The Chevy "SBC": The Little Engine That Saved The Corvette

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Thread: The Chevy "SBC": The Little Engine That Saved The Corvette

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    News Contributor Premium Member Perian's Avatar
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    The Chevy "SBC": The Little Engine That Saved The Corvette

    The New York Times
    September 11, 2020



    The problem was that the Corvette was already failing, and failing badly.

    Rushing to market in 1953, Chevrolet produced only 300 Corvettes. To build prestige, dealers were told to restrict sales to V.I.P.s, such as mayors, business leaders and favorite customers.

    For 1954, G.M. geared up to produce 10,000 Corvettes. But faced with low demand, it built only 3,640. The year ended with about 1,100 unsold. Part of the problem was the Corvette’s humdrum 150-horsepower Blue Flame Six. Then there was the expense; the Corvette listed for $2,774 (nearly $27,000 in 2020 dollars), reduced from the $3,498 (roughly $34,000) list price for the 1953 model. But thrill seekers could buy a Jaguar, a Triumph, an MG or an Austin-Healey for about that price or less.

    G.M. discussed ending production.

    Then Chevy got wind of a Ford project — a two-seater. The Thunderbird. To cancel the Corvette when faced with the Thunderbird would look like surrender. The Corvette got a fortuitous reprieve.

    Fortuitous because Cole, who had joined forces with Arkus-Duntov, had their small-block ready for production.

    Chevrolet officially named the small-block the Turbo-Fire. Hot-rodders called it “Mighty Mouse.”

    In 1955, Chevrolet fretfully built only 700 Corvettes. “They pretty much sold out,” Mr. Moore said.

    More than that, it put Chevy head to head in the two-seater market against Ford.
    This fantastic article continues at the above link.









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    Re: The Chevy "SBC": The Little Engine That Saved The Corvette

    What would Chevy be today if the Corvette had failed?

    Thank goodness for the "Turbo-Fire" and Ford Thunderbird!









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    Re: The Chevy "SBC": The Little Engine That Saved The Corvette

    You can download the original 1953 Corvette brochure by clicking HERE.









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    Re: The Chevy "SBC": The Little Engine That Saved The Corvette

    I think GM missed the boat by never putting the same effort into a 4 cylinder engine, they lost a whole generation to the Japanese.

    Great story! So what is it about the small block that makes it so durable. For example, in the story is the guy who put the small block in his Mustang - what is it about the design that is superior to Ford's?

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    Re: The Chevy "SBC": The Little Engine That Saved The Corvette

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    I think GM missed the boat by never putting the same effort into a 4 cylinder engine, they lost a whole generation to the Japanese.

    Great story! So what is it about the small block that makes it so durable. For example, in the story is the guy who put the small block in his Mustang - what is it about the design that is superior to Ford's?
    Ford was the enemy that had to be defeated.

    We have a saying in Africa, when two deer males are fighting, the Hyenas cubs dance, they know Dinner is about to be served...

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    Re: The Chevy "SBC": The Little Engine That Saved The Corvette

    Quote Originally Posted by mbukukanyau View Post
    Ford was the enemy that had to be defeated.

    We have a saying in Africa, when two deer males are fighting, the Hyenas cubs dance, they know Dinner is about to be served...
    What in the ham sandwich?! Lol I have no idea why that saying just tickled the heck out of me!
    RedSkyBlackDream

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