The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Workhorse Engine of the Day: Small-Block Chevrolet

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Let's face it: an engine that was in front-line service for 50 years, with more than ninety million built, reliable, cheap to build, and easy to modify for performance... well, do we even need to mention the small-block Chevy in this series, given that we all know it pretty much sets the Workhorse Engine standard? Sure we do! Yes, yes, we admit it had an oil-leakage problem (mostly solved by the valve-cover/rear main seal redesign of '87), but oil's cheap! So here's how we'll honor our old friend: GM made so many variations of the SBC that we now have the opportunity to name our favorite and most disappointing small-blocks on this fine Thursday afternoon. Myself, I dig the smaller-displacement powerhouses, so I'm torn between the the 385-horse L84 327 of '64 and the high-revving/zero-torque 302 of '67-'69 for my favorite; as for my least favorite, it's hard to sink lower than the late-70s/early-80s 267, equipped with suck-o-matic computer Q-Jet and general air of Malaise. And you? [Wikipedia]