That's the big number today: GM says it has built its 100 millionth small-block engine. What's even more amazing is that while the design is 56 years old - it debuted in the 1955 Chevrolet - it's only been redesigned four times. Yup, the small-block used today is just into its fourth generation.
The original 265-cid engine made 195 horsepower, if you ordered its optional four-barrel carb. The current one used in the Corvette ZR1 makes 638 horsepower.
Those 100 million engines also include crate engines, a few marine and industrial engines that are still based on the original design, and the 4.3-litre V6, which GM says is based on the small-block V8 with a couple of cylinders lopped off.
I drove a long string of Chevy 350 V8 engines throughout the 1970s to the 1990s, in taxicabs and personal cars, and I still have two of them under the hoods of my hot rods. Aside from a few engineering blurps - can you say "305 soft camshaft"? - the small-block was powerful, sweet to drive, and pretty much bulletproof. GM sure did that one right.