Paddy 399 Introduction

#1
Hello all,

I've lurked here for a while and thought it best to finally introduce myself. I personally don't own any classic cars, but am fortunate to have a brother that does and he's really good about sharing the keys. Our addiction to cars was passed down by our Dad who used to street race a '60 Biscayne that he bought new in 1960, and a year later dropped a 348 into.

Fast forward to present day, my brother's collection currently holds
2 - '60 Impalas with 348s, (one 3 speed, one 4 speed)
2 - '60 Biscaynes with 348 (one 3 speed, one 4 speed)
1 - '62 Bel Air with a 409 and 4 speed.

All the cars are period correct with the exception of the 4 speed Biscayne, and that will probably be the majority of my focus on this site. I'm a mechanical engineer by trade, so I have no problem understanding the concepts involved, but admittedly, I lack the hands-on experience. My brother is a numbers guy, and although he grasps the same concepts, isn't as keen to execute repairs like I am. Dad is creeping up on 80 and has a lot of stories about the good ol' days, but is/was a better driver than a wrench.

So, what's the deal with the 4 speed Biscayne? It was bought at auction a couple years ago and we've just been driving it for fun. The "others" are in better condition as originals, this is our fun ride to beat on. The previous owner used a 3755011 E1361 block with Edlebrock RPM heads, intake and 500 CFM dual quads mated to a T-10. The rear end died last year so that was swapped for posi, but I don't recall the ratio. The car operates well enough, but to me, it still feels like we're leaving power on the table somewhere, and that's probably where I'll need help.

Anyway, great meeting you all, and I look forward to where this goes.

Cheers, Pat
 
#7
Thanks for the warm welcome! We will definitely be looking into stroker kits, but I’d like to find out more about what the PO did first. Here’s my Dad with the 4 speed Biscayne. Aesthetically it looks exactly like his from when he was 18. He bought his with the 6 cylinder, saved some cash and got a ‘59 348 tri power from the junk yard in ‘61. He doesn’t think he paid than $50 for that motor! Blew that up in ‘63 and started a family.
D0FBD49F-A7A5-487A-B42D-3DF836A5F7CC.jpeg

And this is the 409.
https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0117-269768/1962-chevrolet-bel-air-bubble-top/
 
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Tom Kochtanek

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 10
#9
Welcome to the Zoo, lots of collective experience within :).

Your Dad and your Brother have great taste in cars, you are quite lucky to be in that loop!

Ask away and we'll do our best to help you out with anything you need to know. I think you know you'll not find a 1961 Triple Two engine anymore for $50 :) :) :). But since you bought that '62 Belair Sport Coupe from the Don Fezell collection, I suspect you know how current prices are for these very desirable vehicles. There are many of us who would be quite jealous of the collection your family has amassed!

Cheers! TomK
 

1964SuperStocker

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#13
:welcome2 With the top end that's on it now,there's only one way to go,a 4 inch stroker kit.That with a moderate cam and a good exhaust[headers] will,to quote an old 442 ad "Take the worry out of being close".
Hold on. Before you go and pull everything apart, first reach under the dash just under the ignition key. There may be a little button under there marked NOS. :burnout
If not then really what matters is how much time, money and energy are you wanting to spend on it? The biggest mistake we have all made at some point is not matching our drive train together. Anything that isn't working with the other good parts you have could kill performance. First: Know exactly what you have down to compression (which pistons you have since we know the heads already), camshaft and rear gear are good places to start since we know its a 348 with Edelbrock top end. Find out what you have specifically so you can help us to help you. We might find you have 11:1 pistons and we will tell you to leave the bottom end alone and look somewhere else. You may have a 3.70-4.11 rear gear and we would tell you to look somewhere else. You may have a factory 250hp camshaft and we would say START THERE, GET RID OF IT! If you feel that the parts you have are pretty good to begin with then I would say its time to find a chassis Dyno. Fork over $500 and see what it will do and have them do some tweaking while its there. I'm going to reach into my magic hat and say you have better than 9.5:1 pistons because no one would put the Edelbrock top end on with out doing something about the bottom. While they were there they put in a good camshaft but at what RPM does the power come on? Maybe you never race it and the power doesn't come on until it hits 5500rpm. (example) I had a 355ci small block built for my 64 Conv. and with the 3.24 gear posi and 2 speed powerglide, I couldn't turn the tires over on this 400hp motor. Get the car up to 65mph and I could cherp the tires down the interstate because all of the power from my Camshaft didn't come on until 4500rpm and my torque converter on the automatic was 4000plus. If the parts you have aren't matched to what you want to do, then you have a problem. If the parts you have aren't good enough for what you want to do, then you have a different problem. NOS is looking better and better right! LOL! :brow
 

Phil Reed

Well Seasoned Member
Supporting Member 10
#15
Welcome!!!!!!!

I was at Don's auction with my runnin' buddy Dickiemac!!!!!!!! The only thing I could afford was one of Don's Z-11 hood with a Thunder Bolt hood scoops!!!!!!

GREAT AUCTION!!!!!! Didn't I see you somewhere??????
 
#17
Welcome!!!!!!!

I was at Don's auction with my runnin' buddy Dickiemac!!!!!!!! The only thing I could afford was one of Don's Z-11 hood with a Thunder Bolt hood scoops!!!!!!

GREAT AUCTION!!!!!! Didn't I see you somewhere??????
Hi Phil,
That was a great auction, my first time at Mecum in Florida. My brother, Dad and uncle usually hit Barrett Jackson Az in January every year, but that year we decided to mix it up and hit Mecum. The only thing I could afford was a hot dog!
 

1964SuperStocker

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#20
Hi Phil,
That was a great auction, my first time at Mecum in Florida. My brother, Dad and uncle usually hit Barrett Jackson Az in January every year, but that year we decided to mix it up and hit Mecum. The only thing I could afford was a hot dog!
I work at a classic car dealership and we attend so many auctions trying to find good iron. Florida is Mecum is one of our regular trips.
 
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