1964 Chevy Impala red and white like old Coke machine


Love the show and I often tape it for my wife, who works all day on Saturday teaching kids at Manhattan School of Music. I too am a musician and in my travels became friends with an old car nut. Jeff, a working police officer, bought a 1964 Chevy Impala with a 327 engine. He has proceeded to win some competitions for the car, but recently because of a bad servicing (major oil leak) the engine blew! He is dedicated to this car and has started a search for a 327 Impala engine. I suggested your website to him and his response was “heh? Whose Tom and Ray?”; Are there any old engine buffs out there that can steer Jeff back to the winning lane with a 327 engine? He has started searching all over the country, but I believe that Jim could have a natural instinct for gravitating towards con artists. Any help would be well appreciated. MurMan


Hemmings.com is the place for your friend. There he can find ANYTHING for his Impala.


I’ll pass it along. Thanks.


If this is a 2 DR car especially and the engine is numbers matching (original to the car) then the engine should be repaired rather than replaced.
The only exception would be if the engine were legitimately “blown”, which is a bad choice of words.

Blown means rods through the engine block, etc. If the lack of oil simply ruined the crankshaft, rods, etc. leading to knocking or seizure, then this is easily repaired during an engine overhaul.

The value of the car will remain higher if the original engine is kept, and besides, small block Chevy parts are the easiest and cheapest to procure.


Define blown engine. Does the motor knock? Is it seized? Hole in the block? If it has the original 327 block in it he should rebuild it if possible.


The engine is seized. There is a chip in the block caused by the rods. When the “well recommended” mechanic finished the job, he used some kind of silicone.
Cutting corners…


An oil leak was plugged using silicone, then the engine was run out of oil because the cobbled fix did not work? It sounds like two stupid moves ruined a classic, tsk tsk. Even a seized engine might be fixed and this is the way to go with this car if possible. You can toss in a lot of seized engines temporarily, but the value will drop considerably if you don’t reinstall the original. I suggest that you find any old engine and put it in for the time being if you need the car functional. Then work on finding a rebuilder. If you don’t need the car running while the rebuild is on, skip that part.


If that’s the original engine I would say fix it as it increases the value of the car.
The block should be repairable. In the right welding hands cast iron can be easily repaired and the fix should be as good as new.
At this point you’re still looking at overhauling the engine but a block repair should not add that much to the cost.

If the car is urgently needed, find an old cheap 305 or 350 to drop in until the 327 is repaired. Once the 327 is fixed, then you could turn around and resell the 350.
You could even allow someone to hear it run before pulling it.


My advice would be since it sounds like this motor is junk, is to buy what is called a crate motor. You can get a brand new 350 (same basic motor as the 327) for under 3K for a soup to nuts motor needing only an intake water pump and ignition. This would be a brand new motor, and he will probably pick up some power as well. There is a old saying in hot rodding.

“Speed costs… How fast do you want to go?”