4.3 liters (265 cu. in.)
When the Chevrolet Corvette debuted in 1953 it had one fatal flaw: a weak 150-hp “Blue Flame” inline-six engine that hampered performance sales. By 1955, GM engineers Ed Cole and others had come up with a solution in the form of Chevrolet’s new V-8 engine. It was lighter than the old inline-six and used a simpler, cheaper casting process than other V-8 engines in the GM stable. Best of all, the combination of V-8 power and a three-speed stick helped make the Corvette feel like a legitimate sports car, kick-starting sales. The engine’s 90-degree V-angle, 4.4-inch bore spacing, and pushrod valvetrain layout came to define the Chevrolet V-8 engine to this day. Despite all of the benefits to the V-8, reports show that at least seven customers still purchased a six-cylinder 1955 Corvette.