For all intents the small block Chevy is 60 years old...wow.
Let's get The Colonel to dig in his memory data base, and see what he can remember about small blocks.
Q: Colonel Good Morning, what do you remember of small block Chevies.
A: Guys I was a kid, although Ford had flatheads, in 1955 a V8 in a Chevrolet was HUGE.
Q: What was it about that engine?
A: It was small compared to an Oldsmobile or Cadillac V8.
Q: Its came out as a 265 and then a 283 in 1957.
A: Yes 265 were sort of rare, 283's after a few years were quite common.
Q: What was it about that engine that captivated attention.
A: It was small, light, stamped steel rocker arms, tubular push rods, readily available, affordable, easy to put in another Chevrolet.
Q: In hindsight Chevrolet through the social media of the day developed an strong following for the small block especially in performance circles.
A: The engine was in the Corvette, there were myriad of variations, and when the 327 came out in 1963 it just took off even more.
Q: From today's perspective the small block was disruptive, it was the iPhone of engines, with a ton of Chevrolet apps, and subsequent apps from performance providers.
A: Intelligent analogy...there were a lots of engines, but the small block stood head and shoulders above the others. It was easy to generate power with a small block.
Q: With all those engines there must have been an extensive knowledge base on how to get a small block to perform better.
A: To think of it, no Internet, no social media, no forums, and word on how to generate power with a small block was pervasive among the folks that really wanted to know. Its was "Did you hear that.....".
Q: The early versions with the shorter stroke would rev up like crazy...we heard.
A: 327's and the 302's would wind up a tach so fast...it was pretty wild. Keep in mind that a short stroke limits torque, and you had to wind up the engine to generate power, especially with an aggressive camshaft.
Q: Today after a few versions that engine is still around generating even more power.
A: In a world of overhead cams, 4 valves per cylinder, the venerable push rod V8 is still around competing with the best.
Q: It shows that its an enduring design that adapts to current times.
A: You have to wonder if Ed Cole ever imagined how iconic that engine would become.
Q: Not only iconic, but still around, and current. With mechanical and technology redesigns.
A: Yes...that too.
Overview of the latest small blocks...LSX.