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History Who When was the first SBChev powered HotRod?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Aussie Chev, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. I actually alluded to that in previous posts but the car I posted not even the most jaded purest can argue with. So 1955 was the first year a small block was stuffed into a hot rod. ;)
     
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  2. roundvalley
    Joined: Apr 10, 2005
    Posts: 1,774

    roundvalley
    Member

    1955. SBC crate motor with dual 4's. $450 dealers cost. With intake and exhaust manifolds, valve covers, and water pump. Nellie \'32 001.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  3. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    Member
    from Central Ky

    This article from 05 may be of interest to the OP.

    As the small-block Chevrolet hits 50 years of age, it's hard to imagine this engine scared hot rodders when it first came out. But real hot rodders looked past their fear of the unknown and saw huge potential, and HOT ROD was there.
    The first tech story we did on the small-block "Chev" was an in-depth analysis of the basic engine architecture by Racer Brown in the Jan. '55 issue. Seven months later, Brown followed along as Frank McGurk coaxed an additional 85 hp out of the 265-inch small-block. But it was Vic Edelbrock Sr. and Jr. who really got down and dirty with the new Chevy, and Brown showed it in glorious detail in the Jan. '56 issue of HOT ROD. The photo here is an outtake from Brown's story, showing Vic Jr. manning the 300-horse Clayton dyno getting ready for one of the hundreds of pulls they made on the 265.
    [​IMG]



    At this time, Edelbrock had spent five months debunking the engine's critics in an effort to make the most power at the highest rpm. They tested a bunch of cams and other stuff, took the engine from a stock 135 hp to 233 hp, and found both the strong and weak points of the small-block. They wiped out cam lobes and lifters, nicked all eight pistons, and generally abused the snot out of the engine, but it held together.

    Brown described the Edelbrock exercise as "one of the most thorough and exacting investigations of a single engine ever undertaken in the hot rod industry."
     
  4. RaginPin3Appl3
    Joined: Mar 31, 2016
    Posts: 1,172

    RaginPin3Appl3
    Member

    No. you can make a hot rod out of an 80s smog car if you want. It's just not a hot rod from back in the day. I can put an ls motor in an 80s malibu and thats a hot rod.


    What'cha got in there, kid?
     
    H380 likes this.
  5. I guess the answer to the op's question is as soon as the engine came out of GM's door.
    And you sure as f**k can't make a hot rod out of an '80's anything. This hobby has been watered down enough over the years but some of this crap is beyond anonda.
    Or is that not the politically correct statement? I laugh in your face.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
    kiwijeff, LOU WELLS and slammed like this.
  6. My take on all this,,,Who the hell cares????
     
  7. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,257

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I might be wrong, but I'm thinking those Ram Horn manifolds didn't show up until 1957 so that photo must be '57 or later. Cool old photo though.
    Somewhere around the time of Racer Brown's analysis in Jan '55 I could swear I read about them sticking a 265 into someome's old car. This is gonna make me spend the rest of the day researching old magazines. Inquiring minds want to know.....
    I guess we are looking for the first documented installation of a SBC since there is no way to know for sure if someone somewhere did it in their barn or garage using a discarded test engine from a GM scrap heap in 1954.
     
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  8. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,002

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pork.... I remember watching a "documentary" on the hot rod generation with 3 guests being interviewed about 4-5 years ago on one of the history channels. One past away (u can guess that one) and the other 2 are still around. Anyway they all felt if you hadn't spent 100-200K you didn't HAVE a true hot rod. Guess I've never had one...
     
  9. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,362

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Bob
    To my understanding the 2x4 option for the 265 wasn't available in production cars until mid (ish) 56. I can't imagine the crate motors were out yet. I think you are right about that 1955 date, the roadster owner would have to have been well connected with GM or actually was in the upper ranks at corporate to get his hands on a crate engine in 55.
     
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  10. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,002

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    58 Poncho in the background...
     
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  11. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,487

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Well in the end of 1954,my Dad desided to buy a new stationwagon,he needed one for work. I went with him to Antheny Abraham Chevy to get one,they only had a Nomad in stock,he didn't want a fanzy wag or to wate for ordering one,so they made him a deal. We went home with the coolist wagon I'd ever seen,new 265 v8 ,redish an cream two tone with leather seats an all. But turned out it leaked oil and smoked like mad an was a pig,could not keep up with grandads Ford 272V8 ,so he kept taking it back,over an over,tell in 1955 they put a new 283 V8 in it. It was like a defrent car comepletely,had some go an didn't piss its pants all over the carport. At that point I'm sure there was a free 265 v8 in the junk outback of the car dealer,for some hotrodder to grab,if he could not find a good v8 that is,like a Cady or Olds,maybe a Hemi or Ford. The bottom line is SBC started out as a POS the first year. How many found there way into hotrods that early would mostly depen on being desprit,or just wanting to go with new an def. but slow. Later ,after,about the end of 1958 they had finily got some HP n repect. I was there, an thats what I remeber. Later in the 70s,my racecar was powered by SBCs for the next 30 years,won a lot of races.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
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  12. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 3,257

    bchctybob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Another dead give away.............
     
