Tonawanda’s mark will live forever on the engine of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette.
Each midengine Corvette has a chrome placard on the valve cover reading, “Built by Chevrolet Tonawanda the number 1 team.”
The original small block V-8 engine was built at Tonawanda Engine Plant in Buffalo, N.Y., more than 60 years ago.
General Motors President Mark Reuss had bought Tonawanda pride stickers for his personal engine restoration projects. Minutes before the Corvette engineering team began a July media event at the plant, announcing that Tonawanda would build the eighth-generation Corvette’s engine, Reuss asked them to create a similar badge for each engine.
“Mark was so insistent that we show off the American ingenuity and the pride that we have in this engine,” said Mike Kociba, assistant chief engineer for small block engines. “He wants to call back to the heritage of Tonawanda from the ’60s.”
An hour later, the team had a mock-up badge design to show Reuss at the event.
“We’re very proud of our heritage,” said Kociba. “A lot of American pride goes into small blocks in general and of course with the Corvette, the LT2 engine, we’re going to continue that heritage.”
Tonawanda has about 1,500 workers who build engines for the Chevy Corvette, Camaro, Malibu, Colorado, Equinox, Traverse, Impala, Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe, among other vehicles.
Editor’s note: Mike Kociba’s name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.