The 100 Millionth Chevy Small Block Engine to Be Produced This Year
When it debuted, the Small Block delivered 195 horsepower with an optional four-barrel carburetor, and outperformed most anything then on the market.
However, new technologies rapidly increased horsepower. In 1957, the addition of fuel injection increased output to 283 horsepower. By 1970, the Chevy V-8 family grew to include a staggering 450 horsepower, 454-cid Big Block.
“The performance of the Small Block transformed Chevrolet,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, GM Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The Small Block made Chevrolet the weapon of choice for grassroots racers on the drag-racing and sports-car tracks across America. It also powered Chevrolet’s factory racing programs, leading to wins in stock car, endurance, and Trans Am series. Chevrolet’s racing experience in turn led to more potent production cars, creating legendary names like Corvette, Camaro, Impala, and Chevelle.”
Today, Chevrolet sells more four-cylinder engines than V-8s. But, descendents of the original Chevy small block still power Chevrolet’s production and racing vehicles.
On the track, the Small Block has made Chevrolet the most-winning name in NASCAR history, and it powered the Corvette Racing team to seven class wins at Le Mans between 2001 and 2011. On the street, the modern Small Block powers Chevrolet’s full-size trucks, such as Silverado and Suburban, as well as performance cars including the Camaro and Corvette.