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Young Rodders Race to Build Chevy 350 V-8s

A brand new feature of the Fall Chevy Vettefest in Rosemont, Ill., was aimed at getting young car enthusiasts more interested in classic Corvettes. The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge is a heads-up competition that pits teams of young engine builders against each other. On Saturday Nov. 22, high school teams competed and on Sunday Nov. 23, teams from Junior Colleges and Technical Centers went head to head.

Each team worked with a Chevy 350-cid V-8 with a four-barrel carburetor, chrome accessories and various high-performance components. The engines were all identical and were set up to resemble the motors found in today’s muscle cars, hot rods and Resto-Mod Corvettes.

Using only hand tools, the 5-student teams competed against each other and against the clock to disassemble and then reassemble their engines. They were observed by judges and Chevy Vettefest spectators.

Chevy Vettefest hosted the qualifying “shoot out” rounds of the competition in November. The winning teams from that event will now move on to the finals, which will be held at the Second Annual Race & Performance Expo on Feb. 14-15, 2009 at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois (the same location where Bloomington Gold is held). If you would like to see the finals, information about the February Race & Performance Expo is available at Or you can call 815-727-1208.

The Website also displays a variety of start-to-finish photos of the teams tearing the actual engines down and bolting them back together. It is a great guide to the steps required for building the type of Chevy 350 V-8 found under the hoods of many classic Chevys.

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