BALDWIN-MOTION’S CHEVY 427 BISCAYNE: STREET RACER’S SPECIAL offered the most blast-for-the-buck, plus the element of surprise.
In 1978, Baldwin-Motion offered enthusiasts the largest selection of modified brand new Chevys in the field. In addition to its base 425-horsepower SS-427 Camaro and 500-plus-horsepower Phase III model, the Fantastic Five lineup included 427 Novas, Chevelles, Corvettes, or even a low-rent, full-size Biscayne. All nameplates could be fitted with a myriad of performance, comfort and convenience options. The selection listed in the Baldwin-Motion catalog included 25 Special Performance Options and over 35 Regular Production Options. Prices started at under-$3,000 for the 427 Biscayne Street Racer’s Special.
Overshadowed by the SS-427 Impala in the late-1960s, few enthusiasts were aware that Chevrolet was building a low-end, two-door “post” Biscayne that could be optioned with a 425 horsepower 427 big-block and four-on-the-floor. Even fewer were those who knew in 1968 that Joel Rosen, left, Baldwin-Motion was marketing an entry-level CHEVY 427 BISCAYNE: STREET RACER’S SPECIAL. Unlike typical recipients of swapped 427s, SS & Phase III Supercars, the SS-427Street Racer’s Special came with a dyno-tuned, factory-installed 427/425 big-block, close-ratio four-speed, Posi rear, F41 suspension with rear sway bar, HD radiator and distinctive badging. The cost: $2,998.00!
The overwhelming majority of production full-size Chevys with 427s were fitted with hydraulic-lifter 385-horsepower versions of the venerable big-block. Baldwin-Motion’s Biscayne came with the solid-lifter L72 Turbo-Jet 427 with 11-to-l forged aluminum pistons, solid-lifter .491/.495-inch-lift camshaft, 785-cfm Holley four-barrel on an aluminum high-rise manifold, dual-point ignition and tuned cast-iron exhaust manifolds.
In 1968 Joel Rosen and testers at CARS Magazine took the CHEVY 427 BISCAYNE: STREET RACER’S SPECIAL featured here to Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. The results were truly impressive, considering the hulking sedan weighed in at approximately 3,600 pounds and was shod with optional street performance tires. After a number of 13.88-14.00-second runs, Rosen played with the plugs and timing and ran a best of the day – a tick over 100 mph in 13.40 seconds! Running against the stopwatch, CARS staffers recorded a number of 6.4 to 6.8-second 0 to 60 mph sprints.
According to Rosen, “Most CHEVY 427 BISCAYNE: STREET RACER’S SPECIAL that we built actually had transaction prices in the mid-$4,000 price range. The base 427/425 Biscayne at $2,998.00 came with slow manual steering, non-power brakes and bench seating. Only dyno-tuning and status badging plus unique Baldwin-Motion options distinguished it from a factory stocker.”Rosen carried over the SS-427 Biscayne Street Racer’s Special for the 1969 model year ($3,098.88) and offered it along with an SS-427 Impala ($3,495.95). Both were rated at 450 horsepower. Options included an L88 aluminum head 427 and an all-aluminum ZL1, although records do not show that any were built.
The Fantastic Five lineup of super-performance Chevys offered something for everyone and reinforced Baldwin-Motion’s position as the most prolific Chevy Supercar builder in the marketplace. The bargain-priced member of the Fantastic Five – CHEVY 427 BISCAYNE: STREET RACER’S SPECIAL – could also be optioned for serious street or track racing.
For more information about the history & heritage of Baldwin-Motion and MOTION, check out, MOTION Performance, Tales Of A Muscle Car Builder, http://www.amazon.com/Motion-Performance-Tales-Muscle-Builder/dp/0760335389