SAmadei

Plant bids farewell to big block

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Amid whistles and applause from onlookers, Willie Ray Jr. hoisted the final L18 made at General Motors' Town of Tonawanda engine plant off the production line and onto a metal cart.

The moment was filled with meaning for the plant's past, present and possibly its future.

It was the last of the "big block" V-8 engines made by the plant, a legacy dating to 1958 and a local connection under the hood of some renowned GM cars.

The end of the L18 on Friday also puts 150 hourly workers on layoff, bringing to 298 the total number of workers on layoff from the Tonawanda plant.

...

Workers used different-colored markers to write their names on the final engine, and later surrounded it for a group photo. The milestone engine is destined for the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Mich.

The big block V-8s were a staple of the Tonawanda plant. So were the mistaken assumptions over the decades that those engines were going extinct.

Salvatore Morana started at the GM plant in 1978 and two years later moved over to the Mark engine line, a forerunner of the L18. He quickly heard rumors of the Mark's imminent demise.

"The first thing my (work) partner said was, 'You better get off this line,'‚" said Morana, now president of United Auto Workers Local 774.

"I'm sad to see it go," Morana said. "I just hope it gives us an opportunity for more space for new work."

Finch said the big-block V-8s had a rich history within GM. They were used in vehicles including the Corvair, the Corvette (for a time) and the Impala. They also helped build the automaker's name outside the company, since the engines were used by non-GM customers in pumps, power generation and powerboats. That external loyalty was a key to the big block V-8s' lasting success.

"Our customers just loved this product so much, they wouldn't let it die," Finch said.

Rest of the article is Here.

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"They were used in vehicles including the Corvair..." :huh:

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"They were used in vehicles including the Corvair..." :huh:

I had a neighbor with one in a Corvair. He had to install it in the backseat himself. It really was a cool ride.

It may be the last truck BBC but they still build the GM Performance BBC.

Edited by hyperv6
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Sad day, I hope they come out with a 7.0Lish Gen 5 motor someday to replace the big block. Although you still can get them and will be able to through GM Performance Parts thankfully.

Edited by gm4life
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Umm, no.

I've had four 454s over the years and still can't wait to own another.

Loved my Duramax, but it just isn't the same.

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Wasn't there in recent years a bigger displacement than the 454, something like 8.2? In production HD trucks, not a crate motor..

Been a few BBCs in my family, from my brother's '68 Camaro SS 396 to the '80s 454s in my parent's Pace Arrow and Winnebago RVs.

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I have owned BBC and used to service a fleet of company trucks with 366,427,454 and 502 engines. They were abused but they always held up with little fuss.

As for my own they were not the best BBC GM offered. They were not as powerful as my small bocks I built or as efficent as I would have liked but they looked good tucked under the hood.

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Wasn't there in recent years a bigger displacement than the 454, something like 8.2? In production HD trucks, not a crate motor..

Been a few BBCs in my family, from my brother's '68 Camaro SS 396 to the '80s 454s in my parent's Pace Arrow and Winnebago RVs.

8.1 BB in the trucks 498 cid

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