Classic Tuesdays – 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle 327 CI 4 Speed

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle 327 CI, 4-SpeedThe small block 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle 327 CI 4-speed looked rather benign compared to the big muscle cars of its day. However, the combination of a somewhat lighter chassis, the powerful V8 engine and a four-speed manual transmission proved to be surprisingly formidable. The small block V8 certainly succeeded in taking on its big-block competitors, thanks in part to its superior weight-power ratio. Some of the big mid-60s Hemi muscle cars could outrace the Chevelle 327 CI, but the margin of victory was usually less than several car lengths.

1967 Chevelle – High-performance Powertrain

The 327 cu-in (5.4 L) small block L79 engine was the most powerful one offered in the 1967 Chevelle. There was a standard 275-hp version and an upgraded 350-hp version. The latter was offered only with a four-speed manual transmission. It also featured a compression ignition system rather than spark ignition, hence the “CI” designation. For the 1967 model year, Chevy lowered the horsepower rating to 325, even though the L79 engine was identical to the one sold the previous year. In the mid-60s, there was a trend among manufacturers to actually understate horsepower, largely to keep insurance premiums down.

The Chevelle’s Impressive Acceleration

The powertrain was designed for acceleration and speed, and it delivered. From 2,400 to 5,800 rpm, the 327 Chevelle was a real rocket, thanks in part to its ability to generate up to 355 lb-ft of mid-range torque. The Chevelle 327 CI could scamper from a standing start to 60 mph in under seven seconds, and it could complete the quarter-mile in under 15 seconds. Because of its power beyond 5,000 rpm, the Chevelle 327 CI could leave many a competitor in the dust.

Fast Car for the Money

In 1967, 4,048 Chevelles were ordered with the L79 engine. A buyer could get one of these fast street machines for about $3,000. Some considered the L79 engine used in the Chevelle to be the very best of the 1960s small blocks. Chevrolet expressed its confidence in the engine by also using it in the Corvette. In either car, it provided for a really cool ride.

Leave a Reply

3 Comments
  • I know a guy about my age, 70+, that bought a Chevelle new and still has it. Says he ordered it with a “corvette” engine and it came from the factory with the SS bubble hood and blacked out between the tail lights. Have you ever seen or heard of this? Thanks

  • I ordered a new 67 L79 Malibu for a race car E/S. With a limit on rear tire 6 inch wide M&H at the tread. I have photo,s with the wheels off about the ground about 1 inch and an ET of 12.27 @ 110 mph. This was at Suffolk Raceway in Suffolk, Va. Wish I had never sold it. It only saw rain about 3 or 4 times. Wish I could find the car again to buy it.
    I am 73 now, I was 21 when I bought it.

  • I bought a 1967 Chevelle Malibu, 327/275 in Dec., 66. It was/is Gold. Came with Strato Bucket Seats, Center Console with Clock and a Powerglide. I was 19. Dad had to sign as I wasn’t 21 and refused to sign for the SS396. Wife and I went on our Honeymoon in it 7 months later. I was still 19 and she was 17. I just turned 72 and am doing a Complete Restoration. Not building a “Trailer Queen” as We plan to drive it frequently. Couldn’t afford Custom Shop so I took it to a Nice Body Shop. They Pulled the Engine and Tranny for me. Not doing a “Body Off” – BUT, they Pulled the Front End, Doors, and Trunk. Have taken it all the way to the metal; Priming, Finish, and Clear on Body and inside Jams, Hood, Trunk etc. Also Painting Engine Compartment while Engine at another Shop. Called a Shop that did my Tune Ups back in the 60’s and 70’s. They only build Race Car Engines now but when the owner found out his Dad used to tune it up for me – something “Clicked”. (His Dad’s gone now.) It’s going from a 327/275 to a 327/350-385. The difference in 350 vs. 385 is a couple of components I may or may not be able to afford, ie., Headers and Aluminum Heads vs. their machining my Double Hump Factory Heads. I am Splurging and having Vintage Air installed. A Privately Owned One-Man Tranny Shop is rebuilding the Powerglide. I think I’m going to have about $25K in it vs. $50K+ every Custom Shop quoted. As an Old Musician, I’ve had to sell a LOT of Guitars but had to Prioritize! LOL!