How the FIA and 427 Designs Differ

In spite of being visually similar to the 427SC, the 289FIA shares no body panels at all!



The radiator and oil cooler openings are different shapes and sizes.  The 427SC's brake scoops were in the front body, the 289FIA had separate scoops below the body and fresh air scooops inside the radiator opening.

FIA Nose 427SC Nose

On the 427SC body, the fender peak was moved backward, causing the headlights to be one inch lower than the earlier car.  In addition, the 427SC's nose opening is fully two inches lower than the 289, probably an effort to decrease nose lift at high speeds.  The chassis height on these two cars is identical!

289FIA Nose-to-nose comparison 427SC

The front flares of the 289FIA are much more defined and the rear section extends further down without tapering.  In addition, the exhaust was completely under the car on the FIA but a hole was cut in the body on the 427SC.

FIA front flare 427 front flare

The rear flares of the 289FIA are blended into the area in front much more smoothly, requiring the doors of the original 289 to be reshaped. The 427SC retains the original 289 door shape by making the flare less concave at the front edge. Also, the 289FIA's rear fender line is a bit "perkier."

FIA rear flare 427 rear flare

The trunk and rear tail-light area is flatter on the 289FIA, especially under the trunk lid edge.  The fuel filler was moved from the top of rear cowl of the 289FIA to a well on the right rear fender.  The fuel tank of the 289FIA was mounted above the rear suspension, the 427SC's tank was mounted in back of it.

FIA rear view
Trunk dimples were required to fit the official FIA suitcase.
The tail lights shown on this 427 car were used only on the later cars.  Early 427 cars used the same tail lights as the 289.

On the 289FIA, the hood scoop was molded in, not riveted on like the 427, and the shape is different.  

FIA hood scoop 427 hood scoop

The 427SC dashboard layout is different, with Smiths replacing 2 5/8" Stewart Warner small gages and 3 5/8" speedometer, and Sun Tach.  The street versions of both cars used different layouts altogether.

Mirrors were also different.

FIA Dash 427SC Dash

Other changes:

  • The 427SC used a forward-facing gearshift rather than a straight-up one.
  • None of the original FIA cars had any interior upholstery, while the 427SC's were sold as for street and competition.
  • Wheel design was different.  The 427SC eventually used a GT40 design that was wider than the 289FIA's wheels.
  • The 427SC cars used street seats (they may have been replaced in competition, of course), while the 289FIA was only used with competition seats.
  • The original chassis' were completely different, as were the suspensions, but that's a whole 'nother story.
  • The 289FIA track is 1" narrower at the front, 1/2" narrower at the rear.
  • And of course the 289FIA never had a big block!