Newbiewar

First Small Block

14 posts in this topic

Well a guy at work has been pestering me for a while now, on what vehicle had the first small block, i guess its on our GM training, on being Certified, but honnestly I think it has nothing to do with the new vehicles, except maybe experiance... anyhow... What is the first GM vehicle to have the first small block? and what year?
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That's a bullshit question! [/Marissa_Tomey] But yes, the first CHevy Small Block V8 was a 265cu.in. and it was first seen in fall of 1954 on the all new 1955 Chevy lineup (opt. on all incl. Vette)
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Interesting question. The term "small block" is relative: there must co-exist a 'big block' within the same division for there to be a smaller block. Chevy's '55 265 had no big block brother until '58 and the 348. Obviously, the same size block existed earlier: 1955, but it was not legitimately able to be referred to as a small block until '58.

So for Chevy- the first small block is 1958. [/Marissa_Tomey]

Olds & Buick didn't get small blocks until the '60s (the 330 and the 215 respectively) and Pontiac & Cadillac didn't 'do' small blocks. Edited by balthazar
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Hmmmm Balthazar.... interesting and 100% accurate. What's it small in comparison to in 1955?


BTW: Cadillac DID eventually do small blocks but we all try to pretend it never happened.

Posted Image


My 1979 Cadillac Coupe DeVille has the last of the big ones... 425 cubic inches of carburated smoothness... That's 7.0 liters for those of you without a Calculator! Edited by Sixty8panther
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Interesting question. The term "small block" is relative: there must co-exist a 'big block' within the same division for there to be a smaller block. Chevy's '55 265 had no big block brother until '58 and the 348. Obviously, the same size block existed earlier: 1955, but it was not legitimately able to be referred to as a small block until '58.

So for Chevy- the first small block is 1958. [/Marissa_Tomey]

Olds & Buick didn't get small blocks until the '60s (the 330 and the 215 respectively) and Pontiac & Cadillac didn't 'do' small blocks.

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okay the question also asked which model it was fisrt used in... it gave 4 to choose from, i knew it wasnt the camaro, but it also said Imapla, bel air... or one other...
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What's it small in comparison to in 1955?

Nothing; there was only 1 block in '55. There is no 'small block' in '55 because...... there's no 'big block'.
It's merely popular reference that terms the '55 a "small block". After all, it was all by it's lonesome for only 3 years, then it's had a big block brother for the next what- 48 years?? The term sticks.

okay the question also asked which model it was fisrt used in... it gave 4 to choose from, i knew it wasnt the camaro, but it also said Imapla, bel air... or one other...

First off, I would be surprised if the questionaire got the '1958' answer right- there is a surprisingly great deal of confusion over how the 'small block', 'big block' terms came about. I would just about guarantee you it'll say the answer is "1955 Bel Air.
But in fact 1958 is factually correct. And as far as I can tell from my reference, the 348 could've been ordered in any '58 model, which would be the Del Ray, Biscayne, Bel Air or Impala.
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I'd like to know how they got called "mouse" and "rat motor" my damn self.
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Newbiewar: The 348 was the BIG block that appeared in '58. It ended up in trucks and on NASCAR circuit more often that anywhere else. LA: Don't forget the "Elephant motor" (426 Hemi)
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but in 58 was the small block still the 265 or was it a 348 by then? what was the small block size in 58?

Chevy's small block in '58 was the 283 (an enlarged 265).
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Since the engine junkies are in here when did Ford first put out a small block and big block respectively? And did the Ford engines ever get a nickname like the mouse, rat, and elephant?
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If you understand the nature of the terms 'small' & 'big', you know that the answer to your question is: they 'came out' the same year.

Ford had a very small flathead V-8 that was called the "60" because it had 60 HP. It was only 136 CI and came out for '36. This was in addition to the 221 flathead that appeared for '32. I've seen the 60 out of a car and I know my own 239 flathead V-8 and the size difference is unmistakable. Not sure where the 221 fits in tho. The 239 came out in Mercs for '39, so at least as early as 1939 Ford had a small & big block, or it may be '36 if the 221 is notably bigger. However, I have not heard the terms 'small block' and 'big block' applied to Ford motors from this era ('30s and '40s).

Post-war, Ford was running their 292 & 352 V-8s when they brought out the 430 for '58. I am certain that this is a bigger block than the 292/352.

Across town, Plymouth did not get a big block offering until they gained the corporate 413 for 1961. Edited by balthazar
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So for Chevy- the first small block is 1958. [/Marissa_Tomey]


Funny movie !

Now, why do you say Olds had a big & small block ? Edited by razoredge
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why do you say Olds had a big & small block ?

1964:
330 V-8 - 26"W x 28"L x 27.5"H
394 V-8 - 30"W x 32"L x 29"H

330 weighed about 560 lbs, 394 weighed about 700 lbs.

This is the first instance (the earlier 215 V-8 was Buick-built). In later years the 350 and 455 also were co-existing small & big blocks, and there are other times & engines that fit that criteria. Edited by balthazar
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