Video: World’s Smallest Running 327ci Small-Block Engine

We’ve seen some pretty amazing scale miniature engines over the years, many with a great amount of detail work that simply leaves you in awe. This time we’ve seen the holy grail of miniature engines. Case in point, Jim Moyer’s 1/6th scale replica of a Chevrolet 327 V8 engine.

According to Moyer, the miniature engine is, “based on a 1964 365 hp Corvette motor, measurements have been taken from an actual engine as to be most accurate.

The head and block began as billet aluminum that have been painstakingly machined on a Bridgeport-style mill. The 5-main crank has real babbit bearings, while the cam is a scale 30-30 Duntov.”

We are simply in awe of the craftsmanship in the Moyer Miniature. Saying replica with accurate measurements is one thing, actually doing it, that’s another story altogether. Moyer went all out in creating a replica worthy of this legendary engine. He developed his own dies for stamping out the front cover, oil pan and rocker arms.

The pistons and water pump housing were manufactured from cast aluminum, with the valve covers made by investment casting. Everything about it seems to be amazingly correct, right down to the firing order on the intake manifold.

Currently the engine runs for brief periods of time while Moyer is working on scale models of a fully functioning water pump and radiator, but the engine block does have a cooling system, pressurized oil, and ignition just like the original engine. In addition to the water pump and radiator, he is working on a scale carburetor to make this a fully functional replica of the classic Corvette engine.

Fans of the Chevy 327 can order 1/6th scale replicas of Moyer’s Chevrolet timing cover for key chain conversation pieces. Formed from 28 gauge stainless steel and polished, it only lacks a pan sealing lip, timing tab and seal to be fully functional. Moyer sells these at $15.00 a shot which includes shipping and handling within the US.

Moyer’s Miniature Chevy 327 Specifications:
Scale: 1/16th
Displacement: 1.10ci
Bore: 0.600-inch
Stroke: 0.487-inch
Construction: Machined billet
Build Start: 1998
First run: 11/03/2005

If you are wondering why anyone would take on a challenge like this, Moyer says, “Since I was a little boy, mechanical things have always held my interest. While in the Army, I decided to start building a miniature engine. I thought I had an idea of what I wanted to do, however I had absolutely no idea where this journey would take me,” adding “However, now that the Chevy is all but complete it is time for a new challenge. I think that the Chevy 409 is a unique engine that might look good scaled down to 1/6th scale, so that is the project I am going to tackle next.”

The details on Moyer’s 327 miniature are so thorough that you would not be able to tell it was a miniature scale model engine without something in the photos to compare size with. From the alternator brackets and front drive pulley system to the ram’s horn center dump exhaust headers, this scale model looks exactly like the real deal. Even the casting marks on the cylinder heads are perfectly correct.

We don't know how Moyer manufactured the distributor, but it's perfectly representative of the model and year, along with the hard fuel line and thermostat housing. Even running, the miniature is a perfect reproduction as evidenced by the fan belt wobble at speed.The detail in these components is absolutely jaw-dropping.

About Jim Moyer

Moyer’s father was a natural mechanic who working in the field as a do-it-all mechanic, machinist and heavy equipment operator, so it came to no one’s surprise that a five year old Jim Moyer was interested in cars, engines and anything else he could make out of balsa wood.

At eleven years old, Moyer got a soldiering iron for Christmas and his craftsmanship turned from balsa wood to tin. When he reached fourteen, the young Moyer built his first car, a Model T roadster which he drove as much as he could on the back roads of Nebraska.

After high school Jim went to work in the big city where he worked as a welder and fabricator. He gained experience by working in a speed shop building headers and exhaust systems and eventually operating an engine balancing machine.

He moved to the Northwest to build catwalks and grates for a company located in Portland, Oregon until he was drafted into the Army in 1963.

There's so much detail in this perfect scale model, even down to the functioning throttle cable.

Trained as a medic, Moyer completed his service and went back to the speed shop in Nebraska briefly before moving back to the Northwest. After going to college where he was introduced to mechanical engineering, he worked in an engineering department as a draftsman, became a husband and a father, but never lost his passion for miniature engines. Jim now lives in Eastern Washington state, working on his projects and doing welding and machining work for anyone that wants a machinist with an eye for detail.

Enjoy this photo gallery of Jim Moyer’s Amazing 1/6th Scale 1964 Chevrolet 327 Miniature Motor:

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About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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