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Chevy 235 Top Speeds?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 54LedSled, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. 54LedSled
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 362


    I normally curise my 54 Belair...Factory 235, PG, 3:55 gears closed driveline still, around 55 to 60 mph. Sometimes I want to push her more but a bit nervous that I may push her to much, or I may be working the tranny hard??... I would love to be right around 70 mph...

    I'm curious, what kind of top speeds do ya'll get out of your 235s, stock and hot rodded?
  2. Big T
    Joined: Aug 29, 2006
    Posts: 638

    Big T
    from Florida

    "A 235 will run forever at normal speeds or 'really fast' for a short distance."

    I max out at about 50 mph, but I have a 3 speed and a 4:11 rearend, also a closed driveline. All completely stock.
  3. I had a stock '53 (235/3-on-the-tree) 2-door hardtop in highschool in the late '70's.

    Top speed was ~74-75 mph indicated. The suspension felt like it was "floating" at anything above ~70. :eek:

    But it would cruise forever at 55; a friend and I took it from Cleveland, OH to Indy in 1980 for the CC Street Machine Nats.
  4. Dunk54
    Joined: Oct 24, 2012
    Posts: 23


    My stock (other than headers) 235 with stock rear end ratios will sit at 70 OK (using a GPS speedo as the stock is a bit 'vague'). It'll drink the gas at that speed but it will do it no problem. As for top I don't know, still room to go at 70 though. Now you've said about top end I feel the urge to go try :)

    Oh yeah 3 OTT also.

  5. 52HardTop
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Posts: 970


    My 54 235 with S-10 T-5, 10 bolt rear with 373s dual Carters and Fenton headers will easily cruise 70 to 80. Takes just a little time to get there but runs no problem. Now suspension and brakes being close to stock is another issue altogether! Take a little longer to stop too!!
  6. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,706


    really people 60 to 70 . man ,they will do 90 + . 53 chevy 235 babbit rod all stock 3 speed 411 gear. run 75 to 80 all the time . had it to 95 once. drank oil and gas but stayed together. ask your grandparents. speed limits used to be 70mph.
  7. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,956

    gas pumper

    When I had the stock hydraulic lifter 235 in my 54 210 it would run out of r's at about 3500. Maybe 80 mph? It seemed like the PG never stops slipping the torque convertor.

    Now with solid lifters and a stick and 2.93 rear gears it can run the speedo off the end. It takes a long time to get there, it's a hard pull.

    But it will cruise all day at 75 mph on the interstate at 2500rpm and get 24 mpg doing it. The 2500 seems to be the sweet spot for this engine. I have a Howard's cam.
  8. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    The best Chev. six I ever had topped at 4100 RPM's. It would eat 283's up to 60.
  9. 54LedSled
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 362


    Go to know...Yeah 55 to 60 can be a drag sometimes on the highway...I got a car show I'm heading to later tonight...maybe I will open her up a bit more and see how she does.

    I plan on adding some Fenton Headers with some Smitty's, help her breath a little better, increase HP a little.
  10. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    from arkansas

    my dad used to buy a new car every two years--used to drive straight through to california about every other year---48,50,52,chevies said he tried to hold them on 90 mph to make up for pit stops---these were new cars at that time
  11. gibby64
    Joined: Feb 7, 2012
    Posts: 39

    from East Texas

    I've got hwy gears and a 3 on the tree.... does 70 all day... will do 80 too but that starts to get scary with juice.
  12. Had a 55 chevy hardtop with 235/3 speed overdrive. Cruised easily at 75 all day long.
    My 61 chevy pickup had no overdrive and was ok to about 65 ..faster than that, it felt like it was buzzing the engine.
  13. Road Runner
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,257

    Road Runner

    My late 235 with stock 261 cam breathes better than stock with 2x 216 carbs and fenton headers. That goes a long way when going 2500 rpm and higher.

    It was already 20 years old after last rebuilt, when I got it 18 years ago and added the bolt-on upgrades plus a 3.55 rear and 28" tires.
    I also have a rebuilt stock 3 speed. Although the previous one was in really bad shape it lasted for 7 more years in that condition.

    I have since driven it for 10s of thousands of miles in triple-digit temps for hours at a time on TX and CA freeways around 2500-3000rpm at 65-70 mph giving around 18-20 mpg.

    With that kind of use, its very hard to break these engines and 3 speeds.
  14. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,487


    My '50 had a 55 235, 3spd and unknown rear. I kept up with Chicago traffic, and I know I had it over 70 many times. My wife's 51 had a 60 235, 3 spd, 3.73 rear gears, headers, and 2x1 intake. She cruised all the way to MD (700 miles) at full highway speeds with no problems
  15. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,280


    I've been in a many stock 235 Chevy and 6 cylinder Ford cars of the 50's back when they were 8-10 year old. None of them could run over 80 -85 MPH even after miles of foot to floor abuse.
    Chevy HD trucks with 235-261's had the governors set at around 3200 rpm from the factory.They were driven for hours on end with the engine wound up against the governor......This certainly doesn't make the engine last longer....But they didn't blow up
    A 235 in good condition should be able to buzz along at 3000 rpm for a reasonable distance.
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,591

    from SIDNEY, NY

    I drove my '53 on a 450 mile round trip at 70 mph most of the way. '58 235 with dual Stromberg BXOV2s on a McGurk intake, Corvette exhaust manifold and vintage Mallory distributor, otherwise stock, with a 3 speed and 3.70 gears. No problems encountered other than sore wrists from hanging on to that garbage can lid sized steering wheel for that long.
  17. 54LedSled
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 362


    Changing subjects a little...I use 10w30 in mine...which works fine. When I first start her she ildes right at about 60 psi....then as she warms up...start driving backs off to about 45 to 55psi depending on my speed. Once warmed up fully...At a light or stop, idling, she goes down to anywhere between 15 and 20 psi..quiet as a this considered normal. I know the the manual states 45psi is normal?

    What does your Oil Pressure read??
  18. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,706


    mine holds 45 lbs .
  19. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Your OP is fine. Use to run my 235 -3.70 gears 70-75 no sweat.
  20. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,706


  21. Nelsen Motorsports
    Joined: Nov 14, 2009
    Posts: 63

    Nelsen Motorsports

    My bone stock 59 Chevy daily driver has 235/3-speed/3:55 and it has been 75. I hadn't maxed it, but she will wind up for having a long stroke. These engines have forged cranks and are internally balanced so they should take some rpm and in my 59 probably held back by weight, wind, and poor head and intake flow.

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