Muscle Cars

The Big Mama Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454.

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By Mark Weisseg

This huge hit and the monster 454 engine was one big Mama back in the day. If you thought the 396 was the rocket of the road , GM thought this would be even be better and they were right. The 396 gets all the glory for some reason but the 454 was called the Heavy Chevy and they did not mean weight. They meant “badness.”

It is a huge engine with big horsepower. Open the hood and you usually gasped. For good reason too, as you knew the rumble was real and the power to the rear wheels was real.

Today, I really look forward to seeing one of these in person. It tells me someone has decided to take there cool Chevy to the next level. Remember, the 454 was not the sales winner. Everyone that bought a Chevelle with power in mind, did not immediately buy the 454. Nope, it was a 327, 350, or the 396, as with many other hot rod cars of the day. Take a Cougar for example. Most bought the 351 engine for power not the 428. Why, because when you step up to the biggest engine you need a bigger transmission, rear end, brakes and so on. And that meant, cha ching and not everyone could or wanted to spend all the extra coin, including the insurance company jumping on you. And as funny as it sounds now there were those that were concerned about fuel economy.

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