<< why were the carbs not included with the engine assembly? Distributors were, as I was told that is why they have the chisel marks on the intake, and distributor neck for basic timing alignment. Those marks were there in case the dist was disturbed during transit. So why not ship with carb attached? No gasoline would be included at that stage. >>
Engines were shipped "bare-naked" from the engine plants - they didn't need carburetors, as they were hot-tested using natural gas. The engine plants would have needed to stock thousands of carburetors to cover the hundreds of different car and truck engine suffixes they built every day. Photo below was taken on the Flint V-8 shipping dock in 1955, and the as-shipped state of engine dress didn't change much for the next 20 years.