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Do You Have A 427 Under The Hood??

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  • Do You Have A 427 Under The Hood??

    There was a very rare special order 427 available through certain ford dealers for 1963-1965 Thunderbirds, 120 of these ’high performance’ T-birds were made. Only 6 are still known to exist today. It is documented that Bob Tasca, a well known drag racer of the 60’s, ordered a factory fitted 427 1964 T-bird that was said to do 0-60 mph in 6 seconds flat with a top speed of 135 mph.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

  • #2
    I recall a '66 (or maybe it was a '65) with a facory 427 here in New Zealand - if I can get the old brain to work I'll post where I read it.
    A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

    Comment


    • #3
      Do You Have A 427 Under The Hood??

      Here is a very interesting article about a 427 equipped Flairbird! Be sure to read Page 2 because it mentions that there is a 427 equipped Flairbird in New Zealand. It appears that Earl Dods is also in New Zealand. His email address is on the last page. I think you are going to enjoy seeing the pix of his beautiful Tbird and 427.

      http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2080960

      Here is more information regarding the 427 engine.

      Ford's 427 in3 (7.0 L) V8, introduced in 1963, was a racing engine pure and simple. It was developed for NASCAR stock car racing, drag racing, and serious street racers. The true displacement of the 427 was actually 425 in3 (6,965 cm3), but Ford called it the 427 because 427 in3 (7.0 L) was the NASCAR maximum size. The stroke was the same as the 390 at 3.78 in (96mm) but the bore was increased to 4.23 in (107.4mm). The block was made of high nickel content iron and was made with an especially thickened deck to withstand higher compression. The cylinders were cast using cloverleaf molds—the corners were thicker all down the wall of each cylinder. Forged pistons were employed (the only production Ford big-block with such) and forged rods inherited from the 390 Hi-Po.

      Two different models of 427 block were produced, the 427 top oiler and 427 side oiler. The top oiler version was the earlier, and delivered oil to the cams first and the crank second. It gained something of an undeserved reputation for insufficient crankshaft lubrication under heavy abuse. When under extremely hard acceleration oil in the pan would tend to slosh back. This was remedied by Ford later by including a factory windage tray under the main bearings. The FE engine was Ford's main race engine in the mid-1960s and as such was under constant engineering scrutiny and subject to frequent design updates based on extreme racing experiences. The side oiler block, introduced in 1965, sent oil to the crank first and the cams second. In street use the two blocks are equivalent. Today, the premium aftermarket aluminum replacement block uses a top-oiler system.

      The engine was available with low-riser, mid-riser, or high-riser intake manifolds, and either a single four-barrel carburetor or a double four-barrel setup on an aluminum manifold for highest performance. The twin four-barrel setup with the high-riser induction system is estimated to have delivered over 500 hp (373 kW); Ford never released an official power rating. Other models were rated at over 400 hp (299&nbskW).

      Source:
      http://en.allexperts.com/e/f/fo/ford_fe_engine.htm
      which has a breakdown on all the Ford FE engines. It says that the FE DID stand for Ford/Edsel and was, at first called the F/E engine, and then someone dropped the / out of it.
      Last edited by YellowRose; March 14th, 2010, 12:05 PM.

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
      "It's Hip To Be Square"
      Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
        There was a very rare special order 427 available through certain ford dealers for 1963-1965 Thunderbirds, 120 of these ’high performance’ T-birds were made. Only 6 are still known to exist today. It is documented that Bob Tasca, a well known drag racer of the 60’s, ordered a factory fitted 427 1964 T-bird that was said to do 0-60 mph in 6 seconds flat with a top speed of 135 mph.
        Uh, where'd you come up with this info? Sorry for my skepticism, but PROVE ME WRONG with factory documentation, sources for info, VINS, data plate photos/rubbings, invoices, etc. Too many myths float around based upon partial or heresay info. This is the first time I've seen a number of 120 quoted. The Tasca '64 was featured in CARS magazine in '64 (article reprinted in the Brooklands '64-'76 Portfolio). Of the 6000+ '64-'66s I've recorded info on there's NO car in my listings with anything other that codes for a 390 or 428.
        Alan H. Tast AIA, LEED AP BD+C
        Technical Director/Past President, Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
        Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"

        Comment


        • #5
          Do You Have A 427 Under The Hood?

