It’s a story as old as the automobile. You get started on a project and then life happens and your project ends up sitting, untouched, for an extended period of time. This particular small-block came out of a 1966 Chevelle after a rapid unplanned disassembly in the late ‘90s and then spent the next two and a half decades in storage, untouched, unloved. But, then Hagerty came along and decided to not only revive it, but do so in their signature time-lapse style.
The 283 may not have led the hardest of lives when it was in the car, but combine that with 25 years of sitting in a corner, and the Redline Rebuild team had some work cut out for them. Fortunately, the Gen-1 small-block Chevy engine parts are almost literally a dime a dozen and available by the pallet, so finding replacement parts wasn’t an issue.
After an initial teardown and deep cleaning, which the engine sorely needed, the block deck was skimmed and the rotating assembly got a ride on the balancing machine. Then the valve covers were treated with some chemical stripper, and both the block and valve covers got a coat of primer and fresh Chevrolet Orange paint. Nothing like some freshly machined decks and a new coat of paint to make an old block look like a million bucks.
From there the short-block went back together with a brand new set of KB pistons and rings and some new bearings, a new oil pump and some paint on the oil pan. The 283 heads were rebuilt with a new valvetrain before being bolted on, and were topped off with the original intake manifold, also dressed in Chevrolet Orange.
More than just a fresh coat of paint, this small-block Chevy engine was given a new lease on life. It’s a testament to both the durability of the original design as well as the aftermarket support available for an almost 70-year-old engine design. Besides just being a visually appealing video to watch, it’s proof that our engines will be around for a long time to come.