Video History of the Tonawanda Factory

In this blog post, we have a video about the early History of the Tonawanda Factory.

Tonawanda Facade
Tonawanda Facade

History of the Tonawanda Factory

The Tonawanda plant was built in 1937, and in 1938, the Tonawanda plant began building engines for Chevrolet.  It was designed by Albert Kahn – “The Architect of Detroit”.

The Tonawanda Factory was designed by Albert Kahn – “The Architect of Detroit”.

Subscribe to Vette Vues Magazine and get a free 25-word ad each month to sell your Corvette.

During the 40s, it temporarily switched to aircraft engines when it assembled 14- and 18-cylinder Pratt & Whitney engines for planes such as the P-47 Thunderbolt and B-24 Liberator.

In 1953, they built the first Corvette’s engine, the 235 cid “Blue Flame” straight-six.

By 1955 they began production of the small-block V8, the 265 CID V8 “mouse” that would be used for the Corvette.

They started manufacturing the Big Block, the 348 cid “W Block” or Mark I in 1958. But in 2009, the last Big Block at Tonawanda was produced.

For more engine history check out our blog post on “THE SOUL OF THE MACHINE: 50 YEARS OF GREAT CORVETTE POWERTRAINS”.


About Tonawanda Engine: The Tonawanda Factory sits across from the beautiful Niagara River in Buffalo, NY. It employs a diverse workforce to produce award winning engines for General Motors’ most desired products. Its employees are firmly committed to helping the community in which they live and work, and have donated thousands of dollars and volunteered many hours to make Western NY a better place for all.


The plant consists of three facilities totaling 3.1 million square feet (290,000 m2) and sits upon 190 acres.

GM Powertrain Tonawanda Engine Plant #1
2995 River Road, Buffalo, New York 14207

GM Powertrain Tonawanda Engine Plant #5
240 Vulcan Road, Buffalo, NY  14207

GM Powertrain Tonawanda Engine Plant #4
2390 Kenmore Ave., Buffalo, NY 14207


  • Ecotec 2.0L Turbo/2.5L – Chevrolet Camaro, Malibu, Colorado & Impala; Buick Regal, GMC Canyon & Acadia; and Cadillac ATS, CTS & CT6
  • 6.2L LT1 V8 – Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and 2016 Cadillac CTS-V
  • 4.3L V6, 5.3L V8; 6.2L V8 Ecotec3 Family of engines – Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban & Tahoe, GMC Yukon/Yukon Denali. Cadillac Escalade

Building Corvette 650hp LT4 V8 Engine | Vette Vues Magazine

Build Your Own 650-hp Supercar Engine: Chevrolet Resumes Exclusive Corvette Engine Build Experience for Z06 Customers.

From the 50s to the 90s: the Design History of Corvette Engineering

Chevelle Slammer is based on the LT1 engine found in the Corvette Stingray

Corvette Engine Repeats Win as WardsAuto 10 Best

Discover the Latest Corvette Articles and Features in Vette Vues Magazine Issue Preview!

Blog Sitemap: Explore the World of Corvettes!

Subscribe to Vette Vues Magazine - The Corvette Enthusiast's Magazine - Subscribe Now!
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top