List of Cars With a 502 Engine

by Erin Renfro
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The Chevrolet-produced 502 is a big block V8 with 502 horsepower and 565 ft-lbs of torque. Originally designed for racing Corvettes in the early 1960s, the engine was eventually produced for consumers in 1996. The 502 engine is sometimes called the Ram Jet 502, referring to the Ram Jet fuel injection. The 502 engine is a very popular crate engine today for hot rodding and drag racing.


The Chevrolet 502 engine was created to compete against the Ford and Chrysler racing teams in 1963 at the Daytona 500 in Daytona, Florida. The engine was produced until 1974, although Chevrolet left the racing scene in 1963. The early 502 was known as the Mark IV, which included a variety of horsepower configurations. Today racing with a Chevrolet 502 engine is done at drag strips and smaller racing venues.

Fleet Vehicles

Fleet vehicles saw more action from the 502 than racing cars. From 1965 until 1974, the 502 engine was used frequently in fleet vehicles including police cars. High torque benefited the hauling needs of fleet vans and trucks, while the extra horsepower benefited the police cruisers.The 502 engine was not available to customers in the 60s and 70s as it is today, and fleet production ended in 1995.

Crate Engine

Today the Chevrolet 502 is best known for being a crate engine. The big block 502 is one of the biggest engines available for purchase. The only prerequisite for purchasing the 502 is a car with a big enough hood to put it under. Common vehicles used with the 502 crate engine are the Corvette, the Camaro, the Nova and the Chevelle. Companies will finish the engine making it a "turn key" crate engine. Custom turn key engines retail around $10,000-$11,000 as of Sept., 2010.

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