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The Last Big-Block Chevy Was Built Today at the Downsized Tonawanda Engine Plant


The Last Big-Block Chevy Was Built Today at the Downsized Tonawanda Engine Plant

We could not let the day end without noting that Friday, December 18, 2009, saw the production of the very last production big-block Chevy engine that will ever be made by General Motors. Actually, the legendary Town of Tonawanda Engine Plant may never see V8 production again. The end of the big-block meant 150 more layoffs, so that now a total of almost 300 people in Tonawanda, New York, are out of work.

The last big-block is the L-18, an 8.1-litre weirdo version of the famous Rat motor that was still being produced for boats. The news we’ve read claims that big-block production started in Tonawanda in 1958, but that’s if you count 348s and 409s. The big-block we know too well started with the 396 in 1965 production cars.

It’s a good thing we still have GM Performance Parts, Dart, and World making big-blocks, because they will continue to be the dominant engine in sportsman drag racing for a long time to come. It’s a sad day, anyway.

Read more here at the Buffalo News.


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