Editor’s Note: This series counts down the Top 10 engines of all time—see how the voting was done by reading our initial post.75310_Engine_Web

Does size matter?

No, we say emphatically (but not for any particular reason).

However, there is clearly a large contingent of you that believes bigger is better, because the Chevrolet 454 big block easily made your top 10 engines list with room to spare. For sheer size and power, you placed the Chevy 454 at #8 on the list.

As the old saying goes: “There’s no replacement for displacement.” And GM got it right when it introduced the venerable and popular big block in 1970.

History

To some, the Chevrolet 454 big block was the right engine at the wrong time.

Building on the popularity of its 427-cubic-inch engine, General Motors introduced the 454 in 1970—one year before emissions standards were tightened and just three years before the gas crisis hit with full force. It was not the ideal time to introduce a large cubic-inch big block tailored for performance vehicles, but the Chevy 454 made quite an impression nonetheless.

The Chevy 454 was originally offered in three variations: the LS5, LS6, and LS7 (which was never offered as a factory option to the general public). It was intended for only Chevrolet’s high-performance vehicles, including the Chevelle and Corvette, and there were rumors the engines’ horsepower output was actually under-reported by Chevrolet during the muscle car wars.

The 1970 versions of the Chevrolet 454 were the most powerful, with the LS5 putting out around 360 horsepower and the LS6 delivering about 450 horses. The LS6 was phased out after 1971, and the LS5’s power had dwindled to about 245 horsepower by 1973 thanks to stricter emissions control.

The Chevrolet 454 was eliminated from most passenger cars by 1975 but remained a viable powerplant in heavy-duty Chevrolet trucks through 1996.

Original Vehicles

The Chevrolet 454 originally came stock in these passenger vehicles:

Top Aftermarket Upgrades

The Chevrolet 454 remains a favorite among performance enthusiasts because of the its power output and the availability of aftermarket parts for the engine. A quick glance at the Summit Racing website shows these Chevrolet 454 parts as the most readily available (number of options as of 1/16/2014 in parenthesis):

Editor’s Note: This series counts down the Top 10 engines of all time—see how the voting was done by reading our initial post.

SOURCE: EngineFacts.com.

 

Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.