Anytime you try to look for the origin of an automotive legend, things get murky. Time and memories (not to mention secret plans) shroud the path every vehicle and engine takes from concept to conqueror. Typically, something’s history only begins to be recorded when the success is imminent, which means a lot of early motorsport history never got recorded well.
Such is the case with the Chevrolet big-block: 396, 427, and 454. More than 50 years after its debut, the 2015 SEMA Show is still filled with hundreds of these engines throughout the Las Vegas convention center. But for 2015, HOT ROD brought the first big-block Chevy race engine to put on display (booth 22743). It’s packed in a 1963 split-window Corvette Sting Ray.
Originally built by Mickey Thompson and Smoky Yunick, this car had been lost to time and motorsports history for decades. But in the beginning of 2015, HOT ROD started working with the car’s owner, Tom McIntyre, who is also the owner of the 427 Mystery Motor (one he outbid Chevrolet for in 1987). HOT ROD convinced McIntyre to bring his original prototype back to its former glory and put his Mystery Motor back into the Corvette.
If you’re at the 2015 SEMA Show this week, you owe it to yourself to come take a look at this piece of motorsports history.