yeah, well, they have an A/C compressor wedged in there too. And a power steering pump. So don't worry too much
8 E 17 is 1978, May 17 build date. I see the E 17 on the top of that carb, but it's stamped in the wrong spot. It should be on that boss just to the left of the E 17.
That, however, is not a '78 carb. If it was it would have the bowl vent coming off the top. In addition, a federal '78 carb would also have the Hot Idle Compensation (HIC) box, and a California would have two vacuum ports on the top front rather than one. It looks to me to be a '75 or '76 carb, not sure if Federal or California. How many vacuum ports does it have on the side, where the idle adjustment screw is?