If you flip through traditional magazine pages, surf the Net, or even walk a local car show, it seems the majority of cars have LS engines nestled between the fenders of today’s builds. But we’re here to tell you that old-school small- and big-block Chevy engines are still out there, churning out big power and looking good while doing it.
That’s not to say we don’t love GM’s LS series of engines, they make crazy power super easy, but in terms of looks—to some enthusiasts—they come up a bit short. There’s also nothing better than the sound of a big-block (or small-block for that matter) Chevy with a big cam and a snotty attitude. But the best part of rolling a Gen I Chevy mill is that it’s simple to get them looking sweet under your hood. From the simple to the outrageous, there’s a ton of parts available. There are billet widgets of every shape, finish, and style for dressing up the engine bay, and there are intake systems as exotic and anything bolted to an LS engine.
We’ve also noticed that chrome appears to have overtaken polish in terms of most-popular parts finish. And lately, the whole concept of shiny parts is moving toward satins and other high-tech finishes. Of course, there’s still a metric ton of shine out there, and color-matching remains fairly popular. In fact, there are so many options that it can almost cause the gearhead equivalent of vaporlock when trying to figure out which way to go.
A black engine bay? Color matched? A custom air intake or maybe something a bit more traditional? With the combinations virtually limitless, the lesson here is to build the car how you want and stop worrying about what the latest trends are.
We’ve compiled a few engine bays to get your creative juices flowing and give you some ideas for your own Chevy.