The existence of the Chevy II four cylinder engine was questionable from the get-go. I can’t find production stats for 1962, but in 1963, a grand total of 3,770 cheap-skates ponied up for the four, a little over 1% of the total. And how many of those went government and utility fleets? It makes me wonder if some of our commenters’ childhood memories of Chevy II fours might have lost a couple of cylinders along the way? But fear not: if you have a Chevy II four, and its engine is feeling a bit feeble and worn out, GM still makes replacements. And it’s a lot more powerful than the original, like twice as much so.
The Vortec 3.0 now belts out 140 net hp at a vibratory 4800rpm; the original 153 made 90 gross hp, about 70-75 net hp. It’s been bored and stroked to 181 cubic inches, and is offered as a marine or industrial engine. Mercury has been offering a Mercruiser 3.0 for decades, using the raw engines from GM. And here it is, in GM’s 2013 catalog, the modern descendant of the Chevy II four.
Please note: this is not related to the Pontiac “Iron Duke” or subsequent “Tech 4” engines. It does gets a bit confusing, given how similar they are. This is a genuine Hecho en Mexico Chevy, even if it can’t be called that anymore.