Chevrolet Expects to Build 100 Millionth Small-Block V-8 This Fall

In addition to being the 100th anniversary of the Chevrolet brand, 2011 also heralds another major milestone for the company. This fall, Chevrolet expects to build its 100 millionth small-block V-8 engine.

Chevrolet doesn’t yet know which engine will be number 100 million, nor has the company planned that engine’s fate. A spokesman told us the milestone V-8 will likely be a Corvette engine and could be placed in a General Motors collection or perhaps auctioned for charity. It should roll off the assembly line some time this fall.

The small-block Chevrolet V-8 engine first arrived in 1955. Designed by Chevrolet chief engineer Ed Cole, the first small-block was destined for use in the 1955 Corvette, replacing its weak inline-six engine. Little did Cole know that the V-8 engine’s basic design criteria -- 4.4-inch bore spacing, 90-degree crank angle, pushrod valvetrain -- would form the basis of countless Chevy V-8s from then on. Engines built on those specifications became known as small-block V-8s.

Since then, Cole’s basic V-8 formula has evolved into scores of different General Motors engines -- GM even says the 638-hp supercharged 6.2-liter in the Corvette ZR1 descends from that 1955 design. The small-block’s versatility and performance soon made it wildly popular, says GM vice president for performance vehicles and motorsport Jim Campbell.

“The small-block was easy to work on, easy to modify, and a whole industry grew around it to provide the parts to modify it,” Campbell said. “It changed everything.”

Just how big an impact has the engine had on the automotive industry? GM Performance Parts engineer Jamie Meyer said he believes more than a third of the cars cruising Woodward Avenue in Detroit this week will pack a small-block Chevy under the hood -- and that includes classic, modern, and non-GM vehicles.

“We sell a lot of our engines to folks who drive a Ford,” Meyer said.

Source: Chevrolet

joe scam
all V-8 were tough 318, 302, and 283
Bob the Aussie
Yes it was a great engine but this is 2011 and V8's should be on the way out. Most Western Countries aren't self sufficient in oil that makes them depend on the politically unstable Middle East is that a smart thing to do?
Frank
GMs 4.3 V6 is a great engine in its own right. I wonder why GM never offered their 4.2 I-6 in the Silverado? (I am a fan of 6 cyl engines>)
Bob Buttman
well- they tended to do much better when splashing thru water than the Fords and Chryslers that had the distributor in the front. it's a trade-off- you get better water performace every day for that 15 minutes every three years you have to lean over the engine.
Maineman
One of the biggest mistakes GM ever made (other than KILLING the Electric Car) was in getting rid of the 283, that was one tough engine, I miss it. (:>(
Dave
I believe that engine was designed by Zora Dontov not Ed Cole. Dontov actually tried to sell it to Ford first but was turned down then he went to GM. The early GM hotrod parts actually listed a "HOT" camshaft called the Dontov.
RealMan
Never was a Chevy man but you had to respect them. When in tune the things would run as smooth as a clock. In the 60's you could open the hood and name every part. To me, the worst part about them was the distributor in the back. My knees still ache when I think of trying to set the points while kneeling on the radiator support of the vehicle!

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