Vette Magazine's "Big-Block from Hell" articles made up the longest running project car series ever published by a Corvette magazine. The final installment in Vette, Part 16, published in February of 1998. While the magazine no longer prints "BBfH' articles, the car is still an active project at this writing, in July of 2019 and has appeared in other magazines and here on the CAC.
When I began writing the BBfH series (Part 1 published in the July 1990 issue of Vette), I only intended it to be a couple of articles on engine modifications. It was not until later that the series evolved into a project vehicle called the "Big-Block from Hell". Even then, no one at Vette ever figured they'd still be publishing the series in 1998.
During the first few installments, we were a unsure of what to call the engine series. That indecisiveness explains why the series was titled "Project 454 From Hell" in the magazine's Table of Contents but the text of the article called it "Big-Block from Hell." Through a comedy of errors, this disparity continued until Part 5 was published in May of 1991, when Vette's Editor at the time, D. Randy Riggs, finally decided to make it a project car.
For more than a decade after the series ended in Vette, these BBfH articles resided on the Idaho Corvette Web Page. With the demise of the Idaho page in late 2010, its webmaster Frank Smith and myself, worked a deal with CAC owner, Rob Loszewski, to transfer the Big Block from Hell content to the CAC.
In some cases, these old BBfH installments have been posted on the Corvette Action Center as they were published, however, since some of them go back 20 years, I have made some small updates in cases where what was written originally did not stand the test of time. Also, contact information for some of the manufacturers whose parts were used in building the car is updated to correct addresses and phone numbers, but other contact information is inaccurate as business have disappeared or moved. Lastly, there were several cases in the mid-’90s where Vette published articles about work done on the project car but not identify the car as the BBfH nor name them as installments of the series. The most recent BBfH installments, Parts 16 and 17 were numbered as if those couple of articles were originally part of the series. In those cases, I’ve also re-titled the stories posted on the web as part of the series.
All 17 BBfH stories are now posted here on the CAC. I would like to thank Frank Smith, webmaster of the Idaho Corvette Page, and CAC's owner, Rob Loszewski, for their contributions to the longevity of these classic articles.
As for the future? The Big Block from Hell had a set back in the early 2010s, then I unknowingly put 10 gallons of moisture-contaminated fuel in the car. A few months later the engine would not start. The water-laden fuel rusted the gas tank, plugged up all the fuel lines with corrosion and destroyed the engine's Holley four-barrel. Repairs are ongoing.
BBfH 18, covering updates to the engine, is in the planning stages for posting here sometime after mid-2020. Number 19, a suspension upgrade and Number 20, repainting are under consideration if I remain the owner.
--Hib Halverson, BBfH series writer