Corvette Tri-Power And L88 Engines

Corvette Tri-Power And L88 Engines by Greg Zyla

Q: What was the difference between the Corvette Tri-Power engines in 1967-68-69. Also, a Chevy dealer says the 430-horse, single 4-barrel engine was faster than the 435? How can that be? K. P., e-mail from New Jersey.

A: K.P., the 430 horsepower 427 was indeed faster, and I mean way faster.

First, lets discuss the Tri-Power, 3-2 barrel carburetor 427 Corvettes. There were two versions available, at 400 and 435 horses. The 400-horse version had smaller valves in the cylinder heads than the 435 versions. Both offered iron heads as standard and aluminum heads as an option. The 435’s came with a 2.18-inch intake valve as opposed to a 2.06 in the 400-horse engine.

However, it was the L-88 430 horsepower 427 engine that was the hot ticket. It would outrun the 435 by a bunch, but very few were produced (only 20 in 1967). A total of only 216 L-88s were built in those three years, as opposed to over 15,600 Tri-Powers. The L-88 had larger intake port aluminum cylinder heads, 12.5-1 compression pistons, big intake and exhaust valves and an 850-Holley carburetor sitting on an aluminum hi-rise manifold. Big 7/16-inch bolt “dimple” rods and a better cam made it a staunch performer. The L-88 was a near $1,000 option, as opposed to only $305 and $437 for the 400 and 435, respectively. In reality, the L-88 produced over 500 horses easy with headers, but it wasn’t as drivable on the street, and fouled plugs regularly in stop and go situations.

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Originally posted on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 at 11:29 am
Category:  Auto Round-Up News

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