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327 Day: Rock around the Small Block

3/27...March 27...

...A special day in automotive history…the birth of the 327 or Small Block V-8.

After my ‘65 VW Bus went to the Fatherland or Old Volks Home, she was replaced by a black with red interior ‘65 Chevy Nova station wagon that I bought from a fellow technician in the Avis Maspeth Fleet Center. Straight 6 and “three on the tree”…(3-speed on the column manual transmission).

But this wasn’t the first Chevy in my life. When I returned to New York in the Fall of 1975, I got to help my sister Mary care for her ‘64 red Chevy Nova sedan. Up until then and with no formal automotive training, I'd mostly worked on V Dubs of family and friends.

Mary's car wouldn't start. Hmm...wouldn't crank...Hmm, my Dad never worked on fact, he didn't even drive. I would end up teaching him and my mother never forgave...ME. A story for another time...

See, Dad had been a Navy Seabee - the guys that built stuff. He served in the South Pacific. He could and did fix anything. Motivated by being the sole breadwinner and 7 hungry children to feed. To Dad, the starter was just...just another motor and he'd played with many, like in washing machines and other appliances. We...Uh...HE took it apart, showed me what maintenance to do on the parts...and VROOM...This was the beginning of a new relationship...

After I'd finished this post, I went back to the online garage to see if anyone had posted about "327 Day"...and was rewarded with two gassers.

--that led off the line with these cool images:

--with more cool car images

GM: Generous Motors

--listen to her howl...

Different STROKES for different folks: Car techs...

--perfect for this post as it features a Chevrolet plus the Beach Boys

Here's a guy's love song to his Chevrolet...

This reminded me of a related GM nameplate: Fisher Body - their coach builders.

Designed to keep all the "shakes, rattles, and rolls" on the radio stations and not elsewhere...

In the spirit of automotive ecumenism, it's time to leave Generous Motors' (technicians' sarcastic name for GM's skimpy warranty reimbursement times) behind and hear from another Detroit outfit that also has devoted followers…

FORD: Found on Road Dead

Chrysler: If you can't DODGE it...RAM it

Shown here with singers Jan & Dean

Another fun version with California location photos...

BRUCE: Born to run and drive a fast car...

--(from above link) The song has been called Springsteen's best song by several commentators, including the authors of The New Rolling Stone Album Guide.

Springsteen has said that this song commemorates the racing in the street that occurred on a little fire road outside his home base of Asbury Park, New Jersey. But the song is one of a number of Springsteen songs from the 1970s, such as "Born to Run" and "Thunder Road", that celebrate American men's desire for freedom from responsibility, as symbolized by the ability to drive to freedom in a fast car.

I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396

Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor

She's waiting tonight down in the parking lot

Outside the Seven-Eleven store

Me and my partner Sonny built her straight out of scratch

And he rides with me from town to town

We only run for the money got no strings attached

We shut 'em up and then we shut 'em down

(see above song link for all lyrics)

And here's another version with very person images of the songwriter...


Will you love me when my carburetor is busted?

Will you love me when I no can shift my gear?

Will you love when I need a new condenser?

And when my clutch begins to shift

Will you shed tears?

Will you love me when my battery needs re-charging?

Will you love me when I cannot blow that old horn?

And when my connecting rod is bent

And I no more one 5 cent

Will you love me, ah papa?

Will you love me, ah papa?

Will you love me when my kaʻa uwila no can go?

O kuʻu ipo

Will you love me when my kaʻa uwila no can go?

How my '65 Volkswagen Bus was reinCARnated

Tranny was rebuilt in Oklahoma City one summer as I was returning from my annual pilgrimage to Southern California's waves. Engine was overhauled at Werner's Garage in Jamaica, NY. I retrofitted a complete camper interior from a newer model with parts I bought from Stucker's Auto Parts/Junk Yard in Staten Island, NY.

BUT, despite all this and more...her body just deteriorated and was structurally unsafe to keep on the road. So...CARma intervened and she went on to three new lives and ensuing adventures...

  1. One person took the engine and tranny

  2. Another the camper interior

  3. A third took the shell and put it in his backyard for his kinders (children)


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