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 |  Nov 30 2011, 8:00 AM

GM hit a huge milestone today, building its 100-millionth (that’s 100,000,000) small-block engine, 56 years after its first one rolled off its production line. And in something that almost seems planned, the 100-millionth small-block came in the same month GM celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Used in GM vehicles around the world, the small-block engine can be found in Chevrolets, GMCs, Cadillacs, Vauxhalls and Holdens. The 100-millionth small block was none other than the 638-hp supercharged LS9 powerplant, found in the Corvette ZR1, and was hand-built at GM’s Performance Build Center. Unfortunately no lucky owner will be blessed with the milestone engine, GM will be preserving it as part of its historical collection.

The small-block engine delivers guilt-free performance,” said Winegarden. “It is the quintessential V-8 engine and a living legend that is more relevant than ever.”

More importantly, GM is already looking into the future with their announcement that the fifth-generation small-block is under development and will feature a new direct-injection combustion system helping enhance efficiency over the current-generation powerplant.

GM’s rich history of the small-block started in 1955 with a 4.3L 195-hp powerplant, and its future is surely looking bright after 56 years of brilliant success.