          While researching the designer of the Flairbirds, I came up with that information from several sources. The information here comes from Earle Dods (I think it is) in New Zealand. earledods@hotmail.com You will see in his report on the restoration of his 1965 Flairbird, he talks about restoring his '65 Flairbird with a factory installed 427 engine.

          http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2080960

          "Factory fitted 427, there is 6 left that I know about 1-1963, 2-1964's and 3-1965's there was supposedly 120 427's put in thunderbirds but it is very hard to document this."

          In my research, I saw it written that these 120 Flairbirds with 427 engines were mainly used in racing, but they could be and were, special ordered through certain dealers. So the reports go. There is supposed to be one in a Washington state museum that is factory. You will see the account of that on Page 2 of the cardomain article above.

          I am trying to find the report that I saw on the Automotive Mile Posts website, regarding the 427. They repeated the same thing that Earle said. You might want to see if you can email him. He said he owns a '65 Flairbird with a factory 427 in it and knows the other guy in New Zealand who lives 15 minutes from him who owns the other one. That one was destined for Australia, but was not allowed in, so the owner transferred it to New Zealand, so the report goes. If I find more, I will let you know. I saw about 3-4 references to the 120 427 cars made, and only 6 remaining.

          You should be able to get Earle and the other owner to provide you with a VIN number and data plate information. Unless the data plates have been re-created, that should give you documentation we need.

          NOTE!! We don't have to ask Earle Dods for the VIN & data plate information! His car is in the Tbird Registry! Look here!

          http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=9047

          1965
          Body Style: 2-door Hardtop
          VIN: 5Y83Z169395
          Production Codes: 63A-E-65-03F-24-1-4

          Earle Dods says: I am still restoring my 1965 Thunderbird. It was red on red, I am now painting it tiger orange. It has landau door panels but is not a landau which is rare. It is a factory 427 - I have done some research and 120 427's are in Thunderbirds and mine is one of them. I know of 5 others. I have put on Cragar S/S rims and chrome valve covers and FPA headers. It has 58,000 org miles. Go to http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2080960 to see more pictures of my car. Registrar's note: This Thunderbird resides in New Zealand.

          I am aware that a Z coded engine for the Flairbird is a 390. However... in my reading on this, I read something, somewhere (I have done so much research on this, I lost track of where it was) that when Ford got a special order from one of the few dealers who were allowed to order these special order cars, that they took the 390's out of them, popped in the 427's and did not change the data plate. Most of these cars, so I read, but not all, went to racing teams that Ford was supporting, so they would have an edge on their competition. It would be interesting to find out what the other NZ data plate has on it, and the one in the Washington museum.

          BTW.. Australia/New Zealand has 268 Tbirds of all years in the Tbird Registry.. I just finished checking EVERY New Zealand Tbird in the Tbird Registry from 1963 (since it was said that a '63 in NZ has a 427 in it). The ONLY one in the register with a 427 engine is Earle's '65.
          Last edited by YellowRose; March 14th, 2010, 04:54 PM.

          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
          "It's Hip To Be Square"
          Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

          Comment


          • #6
            I am aware that a Z coded engine for the Flairbird is a 390. However... in my reading on this, I read something, somewhere (I have done so much research on this, I lost track of where it was) that when Ford got a special order from one of the few dealers who were allowed to order these special order cars, that they took the 390's out of them, popped in the 427's and did not change the data plate.
            This was not unusual for FOMOCO to do this in the period. It was released for a driver that wanted more performance than the 300HP OR 340HP engine could deliver. This was a low-rise engine (they came in several versions) with an hydraulic valve train so it was not an absolute beast on the street as would have been a High-Riser (would require special hood for carb clearance) or later Medium Riser. It would have been attached to most likely an MX trans and even if beefed might not have held even a detuned 427LR. The LX (TWIN-TURBO) was used in some 64 THUNDERBOLTS and even they wouldn't take the pressure. FORD released the C6 late in 1965 production and that would have held.

