The Big Block. Rat Motor. Call it what you will, we can now officially add a final epitaph to the long-running engine's gravestone: R.I.P. The final L18 big block rolled down the assembly line at General Motors' Tonawanda plant in New York last week, and that engine was signed by all the workers at the plant and is on its way to the GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Monster motors were the order of the day in the late 1960s, and GM's 427 was a part of that class. The drawback to a big-block's burly output was, and still is, the increased weight of the engine. While big blocks are a hoot for straight line shenanigans, a small block car is often a better all-around performer. That goes out the window for most of us upon tapping that vast well of torque, and there was a solution direct from GM. The ZL1 was a 427 rendered in aluminum to save weight and carried