Hot Rod mag - Pontiac, small Big Block? - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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Hot Rod mag - Pontiac, small Big Block?

WTF!!!!! Got my Dec. 2015 copy of Hot Rod magazine. The Dec. issue should be called "Small Block Chevy & Chevy" magazine.

Page 64, a neat little info block titled, "Big-Block Or Small-Block:What Does It Really Mean?" The opening sentence goes like this, "Whether an engine is considered big or small depends on its displacement, but whether it is a big- or small-block is determined by its displacement potential and not its actual capacity."

What in the h*ll does that mean??? DUH!! We all know that a Chevy small block can be easily bumped to the stump pulling 383 cubic inch displacement, right? They sell kits just to do this. So when one ups the "displacement potential" of the Chevy small-block and "not its actual capacity" the article writer would then say that the Chevy 383CI is now somehow a Big-Block Chevy. Am I missing something here?????

The HR idiot then goes on to make this statement (Honest, its in print!), "Generally, an engine is called a big-block if its bore centers are more than 4.5 inches and its deck height is greater than 9.5 inches, regardless of its displacement." Aha! So this is how I identify and know its a big block. I'll keep this in mind when I am at my next swap meet.

Hey geeteeohguy, the Packard V8 had a 5.125" bore spacing & 10.065" deck height. Big-block???

HERE's the CLINCHER: "This makes Chevrolet's 400CI small-block that came out in 1970 a big small-block, and Pontiac's 326 which was a small-bore 389, a small big-block." I swear, I could not make up this sh*t. I wanna know if Chevrolet's 366CI or 396CI is the small big-block with I assume the 454CI as the big big-block?

HEY HOT ROD!!!!! The first Pontiac V8 arrived in 1955. All future blocks were derived from this initial design. The basic dimensions, length, and width did not change. It is for this reason that most Pontiac parts can be swapped from engine to engine. Are the small block and big block Chevy engines the same basic dimensions??? Can you swap most of the parts from a small-block onto a big-block?

It is a sad day today as I write this. This absurd quip from some college schooled writer who obviously sits behind a computer in his comfy grey cubicle walled office space covered with those motivational posters, drinking cappuchino mocha, looking in the mirror to check himself out thinking he is "cool," and writing articles about cars never knowing much about them let alone ever climb under the hood of one and get "dirty." And worse, SHAME on the Hot Rod editor who saw nothing wrong with this load of literature crap. The HR editor is obviously NOT a seasoned "hot rodder" or "muscle car guy" who grew up in the era where you knew a small-block from a big-block just from its size/valve covers and you KNEW there was no such animal as a small-block or big-block Pontiac engine.......EVER! ARGH!!!

........and this is where all the Pontiacs are headed, to be powered by small-blocks and big-blocks because after all, a Pontiac 350CI is the same as the Chevy small-block 350CI and the Pontiac 400CI is just a big small-block like the Chevy 400CI, right?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 06:53 PM
 
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I read the current issue as well. Pontiac v8 is a big block for sure. I built a 389 in high school. Currently building a Chevy 350. The Pontiac block you need 3 men and a mule to move. The Chevy block I can throw in the trunk of my civic SI. That said I have a sort of stock 389 in my 64 Gto. It growls and snarls like a beast but for power to weight, cheap parts and massive adaptation to any car the Chevy rules.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 09:40 AM
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Jim, you answered yourself in your last two paragraphs. You know exactly what's going on. It's why I haven't read HOT ROD in over 25 years. The only mags I read now are Hemmings Classic Cars and Hemmings Muscle Machines, which are written by car guys who actually own and restore and drive old cars. I got fed up with guys born in 1990 mis-writing the history of our cars a long time ago. Personally, the Big Block/Small Block thing to me is about size. The Ford FE in my '64 Galaxie was only a 352, but it was a big block. The 351 Cleveland or Windsor or Midland was not...sort of a 'medium' block. The 289 was a small block. The AMC 290-360-343-390-401 is like the Ponitac....only one size available, so what is it? Certainly not a small block. The Chief on "Street Outlaws" calls his Pontiac engined judge clone a small block. Is this because he's a young guy and doesn't know any better? I don't know. I've always considered Pontiac a big block, due to its weight and bulk, and especially, its torque. In reality, it is actually in that limbo middle ground with the AMC, Buick nailhead, Studebaker, and other now-orphaned makes. It's up for interpretation.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 09:44 AM
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Oh, and I'll add this: I have a small block Chevy 383 in my '61 Corvette, and while it makes all kinds of power, it can not even begin to hold a candle to the power and torque the 389 in my '65 GTO has....and both cars have identical rear gear ratios and 4 speeds. The Pontiac sounds much deeper, and has a LOT more low end grunt. The Chevy is a blast to drive, but doesn't have that horrifying top end pull that the Pontiacs seem to be a master of...you know, that 3rd gear/chirping into 4th, banging your head back and pulling like a train into the horizon............
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 10:08 PM
 
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That article appears to be written solely from the bow tie perspective of the hobby. Was there any mention of the 348-409 W engines?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Shake-N-Bake View Post
That article appears to be written solely from the bow tie perspective of the hobby. Was there any mention of the 348-409 W engines?
Yes. "These dimensions put the W-engine (348CI) in big-block territory with the Mark II Mystery Motor and the production Mark IV sharing its 4.84-inch bore centers and having a 9.80-inch block deck height."

Now to give a slight bit of credit, the mag has a terrific article on the 1963 Daytona Corvettes with their Mark II mystery motors(427CI) AND they actually have a single page, page 16, photo of the 1963 Nascar Challenge Cup 500HP 421SD Lemans of Paul Goldsmith who won the race.

They had to include this because it beat Mickey Thompson's Z06 Corvette running the first ever Mark II mystery motor. So what does that tell you about Pontiac power less any of the mystery!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 05:38 PM
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I never bought Hot Rod Magazine but I did buy Hot Rod Cartoons.
I wonder what became of T. Fob Swatter?

hot rod cartoons | eBay
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 11:52 AM
 
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It's all about selling magazines....paper and paperless. And let's face it, the Chevy guys outnumber us, not by thousands, but tens of thousands. Chevy's in Chevy's, Chevy's in Fords, Chevy's in Mopars, Chevy's in Studebaker's, Hupmobile's, ad infinitum. Just wish our parts were as inexpensive and readily available. Ah, well.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-11-2015, 07:59 PM
 
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I bought my first ever RH magazine just to get the photo of the 421SD LeMans. I've known Paul Goldsmith for years and I'm going to have him autograph the photo.

I only wish I could find a shop with consistently good reviews that would have a 400 or 455 for sale.
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