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Lot 107

Chevrolet Turbo-Jet 427 V8 Engine and Transmission Cutaway Model

Sold for $132,250

84 in. x 46 in. x 79 in.

  • Built for 1964 New York World’s Fair
  • Displayed by Chevrolet two years before being made available to the public

General Motors prided itself on having the most spectacular displays around, and for the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, they were going to pull out all the stops. Their showcase, the 230,000 square-foot Pavilion, dominated the Fair, and from the top, it literally looked down over Chrysler while the facade towered above Ford and their Magic Skyway. Inside, GM created the vast Futurama II, echoing their display at the 1939 fair.

While 26 million people visited Futurama II, their Avenue of Progress displayed a more foreseeable future, with concept cars including the GM-X Stiletto and Firebird IV. It would either have been here or in the large Chevrolet area of the Upper Product Plaza that an engine already developing a reputation was displayed together with a 1964 Corvette Sting Ray.

In such a hall of wonders, this small display, innocently labeled “Turbo-Jet 427 V-8 Engine,” could have been overlooked. If you had been drawn to the Corvette, however, you would have first recognized that nothing like this X-3 engine was available in the 1964 Corvette—and then realized what an extraordinary cutaway it is. Built with incredible attention to detail, both the engine and attached transmission rotate. Its real trick, however, is that the two halves slide apart for a look at the internal rotating components.

The consignor acquired the World’s Fair 427 from a collector in Louisiana and performed a complete and painstakingly accurate restoration of both the engine and its period display. The New York Times called the 1964 World’s Fair, “The last unselfconscious public celebration of automotive culture.” This singular 427 display engine is both a reminder of that golden era and a look to the brutal performance yet to come from Chevrolet.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more