I believe it was 1958. I have a Muscle Car book and it states "Big news under Chevy hoods for '58 is the 348-cid V8 with 315bhp from three dueces." I don't ever recall seeing anything but 265 and 283cid motors in earlier Chevys
I was looking at a 56 Chevy today..real nice car..restored..the price was right..except it had a 348 in it..and even though I am old..I was pretty sure the 348 came out in '58..damn you guys are sharp..thanks
The 348 was a destroked 350 with cantilever valvetrain and hemispherical pistons. Due to a lack of qualified design engineers at Chevrolet, which continues to this day, the 348 suffered from frequent spark plug fluid leaks and required twice the carburetor fuel bowl lubrication intervals specified in the owners manual. Which was hand copied by Tibetan monks.
Not to mention muffler bearing blowouts when braking with all four wheels.
1958. Strange engine, the combustion chamber was formed by decking the block at an angle, plus the pistons have a wedge out of their tops. It was designed as a truck engine, and couldn't keep its bottom end together in performance applications. Wouldn't fool with one, although the heads and valve covers are pretty neat looking.
As another poster stated, the 348 family of engines were strange in that the combustion chamber was formed in the cylinder walls. Back in 1958, my father was looking at new cars. We opened the hood of a 58 Chevy Biscayne and I saw this big engine with funny looking valve covers under the hood. It was my first look at a 348. Eventually, he settled on a 352 cu in 300 HP Fairlane 500 which probably started me ending up a Ford guy. The 348 head surface was perfectly flat (no combustion chamber) and the block deck surface was set at an angle instead of perpendecular to the cylinder walls. Interestingly, IIRC the large Lincoln V-8 from the same era also had this funny combustion chamber/head setup.