Excelsior! Buy Your Very Own Big Block Cutaway from the 1965 New York World’s Fair

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Remember when the future looked bright and exciting? Yeah. Me neither. But apparently, there was a time when it did, and that time was the 1965 New York World’s Fair and now you can own a part of that fair’s Futurama Pavillion.

This engine cutaway of a 396 ci engine was designed to show off GM’s engineering excellence. Making 425 hp, it was the most powerful 396 on the market and could be had in the ’65 Corvette.
Unfortunately for this engine, as soon as it was shown off it was less Futurama than it was Pastorama (pause for laughter), because it was almost immediately replaced by the 427 to keep up with ever-intensifying displacement wars of the late ‘60s.

Still, though, there’s something unspeakably cool about this cutaway. The colors, the provenance, the names (try not to feel like Chuck Yeager when you say “Have you seen my Turbo Jet?”), it all speaks to that bold, baseless optimism of the ‘60s.

You can buy your piece of doomed optimism at  Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction starting on January 12.
a version of this article first appeared on

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