Early 427-powered Corvettes, particularly convertibles, offered from 1966 to 1969 are some of the most-coveted and collectable Corvettes ever produced.
The first 427-powered Corvette rolled off the assembly line for the 1966 model year. Two performance levels of the 427 were initially offered – an “L30” version rated at 390 horsepower and the “L72,” which cranked out 425 horsepower. Both were rated at 460 lb-ft. of torque.
The range of 427 engines grew in 1967, with the addition of the “L71” and “L88” options. The L71 added a unique triple-carburetor induction system that helped boost output to 435 horsepower. Known to collectors as “427/435” cars, these ’67 models – especially the convertibles – are especially sought-after collector cars.
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With the introduction of the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette less than a year away, there has been no shortage of information about what GM has in store for the 60th Anniversary of its beloved sports car. Already a superstar - and a super car - in every respect of the word, the final year of the C6 Corvette promises some special surprises that are both entirely new while simultaneously serving as a fitting tribute to the beginning of Corvette some sixty years earlier. Two of the most notable items that are to be introduced in the 2013 model year include a special “60th Anniversary” options package (RPO CFZ) as well as a whole new Collector's Edition Corvette - which also marks the first time in history that Chevrolet has produced both an anniversary edition and collector's edition Corvette in the same model year.
On January 12, 2012, Chevrolet unveiled the 2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition, claiming it to be “the fastest, most capable convertible in (Corvette's) history.” The 427 Convertible blends elements of both the Z06 and ZR1 coupes, and is a throwback to the 427 Corvette from the late 1960s. Early 427-powered Corvettes convertibles were built from 1966 to 1969, and are considered to be more of the most collectable and coveted Corvettes of all time.
At the core of the 427 Corvette Convertible Collector Edition is a 427 cubic inch (7.0 liter) LS7 engine, the same engine that comes standard in the Z06 coupe. A bit of a misnomer, the 7,008 cubic centimeter engine displacement converts to 427.7 cubic i
inches, which rounds up to 428 cubic inches. Still, Chevrolet chooses to call it a 427 for nostalgic reasons, as well they should given that the Corvette has had another triumphant decade both on the road and on the racetrack. The LS6 engine, which is rated at 505 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, it is the most powerful engine ever installed in a Corvette convertible. The LS7 engine was developed in conjunction with the GT1 engine which powered the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans Compuware Corvette to victory. The engine features lightweight titanium connecting rods and intake valves, as well as racing-inspired high-flow cylinder heads and a dry-sump oiling system. It is assembled by hand at GM's Performance Build Center in B
Bowling Green, Kentucky. Customers who purchase a 427 Convertible Collector Edition Corvette can also purchase the Corvette Build Experience option and hand assemble the engine that will power their car.
As with the Z06, the LS7 engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, which will be the only available transmission for the 427 Corvette Convertible. Other cross-overs from the Z06 include the driveline and rear axle system. Additionally the 427 Convertible will include a rear mounted battery and Magnetic Selective Ride Control, both standard as part of the Collector Edition package. Amazingly, while this car will cost a few extra dollars at the gas pump (as premium fuel is not only recommended, but required), the new Corvette convertible will still average fifteen (15) miles/gallon in the city and twenty-four (24) miles/gallon on the highway, meaning that there consumers of this behemoth will not be required to pay the premium “gas guzzler” tax often associated with high performance sports cars.
While the output of the LS7 engine is enough to make most Corvette enthusiasts drooling, the engineers at Chevrolet didn't stop there. In addition to developing a robust engine capable of outputting 505 horsepower, it was also decided that a weight reduction program could only further enhance the performance aspects of the new convertible. So once again, while borrowing from its Z06 counterpart, the 427 Convertible will feature a carbon-fiber raised hood, carbon-fiber Z06-style fenders, and carbon-fiber floor panels as part of the standard equipment package. Additionally (on the 427 Convertible at least), a carbon-fiber front splitter and the rocker panelswill be optional on the Collector Edition car, although they will come standard for Corvette owners who purchase the ”60th Anniversary” package (RPO CFZ).
The use of carbon-fiber components will lower the 427 Convertible's curb weight to just 3,355 pounds (1,522kg). When combined with the output of its 505-horsepower LS7 engine, the 427 Convertible has a power-to-weight ratio of just 6.64 - which translates into 1 horsepower for every 6.64 pounds of vehicle mass, which puts this new Corvette ahead of some of the world’s finest competitors, including the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, which has a power-to-weight ratio of 6.90, the Aston Martin DBS Volante Convertible at 7.82, and the Ferrari California Convertible at 8.31. This combination of low-mass to high-output will truly make the 427 Corvette one of the fastest convertibles in the world. Preliminary road tests have already produced 0-60mph track-time results of just 3.8 seconds, a quarter mile time of just 11.8 seconds, lateral acceleration of 1.04g and a top speed in excess of 190 miles per hour.
The 427 Convertible will be available in several trim package levels - including 2LT, 3LT, and 4LT. Each 427 Convertible will be given a special vehicle identification number (VIN) sequence, which has previously been a distinction reserved for the ultra-exclusive ZR1 Corvette.
All 2013 Corvettes, including the 427 Convertible, will be made available to consumers with the optional “60th Anniversary” package, which features an Arctic White exterior with a Blue Diamond leather-wrapped interior with suede accents. All convertibles equipped with this option will come equipped with a blue top. Additionally, all 60th Anniversary Corvettes will receive a ZR1-style rear spoiler, special commemorative badging, gray-painted brake calipers and the “60th (anniversary)” logo on the wheel center caps, steering wheel and seat headrests. Additionally, an optional graphics package will give consumers the option of adding full-length, Pearl Silver Blue racing stripes. These stripes will extend the length of the car, including on the convertible top, where a tonal stripe will be stitched into the fabric to extend the graphic over the roof.
Beyond the Commemorative and Anniversary Edition models, every 2013 Corvette will feature “60th Anniversary” badges on the front and rear fascias. Similar badging will also be located on the “waterfall” panel between the driver and passenger seats (on convertible models), as well as “60th” logos in the instrument panel gauge cluster and on the sill plates.
The first of the 427 Convertible's was "delivered" on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at the Barrett Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The car, which sold for $600,000, was donated thru a joint effort between Chevrolet and Hendricks Motorsports to raise money for AARP's "Drive to End Hunger" food relief program. While special edition Corvettes have always been a popular item at the Barrett Jackson auctions, the new 427 Corvette, which featured the car with VIN #001 made this particular auction particularly special. A number of influential people in the auotmotive industry were present for the auction, including Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon. Gordon, a four-time NASCAR champion, further enticed bidders into chasing this auction by including one of his own racing suits and a VIP trip to the 2012 Daytona 500 race in Daytona Beach, Florida. In the end, the car was won by Ron Pratte, a multi-millionaire who made his fortunes in the business of wood framing and concrete foundations.
In March, 2012, Corvette released the first of many commercial advertisements featuring the new 2013 427 Corvette Convertible. In it, Chevrolet commemorates Corvette's sixtieth anniversary by literally having the Corvette "blow out" 60 candles spaced evenly along the side of a high-speed road course. While there's nothing particularly amazing about the commerical - namely no crazy stunts or gimmicks - it does present the new 2013 convertible in a way that is both stylish and classic Corvette.
1.) GM Media Center - "Corvette Marks 60 Years of Performance with 427 Convertible"