            I cannot imagine where FORD would have supported them for any type of racing due to it's weight and size. It was a rich man's toy.

            Regardless, the truth will be found in the build sheet or the engine I.D Tag found behind the distributor.

            That's my opinion and that and a couple of dollars will get you a coffee...

            Comment


            • #7
              Do You Have A 427 Under The Hood??

              Thanks, KULTULZ, for your input. I have been searching for more sources regarding this 427 engine being installed in the Flairbirds. Here is another one..

              http://www.carhistoryclub.com/files/...__19641966.htm

              A 390cc v8 engine remained standard. Optional ones ranged in power up to the 427-cu.-in., 425hp thunderbird super high-performance v8, with two four-barrel carburetors. Customers could choose a new engine option: Fords 427-cu.-in. Cobra jet v8.

              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
              '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
              "It's Hip To Be Square"
              Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Actually the ...

                Cobra Jet engine was 428 c.i. (smaller bore than the the 427, 4.13" but longer 3.98 stroke, and didn't come out until the 68' model year in the Mustang. There were 428 engines avaliable in the Flairbirds but they lacked the extra main webbing in the block and other internal upgrades that were introduced with the Cobra Jet engine including low riser 427 heads, heavier main caps and a more performance oriented cam. Mike

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do You Have A 427 Under The Hood??

                  Hi Mike!

                  It looks like Car History has their facts wrong about the Cobra Jet V8 then....

                  Read what Thunderbird Concepts has to say about the 427 and the Flairbird... 120 produced in Flairbirds, and 6 known remaining...

                  http://www.thunderbirdconcepts.com/f...rd-history.htm

                  Here is the Wikipedia entry regarding the 427 in the 1963-1965 Tbirds.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Thunderbird_(fourth_generation)

                  At the bottom of the page is the link to Earle's '65 427 in New Zealand.
                  Last edited by YellowRose; March 14th, 2010, 11:17 PM.

                  Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                  '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                  "It's Hip To Be Square"
                  Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                  Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                  http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You know ...

                    the old saying. Don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see. There are a lot of bogus or misinformed "car facts" floating around out there. Mike

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A factory 427 1965 Thunderbird as described does sound more of a Urban Legend than fact.

                      Looking at the history of Factory Race Cars/Hot Rods, the 1964 Ford Thunderbolt, incomplete cars were sent to Dearborn Steel & Tubing (DST) for modification/fabrication and 427 installation, these cars didn't carry the 427 in the VIN code, but are well documented. Shelby took 1st gen K-Code 271HP Mustangs and modified the engines, sold as 306HP, likewise well documented. Yet a 306HP K-code factory engine does not exist regardless that this engine was delivered new in a Shelby.

                      Camaros, originally crate engines were installed by dealers, VIN's and engines do not match and later COPO cars had factory installed 427's, with matching VIN's.

                      These are just a few examples. Dealer installed or 2nd party installed engines are not Factory installed. Let's also keep in mind that Factory supplied race cars or cars supplied to racing teams were not for street use. Ford Supported Racing Teams wouldn't be supplied street cars at this point in history, race cars come to mind in this instance, as history has shown.

                      This story loses credibility in the following quote:

                      "Ford got a special order from one of the few dealers who were allowed to order these special order cars, that they took the 390's out of them, popped in the 427's and did not change the data plate. Most of these cars, so I read, but not all, went to racing teams that Ford was supporting, so they would have an edge on their competition."

                      The "Factory Assembly Line" was in the business of building production line cars for the masses, not specialized cars for individuals. The thought of having surplus cars sitting around the factory to chose from, taking apart a completed car and re-installing a performance engine seems unlikely. And if so, the ROT sheet would reveal a Z code car anyway. Where was this work done? on the assembly line? If this was done by the factory, there would be department or division strictly for that purpose, or a sub-contractor such as DST or Kar Kraft. Chances are there would be an account of this happening, like the Thunderbolt. Historically Factory supplied race cars are shells of the street versions, sans insulation, full interiors and other weight savings measures, a randomly selected completed Z coded inventory car hardly seems the candidate for this, especially 120 times.

