As far as interesting stories go, this one is up there. Back in the 1960?s GM liked its engines big (nothing has changed there) and the baddest one of all was the all-aluminium 427 cu-in (7.0-litre) ZL-1 big block - built with the Can-Am racing series in mind. Pushing out 320kW / 430hp and 610Nm, only 200 of the monster motors were made with sixty nine being fitted to Camaros and two into a pair of ?69 Corvettes.
The original cars fitted with the aluminium big-block now change hands at in excess of $US1 million. The ?interesting? part of this tale is that the tooling for the blocks was left to gather dust and eventually shipped out to a Michigan scrap yard where it was, rather miraculously spotted by a member of the GM Racing team!
?Someone who knew what they were doing was going through the scrap yard, recognized what the ZL-1 tooling looked like ? you?ve got to appreciate that ? and said, ?We need to pull this out of the junkyard and see if we can fix it. And it?s actually taken us several years and several hundred thousand dollars to refurbish that tooling so we can build 427 of our anniversary engines?, said Jamie Meyer, product integration manager for GM Performance Parts
The upshot of this discovery is that a few years and several hundred thousand dollars later, the tooling has been refurbished in order to allow a limited run of 427 ?anniversary? all-aluminium ZL-1 engines. Each ?anniversary? engine will feature a unique serial number (from 1 to 427) and will produce the same outputs as the original.
Each engine will cost $US20,000 and the run is limited as the tooling actually wears out. The engine will be available for sale through the GM customer Web site and GM Performance Parts dealers.