If you read most enthusiast magazines, and especially the Chevy-only ones, you’d think that there isn’t a single person building a pre-1997 small-block Chevy any more. With the advent of the LS series of engines, you might believe the hype that everyone has abandoned their old-style engine in favor of retrofitting the newer generation of powerplant. Camshaft makers have chucked those cores on the back lot alongwith flathead Ford and Buick nailhead components. Block makers have smashed those casts and Gen I small block heads are little more than bulky door stops.
We’re here to say that the demise of the original small-block Chevy engine is greatly exaggerated. In fact, Comp Cams sells more Gen I camshafts than LS nearly two-to-one. Go ahead and pop the hood on your favorite hot rod. Odds are, there’s a traditional small-block staring you in the face. If that’s the case, even if you need to replace the engine, you’ll be money ahead to put another Gen I in your car because the cost of new headers, accessory drive, adapter bellhousing and other miscellaneous stuff you’ll need to pull of an LS-engine swap.