Some of these people are lost....I've expressed some of why that is so, and some of why their logic is totally flawed in comparing "markets" and engines, and thereby bashing the 350 and other American v8s. I could make a full-time career out of providing supporting evidence to the contrary, but to be honest it's 430 in the morning and I don't have the energy to begin it again tonight. I will say though, that as a fellow automotive enthusiast for the past 27 years (since I was 11, been thinking, reading, talking about nothing but cars, and later working on them, and owned or been closely involved with a car from almost every major manufacturer, in some cases multiple cars), I used to be of that same school of thought (any v8 engine from America was bland, and by nature, probably any engine that was in vehicles that I didn't consider "cutting edge" was crap by virtue, but what changed my mind, against my own will, was the simple reality of it: I have personally seen so many over 300k engines of this engine family, that have been abused, used for towing, not maintained well, and run on dino oil with extended OCIs. Plenty over 400k and 500k, and a few million mile motors. Then there's the extensive and economical selection of aftermarket or stock replacement parts available for these engines (as with many popular American v8s, but especially so in the case of the 350, as it was the most widely used and popular engine of all time, period, in terms of years of production run, and number of new vehicles it was installed in), the ease of maintenance on it, the lack of any major problems with it, and again, its durability. The 350 Chevrolet engine will run on 6psi of idle oil pressure, and not be hurt. Sure, it's a derivative of, and very similar to, an "old design", but so is the wheel, and I don't see a lot of folks complaining about either. When something is good, and it works, simple or not, "large and fuel hungry" or not, it works. And some people have a deep intellectual need to over analyze things, and only pay respect to those things made which appeal to their over-analytical minds, things which are by nature complicated and high-tech, and therefore must be good, must be an improvement in every way. In many cases, if not most, technology, especially when used properly is a good thing. And even the 350 benefited from the addition of various technologies to it over the years, updating it to requirements of the time in which it was being used. But, as with many things in life, and I use the 350 as an example, a timeless design can be made if it's done well at the onset, and that was achieved in this case. In addition, it is pertinent and worth noting that, sometimes the genius is in the simplicity.
And don't forget the cultural and resource differences that allow us to produce these larger engines that use more fuel, and require more iron to manufacture. In other countries, this is not so.
I could go on all night about the many reasons why their logic in those arguments are flawed, but again, I am freaking tired. Between the few conversations we've had about it, I've probably expressed 60 percent of it, although not as succinctly as I would have liked. In any case, I fought giving these or any American engines any personal praise for many years, I was brainwashed into thinking that only engines produced from other cultures and other technologies as it were, could possibly be any good. And to be fair, there are certainly many engines that fit those descriptions that deserve accolades, anyone would be a fool to deny that. But equally, if one goes into the research on these engines with an open mind, and opens their eyes to the facts, and examples that are certainly everywhere, one can't help but come to the conclusion that it is a worthy engine, that served the purposes for which it was designed and the duties asked of it, very well, and better than some folks like this give it credit for. There are very large groups of people who already know the great qualities of these engines, many of which feel that way because they have owned them and have experienced them first hand. Myself included. Again, it is very worth noting that my Pro-American sentiments are not what drove me to conclude that the Chevrolet 350 engine was and is a great motor - if anything, the reverse may be more true.
If one's taste leads them to like only engines that are, if only in a minor way, exotic because they are imported, then there is almost no way to change their mind, and whatever facts you present to them will only be twisted to mean something else, and irrelevant discussions will take place disguised as knowledge or intellectualism. There are people who will never love anything that is considered almost simpleton, very popular, "old fashioned", American (in some cases), or "not cutting edge". And they will always seek out other new things to love, and that's ok. But for those of us who are willing to like an engine or appreciate its qualities for what they are rather than a "status", or "to fill a need for importance", we can see the truth about any given product without those blinders on.
These people have the right to their opinion, and should be thankful they live in a country where we have choices of what we buy. I choose to use mine for the productive good of my country whenever possible, and it just so happens in this case that I'm proud to have accidentally, after resisting it based on social status for so long, grown to like an engine made here in the U.S. My political and social views, however, do not make the 350 a good engine. What does make it a good engine is that it has been so durable, has great low end torque, more available parts at more places than any other engine out there, economical operation, general smoothness, ease of maintenance, extensive knowledge by others in the automotive community with regards to its maintenance and troubleshooting (look no further than your street, it's highly probable that one of your neighbors has owned one or does, and would lend a hand or advice, or even leftover parts...or put an ad on Craigslist: "looking for xxxx part for a 350" and see how many responses you get locally)...the list of reasons to love the engine goes on and on, I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to someone who will never get it (at club wrx)