Modifications Endorsed by the Club
The modifications fitted to some of the cars at the Gordon-Keeble Car Centre in Brackley under the guidance of Ernie Knott, the owner of the garage and founder of the Owners’ Club.
The Chevrolet 327 cubic inch V8 engine, known as the small block version, is widely regarded as one of the best engines to emerge from America. It is simple, robust and easy to work on yet with a compression ratio of 10:1, it will still run on unleaded fuel even though originally designed for 5 star (101 octane). Minor modifications will result in a significant power uplift and a more involved rebuild can increase the power output from a “modest” 300bhp to over 400bhp without destroying tractability. However, replacement with the later 350 version is probably a better line to take with ultimately a genuine 430bhp, always bearing in mind the rest of the transmission! There are many parts suppliers in the UK and internet access to the heart of the system can be found in the links section where engine parts are available. Many parts are available through the Club.
The car as originally manufactured did require some development which was put on hold as a result of the financial stringency under which they had to operate at that time. With the improved steering using the rack system, the potential performance becomes apparent even before any engine modifications are undertaken. Power upgrades need to be accompanied by brake and suspension improvements to compete with modern vehicles which have benefited from 60 years of progress.