The Big-Block engine may be history for production Chevrolets, but that doesn’t mean Chevrolet Performance has forgotten its origins. So, to honor the anniversary of the iconic motor, the Bowtie’s performance arm has announced a limited run of the 427 cubic-inch Big-Block V8 crate engine for public consumption.
Not to be confused with GM’s LS7 Small Block V8 found in the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28 or the C6 Z06, the 427 Big-Block reached its pinnacle in the iconic Yenko Camaro, a dealer-backed program intended to propel the Chevy Camaro past the competition from Ford and Mopar vehicles. The Big-Block 427 then found its way into a factory-built vehicle that couldn’t be found in any brochure or order guide, thereby creating the 1969 Camaro ZL1.
In offering the Anniversary 427 Big-Block V8, Chevrolet Performance is honoring the legendary ZL1. But since it’s 2015, rather than the late 1960s, the crate motor has a few modern features that make it street legal. Notably, a hydraulic roller camshaft sits in place of the ZL1’s original flat-tappet cam, providing smoother street operation and significantly-reduced maintenance and care. Rated at 430 horsepower at 5,800 RPM, the Anniversary 427 Chevy Big Block V8 makes a perfect heart for resto-mods and tribute projects.
Only 427 examples will be produced, each wearing a $28,625 price tag. That is, no doubt, a healthy lump of cash, but those willing (and able) to part with it will be hard-pressed to find a better way to honor the Camaro ZL1 of yesteryear.