Auction Watch – 1965 NY World’s Fair Corvette 396/425 Cutaway Engine

If you dig car show artifacts from the golden age of Detroit, you’re in for a treat!  Barrett-Jackson has a very cool GM Design, Cutaway 396ci V8 engine prop crossing the block in Scottsdale, 2019!

For all you World’s Fair fans, an added bonus is this engine debuted at the legendary General Motors Futurama Pavilion in the fall of 1964.

According to GM, “The nearly 230,000-square-foot General Motors Futurama building is a landmark for Fair visitors. Entrance to the huge white building is a ten-story-high canopy, constructed of 39 spars rising 110 feet along its face.

Behind the canopy, the main portion of the 680-foot-long building houses the exciting 1,700-foot Futurama ride. The building terminates in a dramatic domed pavilion, in which current General Motors cars and other products are displayed.

On top of the pavilion, rising the equivalent of eight stories above the ground, is a 40-foot-wide sculpted indicator which revolves, flashing the time and temperature in large illuminated numerals.”

In a as-yet-to-announced lot number, here are the details from Barrett-Jackson:

“The General Motors Futurama Pavilion introduced three powerhouse debuts: the Mako Shark II (later transformed into the Manta Ray that’s now part of the GM Heritage Center collection), a very special Cutaway ’65 Sting Ray fuel-injected coupe and the Cutaway Mark IV 396 engine. As you can see, it was a banner year in technology for the Corvette with the rat motor intro as well as four-wheel disc brakes.

The Corvette Cutaway from the show recently brought $1.1M at auction. Photo Hemmings Motor News.

This unique Cutaway Engine from the World’s Fair display has been restored to its 1965 glory, powered by a starter motor, with careful and well-thought-out incisions made into all the major components to illustrate its build quality and overall operation.

As part of the Futurama exhibit at the World’s Fair, presenting the world’s most advanced technology, GM engineers were eager to showcase this new engine they were introducing in mid-1965, which produced 425hp with 396ci – more horsepower than any of the other 396 engines manufactured from mid-1965 until production ended in 1969.

Ultimately, this engine spelled the end for the Rochester fuel-injection system, as the carbureted 396/425 option cost much less than the fuel-injected 327/375. However, by the time the Cutaway Corvette and Cutaway Engine displays were complete, they were both obsolete.

The Fuelie Corvette was not produced after 1965, and the 396 was immediately replaced by the 427 to keep up with the competition: Ford, Chrysler and other GM models all had 420-plus cubic-inch engines by late 1965. A 396 just wasn’t enough. This one-of-a-kind Cutaway Engine represents not only a unique piece of General Motors and Corvette history, but an opportunity to look inside an incredible example of automotive engineering.”

What will it bring? How much would it cost to own a piece of GM history, the likes of which we’ll never see again?

Stay tuned to Rod Authority and Power Automedia for all the details and be sure and visit Barrett-Jackson here for auction dates.

 

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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