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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

GM Blogs It's Small Block V-8

Thanks to blogging maestro Hugh Hewitt, you probably know GM's Bob Lutz is doing a blog now, but did you also know GM's last best hope "car guy" is not alone among GMers pounding away in the Information Reformation?

Look closely in the right hand column on Fastlane and you will notice a link to the GM Smallblock Engine Blog. For the non-auto types reading this, the small block is the long-time moniker for GM's amazing overhead valve V-8 that debuted in 1955 as a 265 cubic inch wonder of performance. In the years since, GM has produced successive versions with 283, 302, 305, 307, 327, 350, 400 and, now with the C6 Corvette, 427 cubic inches of displacement. Power has ranged from 162 horses in that first version to 500 horsepower in the new C6.

The small block V-8 has powered just about every kind of vehicle a GM division has produced since 1955 and the small block has powered more professional motorsports winners than any other design, ever. Much as I delight in the tearing sheet note of a Ferrari V-12 at full song or the incredible whine of a turbocharged CART Indycar V-8, there is nothing else in racing that sounds as good as a high-winding small block being blipped as the driver heels and toes a downshift.

Ok, Tapscott, that's enough of the racing reverie, get back to business! My initial review of the Smallblock blog is cautiously hopeful - it's commendable that GM would recognize the utility and applicability of the blog format to the legions of small block fans and users.

The fact that one of the world's most conservative and cautious corporations has taken the dive into blogging is an important milestone in the development of new media in the 21st century. But having covered the auto industry as a journalist, I have to admit retaining a lot of skepticism about how long it will be before the corporate urge to "control the message" takes over and ruins the GM blogs. Hopefully, I will be proven wrong.