                      Lastly, Racing teams that used 65 Thunderbirds? Nascar, NHRA, IHRA, USAC, never have I seen any reporting from the day or currently of Ford backed Thunderbirds of this era in competition. Can anyone name these teams?

                      Using my imagination, somehow someone reworded 100 1964 Ford Thunderbolts to derive 120 1965 Ford Thunderbirds and the Internet has help keep the Legend Alive.

                      Despite my opinions and what we know from history, we'd all welcome the documentation and proof to validate these cars as history continues to be written. Can anyone add to this?
                      Ken
                      1959 J Convertible
                      1960 J Hardtop

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do You Have A 427 Under The Hood?

                        I continue to pursue information regarding the validity of a 427 equipped Flairbird. I want ya'll to understand that I am just posting what I am finding, what others have said about this. It might be an urban internet Flairbird legend. And it might not be. We know for sure there was ONE 427 equipped car that left that plant, the Tasca 427. Another 427 equipped Flairbird is claimed to have been bought by for someone's wife. The owner, Joan claims her husband bought one for her, that she drove it home directly from the factory and that it now, after her husbands passing, resides in a Seattle Museum. I have checked the inventory of the LeMay Auto Museum in Seattle, and it is not on their list of cars being displayed. That does not mean that they do not have it. It could be in some other Seattle car museum. I am trying to get in contact with her. Maybe El Gaupo can help us out here. I only know of the one major auto museum there, but there are probably others.

                        I have also written Earle in NZ to see if he or his neighbor down the road that has the second 427 in NZ, can provide some proof that it was a factory installed 427. It would be good if we could put this story to rest, one way or another! For further reading, if you have not done so already, read Earle's accounting of his restoration of his 427 equipped Flairbird, both pages. Then click on the second link and see how Bob Tasca managed to get his 427 equipped Flairbird.

                        http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2080960

                        http://s211.photobucket.com/albums/b.../427%20Tbirds/

                        NOTE: Gary and I were posting at the same time, apparently! He just saved you from having to bring up the above link to read the article about the Tasca 427 Flairbird. We may never be able to provide proof that Ford was putting in 427's in a '63 Bulletbird, or '64 & '65 Flairbirds. There was no specific engine code, that I know of, to indicate that a 427 was the engine installed in that series of Bird. From what I read, when a 427 was installed, the data plate indicated a 390 because Ford had not set up a code for a 427 for those Bulletbirds and Flairbirds. So, as far as the data plate goes, any 427 equipped car probably shows it has a 390 in it, like Earle's does.
                        Last edited by YellowRose; March 15th, 2010, 02:41 PM.

                        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                        '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                        "It's Hip To Be Square"
                        Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here is an explanation/answer to the last post-

                          -TBIRD RESTORATION GUIDE 1958-1966 By William Wonder-

                          It describes a line assembly of a 427 BIRD for TASCA FORD.

                          Is this book embraced by enthusiasts?

                          I learned long ago to NEVER SAY NEVER WITH REGARDS TO FORD MOTOR.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was about to paste in the info on Tasca but see that Ray and Gary have already presented this. Here's what I had to say...

                            I've read Williams Wonder's (Thunderbird Restoration Guide 58-66) account of how the 427 Tasca Thunderbird came to be. While technically this was a Factory Installation, it borders on Mis-use of power and theft.

                            Mr Wonder states that Ford was NOT willing to equip a Thunderbird with a 427, so Tasca arranged for a 427, tagged as a 390 with a different transmission to be inserted in the line to be installed in his car, without Ford's approval. The entire story would certainly be a good read.

                            I would think of this more as stolen goods than a factory equipped car. Guess some of our Automotive Icon's could have become politicians.
                            Ken
                            1959 J Convertible
                            1960 J Hardtop

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another consideration from that period of time. Sanctioning Bodies such as Nascar and NHRA had production requirements for stock cars, production cars and engines to be qualified for their racing events.

                              Building such a car as a 427 TBird for racing and keeping it a secret really underminds the whole project as the cars wouldn't be qualified for competition and couldn't be used.
                              Ken
                              1959 J Convertible
                              1960 J Hardtop

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