches.  4.094-inch bore, 3.76-inch stroke.  Solid lifters, one 4-bbl. Carburetor, dual exhausts.  That’s just the bare bones of the story.

                   The rocker arms are separately mounted, which allows individual placement of valves, inlet ports, and exhaust ports.  That in turn allows precise control of combustion chamber shape, unshrouding of the valves, better heat dissipation, remarkably good “breathing” characteristics.  The rest of the engine is similarly advanced, but the big story is the breathing.        

                  Remember the 265-cubic-sinch V8 in 1953?  It became the 283, and the 327 was based on it.  It was so good because it breathed so well.  This one’s better. A lot better. You can get it in a Corvette.

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