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Chevrolet to build 100 millionth Small Block engine

Fri, 19 Aug 2011

The 100 millionth copy of the Chevrolet Small Block engine will roll off the production line before the end of the year--a major milestone for the brand.

The Chevy Small Block V8 was first introduced in 1955, laying the foundation for decades of vehicle performance and sustaining a competitive name for Chevy in the market.

"The introduction of the Small Block changed everything," General Motors vice president Jim Campbell said. "It offered customers high performance and an affordable price, in a compact design that was very easy to modify."

The Small Block was an instant success and started a wave of innovation that changed the performance capabilities of street and track cars. Prior to that, Chevrolet had only offered six-cylinder engines.

To address an increasing focus on performance in the automotive market, Chevy aimed to produce something compact, powerful and affordably priced. The Small Block was the end product. It outperformed most other cars on the market with 195 hp, which increased to 283 hp just a couple of years later. By 1970, the V8 series grew to include a 450-hp Big Block.

"The Small Block made Chevrolet the weapon of choice for grassroots racers on the drag-racing and sports-car tracks across America," Campbell said. "It also powered Chevrolet's factory racing programs, leading to wins in stock-car, endurance and Trans-Am series."

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