JULY 25, 2012: THE 350 CUBIC INCH DEBATE–IS THE CHEVY SMALL BLOCK THE DEFAULT POSITION?

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The default power choice for many resto-mods is the popular 350 from the General.

 

They are plentiful, affordable and can be built into a beast of a motor.

 

But, for many, the idea of a Chevy engine under the hood of their non-General Motors ride is simply a good reason to run it directly over a cliff.

 

These car guys hold the view that a Chevy small block under the hood of one of the other Detroit manufacturer choices as an act of automotive blasphemy that is completely unacceptable to them.

 

It is a little like a New York Yankee playing in a Boston Red Sox uniform for the purists.

 

The concept has picked up some steam in collector car circles because a Ford-in-Ford or Mopar-in-Mopar resto-mod done to the same level as a Chevy-in-either will typically get more money in a collector vehicle auction.

 

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MSCC has been to hundreds of car shows and events that celebrate the car culture, so we have been around a lot of people’s reactions to resto-mods.

 

The general reaction to the engine choice depends upon the car guy’s brand loyalty. The General Motors guys are pretty happy to see a 350 under the hood of anything and there are a lot of Bowtie fans in car guy world.

 

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The fact that GM was the king of the car world in terms of sales in North America for many decades meant that many car guys liked their vehicles-and so did their kids, thus the appeal of a 350 Chevy in a Ford, Mopar, Rambler, Studebaker or any other domestic car built over the years since Henry Ford introduced mass production.

 

But hardcore Ford and Mopar guys fail to see the magic in the 350 engine from a rival, especially a hated rival. They have a different idea about resto-mods and their engines do not wear bowties. For instance, a 383 is a name that can only be associated with a 1968 Road Runner engine choice and not a 350 stroker from Chevy.

 

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The idea of performance engine options has not been lost on Ford or Mopar, so now a resto-mod motor choice can now be purchased from either one of them. In fact, Chrysler has some very interesting Hemi choices for their brand loyalists.

 

In the final analysis, the solid choices are now out there for fans of all three brands because the name of the game is performance from all of the Big Three in the aftermarket world.

 

You can be true to your school in a big way in 2012.

 

Jim Sutherland

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