17. Chevrolet Small Block V8
It’s hard to comprehend, but Chevrolet’s small-block V8 was in production for precisely 50 years from 1953 to 2003, with a basically unchanged design and features. During five decades, GM made over 100 million of those engines, installing them in countless cars, trucks, boats, pickups, and machines. Even today, the GM powertrain division makes numerous V8 engines with the same basic principles, design, and displacement.
There would be no Corvette, no muscle cars, no powerboats, and no hot rod culture if it weren’t for that simple but fantastically effective V8 engine. With two valves per cylinder and a single camshaft in the engine block, the Chevrolet small-block V8 managed to beat several more complicated units. Once the EVs take over, most drivers will miss the rumble of a carbureted 5.7-liter V8.