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Chevy's Little Engine That Could

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  • Chevy's Little Engine That Could

    The Small Block Chevy (from the New York Times of all places).

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    In the great rivalry between Chevrolet and Ford, Jason Carlisle, a former mechanic and current hobbyist racer, took sides decades ago. “Cut me: I bleed Ford blue,” he said. But when it came time to replace the engine in his Mustang racecar, he did the unthinkable. He installed a small-block Chevy engine.

    Called the SBC by aficionados, it proved lighter and more reliable than the Ford engine, and just as powerful, at a quarter of the price. “It hurt,” Mr. Carlisle said. “It’s heartbreaking. I’ve ate a lot of crow over this one.”

    For six-plus decades, speed freaks like Mr. Carlisle have been seduced by the strategy of an adventuresome World War II émigré and engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov. At midcentury, Ford performance left Chevy in the dust. Working at Chevrolet in 1953, Arkus-Duntov wrote a memo, “Thoughts Pertaining to Youth, Hot Rodders and Chevrolet,” that mapped out the path for Chevy to overtake Ford.

    Today the Chevy V-8 that powers Mr. Carlisle’s Mustang is the direct descendant of the SBC from Arkus-Duntov and the iconoclastic chief engineer Ed Cole, whose motto was “Kick the hell out of the status quo.” The engine saved the Corvette from near oblivion and made Chevrolet the source of automotive history’s dominant domestic engine.

    Subsequent SBC versions would sustain the legacy. The mid-1990s version would inspire not one but two annual festivals, which continue today. It can be found transplanted in everything from modern behemoth trucks to vintage English sports cars. And now, 65 years after its debut, it is still being produced, it is still the dominant domestic engine — with more than 109 million sold — and its current factory version (producing up to 495 horses) still powers the Corvette.
    Much, much more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/b...vette-sbc.html

    Well worth reading.
    SunKissed, my 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible (One of about 40)

    Purchased 5/2/2015,
    >36,000 miles

    Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club. Check us out http://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org

    Never grow up - It's a trap.

  • #2
    My 1966 version of the SBC that now has 75,000 miles on it.

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    1966 coupe - Sunfire Yellow / Black
    2004 Z06 - Millennium Yellow / Black

    NCM Lifetime Member since 2003

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    • #3
      The was a documented C5 motor that went 880,000 miles (still could be running fine), that never even had a lower end re-build.
      GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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