The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is widely known as one of the world’s premier concours events, as each year it draws more than 300 of the world’s most valuable automobiles. While the 2020 iteration of the show was met with an ever-growing global pandemic, the event’s organizers already have their sights set on 2021. Details surrounding the event’s special classes have just been released, including one celebrating the Chevy small-block V8.
According to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance organizers, the special class celebrating its success will be called “Chevy Thunder”, and it will encompass all things powered by the Chevy small-block V8. Described as the “heartbeat of America”, the Chevy small-block V8 has provided power for a number of different racing classes: its participated in Indy, Sebring, Daytona, Le Mans, Pro Stock, Sprint Cars, Can-Am, Trans-Am, IROC, F5000 and Baja just to name a few.
The first V8 engine produced by Chevrolet was released all the way back in 1917, but the legendary small-block layout wouldn’t make its debut until 1955. The 4.3L engine was designed by none other than Ed Cole, with the express content of giving the Corvette a replacement for its anemic Blue Flame six-cylinder. The resulting engine design would go on to serve in an updated form until it was replaced by the modernized LS-series engines after 2003. By 2011, GM says they had built some 100,000,000 Chevy small-block V8s.
While the concours may be associated with V12-powered exotica from the old world, it will be nice to see the Chevy small-block V8 get its time to shine. The American sports car market wouldn’t be the same if that old 265 cubic inch lump was never built. The 2021 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is slated to take place from March 4-7, at The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach and The Ritz-Carlton.