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Old 08-15-2011, 10:55 PM   #1
Bugman Jeff
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Default How can you tell if a car is a real big block?

I have what is possibly the most stupid question of the day. My boss is looking at a '67 big block coupe. The engine is a "CE9", which I've deduced is a factory replacment engine from '69(so it should still be a 427). All I get from the vin is "V8", and the trim tag just tells me color and interior. The build sheet is long gone. The hood is a '67 BB hood. My question is, aside from the data tag by the shifter and our taking the owner's word for it, how can we tell if this is a true big block car and not a converted small block? Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:17 AM   #2
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Gut feeling only.

If you look for all the items that made a BB car different than a small block car, and they are there, then you have to determine if they were there always or if they were put on in the last restoration.

Sometimes the look and feel tell you the items are old and were originally there. Other times, they could have been installed yesterday. And the owner can be read.

But does this mean anything? No, since as an NOM car, no one is going to pay you anything extra when it comes time to sell.

So don't pay extra like it is an original.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:51 AM   #3
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So don't pay extra like it is an original.
Without documentation it's just a BB with a CE block. All the BB stuff can be added easily.

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Old 08-16-2011, 02:12 AM   #4
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And your chances that it was originally a BB car is something like 30% to 40%, though with a CE motor, the chances may be somewhat higher it was originally a BB,a s someone counterfeiting a BB car would probably go to the trouble of trying to do a real good fake job with restamps, correct dated block, etc.

I would suggest if it has a rear sway bar,and inboard differential U joints cast caps rather than U bolts on the U joints, it has a reasonable likelihood of being originally a BB car.

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Old 08-16-2011, 01:18 PM   #5
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Remember...when the Corvette plant built a big block car vs a small block car, they got the body and chassis and just added or replaced parts...if someone puts in the right amount of time and money, buys the right parts, even buys the right documentation, it's almost impossible to tell if it's a "real" big block car or not. The big dollar big block cars are mostly in the hands of collectors anyway. Those are not driven, not at car shows, not on ebay...they are investment quality art. Anything else, is simply just a lot of fun to own and drive, and what's so bad about that. Good luck.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:49 PM   #6
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1. Parts on the car NO to easy to fakes
2. Papers or Documentation NO To easy to fakes
3. Engine stamp HELL NO to many good fakes.
I guess unless you bought the car new or know the person that did and you are trying to get the car from them then and they have ALL the original papers there is NO sure fire fool proof way to tell. Maybe that is why I will never buy a BB Midyear Corvette. There are way more Big Block Corvettes (Original) on the road right now then GM ever built. NCRS has judged and passed (Top Flighted) more Big Block Corvettes then GM ever built and they know it. So what does that tell you. I am not going to say. Ha Ha Ha. I guess when there is Big $$$ involved then people will do what ever they can to cash in on the Big $$$$ and that includes FAKING Big Block Corvettes. There is my $0.05 worth.
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Old 08-17-2011, 10:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugman Jeff View Post
I have what is possibly the most stupid question of the day. My boss is looking at a '67 big block coupe. The engine is a "CE9", which I've deduced is a factory replacment engine from '69(so it should still be a 427). All I get from the vin is "V8", and the trim tag just tells me color and interior. The build sheet is long gone. The hood is a '67 BB hood. My question is, aside from the data tag by the shifter and our taking the owner's word for it, how can we tell if this is a true big block car and not a converted small block? Thanks for the info.
you need someone experienced in these cars to take a look at it.First off the info you are giving us is of not much help.You state that the engine is a "CE9".Where are you getting that from? Is this a date that is cast onto the back of the block? If so you are reading it wrong as there are not two letters in the date.If it stamped on the front of the block you are missing more characters as there are more than three characters in a CE stamp.All Corvettes are V8 so you really getting nothing from the vin.The trim tag will also tell you besides color and interior a build date and body manufacturing plant.If the body was manufactured by A O Smith you can eliminate it as a big block car in 1967 as all big block cars had a St.Louis built body.
There is no data tag on '67 near the shifter.There are several things that are present on big block cars that are not present on small block cars.Some are different depending on which horsepower the car is.All big blocks came with a big block rear end.They have differerent side yokes and have a code stamped into the bottom that will you allow to decipher a build date as well as gear ratio.The ratio codes can be decoded big block or small block.There is also a rear sway bar on big block cars and none on a small block car.The radiators are completely different.Small blocks being aluminum and smaller while the big block car has as a copper radiator that is much larger.Gauges are different.With the high horsepower cars having 6500rpm redlines and 80lb oil pressure gauges.The hood mounts on the drivers side.There are even more clues to look for.And as others have stated knowledgeable people have been known to make changes to "build a big block car".
Have someone that knows what they are looking at check out the car.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:16 PM   #8
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Like others said, having someone knowledgeable check it out is the best route to go. If that's possible for you.

