Q&A With Jamie Meyer Of GM Performance Parts
CHP: So, does GMPP still actually sell any 454s?
Jamie Meyer: Well, it would obviously be our most affordable big-block. And we sell a lot of our serpentine accessory beltdrive setups for them.
CHP: Then what's the engine people are going for?
JM: We can't keep the 572s in stock. People want the biggest, baddest thing they can get. The Ram Jet 502 also does well because its sort of trick looking. It comes as a surprise when you pop the hood. Our partial engines are also popular, since a lot of people have their own cylinder heads.
CHP: Any partial engine in particular?
JM: The 502 short-block. It's a sleeper. There are generations of guys out there with 454s who are replacing their short-blocks with a 502. It looks like a 454, but then, Surprise!
CHP: What else is popular?
JM: Many people are buying their engines in kit form. They save money, all the parts go together, and they can personalize their engines.
CHP: OK, back to the 572s. There are two versions: the 620hp pump-gas version, and the 12:1-compression, 720hp version. What's the sales breakdown like?
JM: It's just about 50/50, which surprised us. The 572/720 was intended for bracket racers, but we're seeing some extreme street cars, and they'll use that version.
CHP: Is there any other GMPP big-block we should mention?
JM: The ZL-1. It is the most coveted block out there, in my mind. We do sell them, and they're very expensive.
CHP: It seems that it's worth GM's while to keep making big-blocks.
JM: The bottom line is that a big-block is a very American piece of history. They deliver on the promise of a musclecar...they make you feel alive.