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Motion Pictures 1955: The Chevy V8 Kicked all their Axles

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,217


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    1955: The Chevy V8 Kicked all their Axles


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. borderboy1971
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 587

    from Canada

    I love these old sales promo clips. One question though. In the first hill climb, the Plymouth killed the Ford but then the next hill challenges it got beat by the Ford pretty good. What gives?
  3. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,217


    I noticed they switched drivers after every trial to keep it fair, and I bet you can chalk that up to reaction time rather than the car.
  4. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,779


    WOW, an 8:1, "ultra high", compression ratio (???). The first few years of the new Chevrolet V-8 were fraught with warranty claims. Most of those settled around the true flat top pistons, without any valve reliefs; easy to over rev and experience valve float, followed by piston to valve contact. Oops!!! The answer was valve reliefs in the pistons, that in theory, would drop that "ultra high compression ratio" some. And, the "pulse oiling" of the 55 and 56 265's, and having a notch in the rear cam journal to accomplish that, never seamed the way they should have gone, at least wise to me. But, they learned from their lessons, and the rest is history, as they say. I am Butch/56sedandelivery
    chevy57dude likes this.
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  5. Well, I had a stock 265 back in '60 and a friend had a '54 ragtop with a 235. He could kick my axle on the open highway
  6. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,476

    The Shift Wizard

    There's no question that Chevy hit a home run in '55 with what is now called "the small block". Naturally, being new, various details were able to be improved and issues eliminated in the following years. That improvability only adds to the luster of the SBC and shouldn't be portrayed as a negative. To be fair, though, each of the "low priced three" occasionally had technical advances in one system or another that leapfrogged the other guys until they could catch up.
  7. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 906

    Truckdoctor Andy

    Happy Birthday to my all time favorite engine. I appreciate all cars and most, uh, some engines, but I absolutely love the Small Block Chevrolet. Lone live The Mighty Mouse!

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    OLSKOOL57 and Gman0046 like this.
  8. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,026


    Things improved after oil filters came around. Seems I remember a Dinah Shore pic with a '55 Chevy in it. With oil drips under the car.
  9. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 800


    Few things sound sweeter than a cammed-up SBF .......or the sound of a wound-out SBC!! They-do-sing.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  10. Jay71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 818


    Still running the original 265 w/ 3 on the tree in my wagon. The thing is bulletproof and it gets down the road just fine.
  11. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,457


    Good looking engines too...Chevy script on valve covers always a favorite
    OLSKOOL57 likes this.
  12. Garpo
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 152


    Powerglide worked OK too.
  13. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,694



    As a couple of hot rod influenced teenagers, we were always impressed with the new 55 Chevy 265 v8 motor. At the time, the 55 Chevy was out of the picture as a daily driver. The cost was too high for my brother, despite his after school job. So, the motors were still impressive and one of our friends had a 56 Chevy with a 265 v8. In stock form, if it was stock, that 265 v8 was powerful and fast. In my brother’s years at the local Bixby Knolls cruising and racing scene, this 56 Chevy Bel Air was one of the fastest cars around. But, rumors to the size of the motor grew into a certified 301 after a 283 motor was installed.

    But as a teenager with a Flathead powered 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery, one was always impressed with the ability of the Chevy v8 motors to climb any hill or go up to Big Bear Mountain without any faults. My poor Flathead was under powered for a couple of surfers, two/three heavy surfboards and paraphernalia. The El Morro Coast Highway run had to have a high speed, down hill, attack to be able to get up on the Laguna Beach side of the cliff incline. About 5-7 %. There were many times that the Flathead required a downshift to 2nd just to "chug" up that last part of the steep incline.

    As far as going to Santa Barbara up North and return, there was the deadly Conejo Grade at 7 % and that definitely was a 2nd gear climb loaded up with surfers and stuff. Sometimes it was the slow lane and first gear going up that long climb into San Fernando Valley and into the Los Angeles freeway drive home. Most of the time, we took the level Coast Highway through Malibu and Santa Monica for an easier and better drive.


    A rival to those two steep incline grades was the Southern tip of Del Mar on Coast Highway leading to the less angle steep grade at 5% at the Torrey Pines Bluffs. But, for some reason, ¼ of the way up, despite the fast lead up run, 2nd gear was the only way to get up that steep and long grade to the top.

    It was impressive to see the 55 Chevy blast up that 16% grade without any problems in the film. We knew that feeling when the 58 Impala was used to go up to the Big Bear Mountain areas during the winter months. The big v8 just made the uphill drive pleasurable. We had a little more horsepower than the stock 265 v8, but we got the picture. Those early Chevys earned the title of the “go to motor” for most hot rods and drag racing. (Small but very powerful.) Tom McEwen ruled the roost with his series of v8 55-57 Chevy sedans. 265? ...phfft!!!

    When asked about his 1955 two door Chevy sedan in the last few years of being around, my wife’s dad used to say that two door Chevy was so much faster than the 50 Chevy, and the 37 Chevy coupes they owned. It was the fastest car he had ever purchased. The v8 powered two door Chevy made the run from the West Coast to OKC several times during the 1955-57 years of ownership. The kids were little back then. These modern days, they just said the Chevy was big enough for the three of them in the back seat and that their dad drove fast.
  14. The previously built Olds 303 kicked its ass.
  15. yes not much torque. RPM engine when you shifted into 3rd gear it was pretty doggy. The overdrive cars had 411 gears and did much better than those with 355 or 370 gears. The very first 55 I ever owned had a 56 -265 bored to a 283. 30-30 cam. Reworked 57 heads and cast iron 300 hp -327 intake and carter AFB. Mallory dual point conversion in the dist Mallory coil and large brass condenser. Dual glasspacks behind Rams Horns. 355 rear gears traction bars. I bought it from a older guy named Eddie. He told me it runs like a Raped Ape! First time I hear that statement. Never was beat by any Y block ford . We raced on the 11 point river Bridge at Dalton. I put the heads from that engine on a 69-327 just because they and the finned valve covers where on that first 55. ngines 007.JPG
  16. I never ran across any one who had a olds engine and races it. I think George Rays roadster has a olds engine. It was pretty fast.

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