Wednesday Rewind: A Look Back At Chevrolet’s Iconic Fuel Injection

Chevrolet’s “Fuelie” Corvettes have been loved by enthusiasts for decades. The high-pressured fuel system has cemented itself in racing venues, auto values and even songs. Allowing Chevrolet to post horsepower numbers beyond the one-hp-per-cubic-inch, the Rochester fuel injection found its way into many offerings from General Motors.

While we instantly point out the performance benefits of fuel injection, it bears noting that it actually began over a decade earlier as a solution to aviation’s need for solid fuel supply at altitude during WWII. Just like many of the individuals who continued contributing after the war, fuel injection found new avenues to tout its benefits and ultimately, all cars would eventually find themselves using some form of fuel injection.

The Rochester fuel injection units were calibrated to supply fuel according to air flow. The early systems had an enrichment system that operated via engine vacuum which later was converted to an electric solenoid due to a low engine vacuum signal during cranking.

In this story, Kevin Shaw takes a look at those early systems and explains how they worked and some reasons why they weren’t necessarily loved by technicians. While wrenches back then may not have been enamored with the then-new systems, it goes without saying that many enthusiasts today have found a real liking to having one of these systems under the hoods of their Corvettes.

Check out Kevin’s story and see how those early fuel systems came to be. It will surely help you lay the foundational stones that have built into the fuel-sipping, powerful and sometimes, complex electronic fuel injection system that we enjoy today.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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