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  13. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    more like pissed on, set on fire, and stomped into the dirt...:rolleyes:
     
  14. Dealers would have had replacement motors shortly after the new models came out. So maybe someone known to the dealership could have purchased one.

    I am just guessing on this point.
     
  15. I wonder if he started a thread on a website asking what swap kit to use and how to mount a fan?
     
  16. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member Emeritus

    It's just an opinion. Which is what usually gets posted in threads like this. Same dead horse, just a different boot.
     
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  17. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,151

    slammed
    Member

    Indeed. It is generally the latest members that blur the visions. Whould they have lasted back when, like '05 w/this 'its all good/we all car guys right?' No way. Boys, looks like the 1954/'55 time line. NEXTT!!!!
     
  18. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,213

    mtkawboy
    Member

    Only $350 in 1955 seems really cheap but actually that the same as $3100.51 sadly
     
  19. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Any engines replaced under warranty may well have ended up in hot rods, if the rod wasn't sticking thru the block. In addition to Spence Murray's Dream Truck, Norm Grabowski's kookie car got its engine that way. His mom's 52 Caddy got a replacement engine under warranty and Norm grabbed the old one.

    In 1968 I worked at a gas station across the street from the local Chev dealer's. One day the service manager offered me a new 396 with a spun bearing for $50 bucks. They had just taken it out of a Chevelle, warranty replacement.

    I'm sorry I didn't take him up, but at the time I made $45 a week and didn't have a car to put it in or the money to rebuild it.

    So ya, stuff like that happened.
     
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  20. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member Emeritus

    Where's the pic?o_O
     
  21. roundvalley
    Joined: Apr 10, 2005
    Posts: 1,774

    roundvalley
    Member

    Post #32. 2102 Kathleen Dr, Napa,Cal. Also framed in my shop. And in my moms album. Pontiac was a Bonneville with 2 White racing stripes on hood and deck lid.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
  22. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,971

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    A local muffler shop owner in Idaho Falls bought either 8 or 10 (our old guys who knew details are passing) 1955 Corvette "3/4" engines as they called them. Complete from pan to the heads, but no externals. More than likely ordered thru one of the Salt lake dealers, or somebody had an inside connection at the Chevrolet regional warehouse in SLC. One of them was running mid-'55 in a '32 Victoria, in Idaho Falls, an unlikely spot for an innovative swap in those days ...
     
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  23. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    young'n'poor
    Member
    from Anoka. MN

    The OP's original question is a good one, and I dont have proof but Ive been living under the impression that the dream truck, the rod mentioned by 'beaner, and a handful of other early crate motors were close enough to the same time to be the first sbc powered hot rods.

    As for the whats a hot rod debate, Im kinda shocked so many here disagree about the subject. If any of you have ever spent any time on YellowBullet you may have run across threads about why the H.A.M.B sucks filled that inevitably fill up with people who are super hurt that they posted a question about their '87 camaro or someother vehicle similarly outside of the H.A.M.B's stated focus years. The argument is always "Ive made it faster than it was stock and modified it a bunch, isnt that hot rodding?" modifying a car to be better at something than it was stock is all over and has been happening since the first car. not just speed but looks, stance, stereo etc.

    Hot Rod, street machine, lowrider, trophy truck, they are all just general terms that imply why you are making the changes you are making to your car. It seems silly to get upset about a '55 not being considered a hot rod, nobody is saying that means it isnt cool. Since this site is about the era of car modifying prior to 1964, hot rod to us should mean coupes and roadsters.

    lol think of it like this; we are like those goofy dudes who re-enact the civil war or build thirteenth century armor, except cooler...
     
  24. roundvalley
    Joined: Apr 10, 2005
    Posts: 1,774

    roundvalley
    Member

    Thanks for the help. Tryn to remember some details. I guess it was a 1956 Vette. It came with a canaster oil filter. I think '55 had no filter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
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  25. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,680

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    Matter of opinion. Hot Rod magazine has been around since the beginning, 1948 They view a hot rod as any thing souped up to go fast. They call a new Mustang or Camaro a hot rod. They were around before me and more than likely you. I am not going to argue with them.
     
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  26. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,680

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    I don't think he said the photo was right when he bought the motor. Many of us take years to build our hot rods. He could have added the rams horns later. Who knows?
     
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  27. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,680

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    Tell that to the pro drag racers that ran them on the drag strip.
     
  28. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,680

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    They have been expanding their readership since the first magazine. I doubt they ever had a cutoff date in mind. Why do I ever get into these discussions? I know no one wins.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
  29. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,680

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    Obviously the OP and every one else that took the time to get on this thread including you.
     
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  30. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,283

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    For some of you this is a fairly ultimate tool:
    [​IMG]
    I mean really, kids. "...a Ford..." as in they're the only real hot rod? I guess dear ol Dad's 36 Dodge pickup with a Cadillac dual quad motor under the hood didn't qualify? He sure spanked his share of Fords and even waxed the fastest 55 Chevy in S.W. Detroit at the time. I guess it was just a fast truck, not a hot rod. What the fuck ever, right? And I'd guess the 1st one to get a SBC was somewhere here in Motown since the damn thing was born here. We have no real idea how much stuff was "back door delivered" from the automaker's skunk works and development labs.
     

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