One of the harder items to swap is the fuel line. Unless someone does a frame off on the car, or had done it in the past, most of the time the hardline isn't replaced from a small block line to a big block line. Now, if someone is serious about faking the car, restamping a block, etc... then yes, they'll probably make the proper fuel line exchange.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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Default 80 psi Oil Pressure gauge

so is the 80 psi gauge specific to all BB cars or just some solid lifter models? I think I know of a car that is unmolested, or at least so I thought. It has the cast caps ons the half shafts, and a sway bar and I think it is a 3.08 ratio and yet it has a 60 psi gauge, were there anomalies in this regard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by provette67 View Post
you need someone experienced in these cars to take a look at it.First off the info you are giving us is of not much help.You state that the engine is a "CE9".Where are you getting that from? Is this a date that is cast onto the back of the block? If so you are reading it wrong as there are not two letters in the date.If it stamped on the front of the block you are missing more characters as there are more than three characters in a CE stamp.All Corvettes are V8 so you really getting nothing from the vin.The trim tag will also tell you besides color and interior a build date and body manufacturing plant.If the body was manufactured by A O Smith you can eliminate it as a big block car in 1967 as all big block cars had a St.Louis built body.
There is no data tag on '67 near the shifter.There are several things that are present on big block cars that are not present on small block cars.Some are different depending on which horsepower the car is.All big blocks came with a big block rear end.They have differerent side yokes and have a code stamped into the bottom that will you allow to decipher a build date as well as gear ratio.The ratio codes can be decoded big block or small block.There is also a rear sway bar on big block cars and none on a small block car.The radiators are completely different.Small blocks being aluminum and smaller while the big block car has as a copper radiator that is much larger.Gauges are different.With the high horsepower cars having 6500rpm redlines and 80lb oil pressure gauges.The hood mounts on the drivers side.There are even more clues to look for.And as others have stated knowledgeable people have been known to make changes to "build a big block car".
Have someone that knows what they are looking at check out the car.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twooldfarmers View Post
so is the 80 psi gauge specific to all BB cars or just some solid lifter models? I think I know of a car that is unmolested, or at least so I thought. It has the cast caps ons the half shafts, and a sway bar and I think it is a 3.08 ratio and yet it has a 60 psi gauge, were there anomalies in this regard?


According to some on the forum, the answer to this question is "Yes". Some people have reported the 390 HP engine sometimes came with the 60# unit. Not sure if this is true.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:31 PM   #11
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What is the difference between a factory installed BB and a nicely faked BB other than somebody's perceived notion of value?

They both run the same, sound the same, look the same. What's up?

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:38 PM   #12
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What is the difference between a factory installed BB and a nicely faked BB other than somebody's perceived notion of value?

They both run the same, sound the same, look the same. What's up?

The answer is pretty simple. Buy a BB thinking it's real, pay $$$. When it comes time to sell, discover it's faked, receive $.

Therefore as a buyer you need to either buy cars explicitly acknowledged as not original or you need to be absolutely certain of their originality. Any other course of action leaves you open to a giant hit in the pocketbook when you sell.

Pat
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 66BlkBB View Post
According to some on the forum, the answer to this question is "Yes". Some people have reported the 390 HP engine sometimes came with the 60# unit. Not sure if this is true.
I know of one car with provenance known to the original owner and several top flight awards which has both a 427/390 and a 60 psi gauge.

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Old 01-30-2013, 08:43 PM   #14
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Default How can you tell if a car is a real big block?

It has a BB hood.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by catpat8000 View Post
The answer is pretty simple. Buy a BB thinking it's real, pay $$$. When it comes time to sell, discover it's faked, receive $.

Therefore as a buyer you need to either buy cars explicitly acknowledged as not original or you need to be absolutely certain of their originality. Any other course of action leaves you open to a giant hit in the pocketbook when you sell.

Pat
I am still mightily confused. Help me out. If it runs the same, looks the same and has all the OEM associated parts on the car, why is it worth any less than what some like to call a real one?

'ppears to me, the value is in the product, not in someone's fantasy?
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:57 PM   #16
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The best way to tell is to buy it new and never sell it.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:44 AM   #17
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It has a BB hood.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:41 AM   #18
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MikeM
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I am still mightily confused. Help me out. If it runs the same, looks the same and has all the OEM associated parts on the car, why is it worth any less than what some like to call a real one?
GM made a finite number of REAL BB cars. Just like Renoir made a finite number of paintings. REAL Renoir's go for MILLIONS of dollars. A copy of a Renoir, done by the worlds best faker... is worth... what you want to pay for it... $100? $1000? The point is, its not A REAL RENOIR!
Click the image to open in full size.

There are things that knowledgeable folks look for when checking over a BB Mid-year to guage originality. Documentation, ownership history, broachmarks, Sway bar thickness. All of these things can be faked by the worlds best BB Faker.

So at the end of the day, the Worlds best BB Faker creates a car that is EXACTLY like one from GM during the 60s. Rides the same, sounds the same looks the same. BUT IT IS NOT Original.

The Faked RENOIR may look exactly like the one in the Musée du Louvre... same size, paint, hue... etc etc... but it is NOT and Original.

The Faked BB is worth what you are willing to pay for it... just like the painting.

Last edited by Revfan; 01-31-2013 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:49 AM   #19
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If it has the origianal front end, at least on 65, the battery is on the drivers side. Theres is an access panel in the inner fender liner. I dont know if small block cars have the access, if they don't, that seems like it would be hard to fake.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:55 AM   #20
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GM made a finite number of REALL BB cars. The Faked RENOIR may look exactly like the one in the Musée du Louvre... same size, paint, hue... etc etc... but it is NOT and Original.

The Faked BB is worth what you are willing to pay for it... just like the painting.
Well, I would believe that likewise, what you're calling a real car is only worth what you're willing to pay for it.

So, if I have a totally crashed BB car that isn't worth fixing and I take all the OEM BB parts off the crashed car and install on a virgin SB car, I don't still have an original BB car with original parts?

Or, using your logic, if I have a "rea"l BB car needing some fixing up and I start buying used/rebuilt parts that came off who knows what and I put them on my car, am I somehow diluting the authenticity of my "real" car?

Renoir was an individual artist with a unique style and using paints/materials that you may/may not be able to duplicate.

A car is nothing but a pile of nuts/bolts that anyone can assemble.
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