Throwback Thursday: Testing The First Big-Block Chevy

Can you believe the end of another week is almost here? Friday is about to hit our doorstep. It’s true when they say time flies when you’re having fun. Now that Thursday has hit us and the end of the week is announcing its arrival, it’s time for another Throwback Thursday.

This week, we are taking a trip back to August 2014 to check out, Testing The First Big-Block Chevy, An Interview With Bill Howell. It’s well known that 1965 was the year the big-block engine made its debut. Yes, the 348 and 409 were already being installed in cars, but enthusiasts do not necessarily consider the W-headed engine a big block.

big block

 In the original article, Tim King was able to catch up with Bill Howell. Bill worked in Chevrolet engine development for many years and was in the thick of it when big-block testing began. “I went to work at Chevy in the summer of 1961,” stated Bill. “At that time, our NASCAR racing engine was the 409. Even though we were not actively participating in NASCAR, our engine group chose to try and keep abreast of what was going on, and, we had a little bit of backdoor help going out to people like Rex White. There might have been another team or two, but pretty much, it was a closed shop. The 409 was running a Carter AFB, the biggest carburetor that Carter made in a four-barrel. It made about 425 horsepower on a dyno. All the numbers from that era were numbers that would be lower if you use today’s correction factors on them.”

big block

There’s a lot more great insight from Bill in this incredible story, and that definitely makes it worthy of a second look. For that reason, I selected Testing The First Big-Block Chevy, An Interview With Bill Howell as this week’s Throwback Thursday showcase article.

About the author

Randy Bolig

Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. His passion for performance got him noticed by many locals, and he began helping them modify their vehicles.
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