Big-block Chevy Biscaynes of the late 1960s were the ultimate “sleeper” cars of their era. These stripper cars, devoid of any real options, sporting dog dish hubcaps, and looking exactly as an entry level car should, would roll up to their prey on skinny tires and bench seats.
Introduced in 1966 as an RPO option, the L72 engine option sported solid lifters and camshaft, 11:1 compression, 4-bolt main caps, massive, high-flowing rectangular port heads and an advertised 425 hp. (The first 1966 ads for this engine touted 450 hp, but this proved problematical for the insurance companies, so hp claims were muted.) According to owners who dynoed their cars, actual hp exceeded even the 450 claim.
Of the more than 1.2 million full-sized Chevrolet cars produced in 1968 only 568 were equipped with the L-72 motor, making it one of the rarest options fitted in any Chevrolet production year. It is estimated that 124 Biscaynes were built with the L-72 motor, but since Chevrolet did not keep these records, this is at best an educated guess. Looking down the line at other available options for these cars, only twelve 1968 Biscaynes are said to have had the 4:88 performance axle fitted. A special interest 1968 full-size Chevy group (chevytalk.org) claims to have identified six 2 door Biscaynes originally equipped with the L72 option, but only three currently have an L72 installed.
Many original buyers of drag cars set about to modify their cars for even better performance as soon as their cars were delivered; Ennis Lund was one of these. Although factory red-line was 6000 rpm, Ennis regularly shifted at 7200 rpm. The 4:88 positraction was a poor choice, as even with the uprated shifting the car was slightly “short” for the 1/4 mile. Most, if not all of the drag cars, blew their original engines and were fitted with the upgraded “512” block as has been done on this car. Retrofitted internally with a 4.56 posi, the axle retains its original “DP” code. Mileage shown approaching 14,000, in fact it is about 40% less, likely fewer than 10,000. The sending unit wasn’t changed when the axle altered, so odometer & speedometer read high. All original paintwork except for repairs on doors when “Ennis’s Menace” was removed by second owner in early 1970s. With the exceptions noted everything on this car is as delivered from Chevrolet.