Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dead American Engines from Vintage Wheels

                Modern engines are amazing.  Engines that get 500 plus horsepower are more common now than they have ever been.  Forced induction, which was once reserved for the most outlandish vehicles, is now found in mundane family haulers.  Reliability has also improved to a point that 100,000 miles is almost part of the breaking in stage of an engines life.  Still, there is something missing from the American car market.  Large lumpy V8’s used to be a common place staple in the automotive industry.  Now, they are an extinct creature to never be seen or heard from again.  It is true the Camaro Z28 still has a 7 liter engine. Ford and Dodge have now built engines with over 600 and 700 horsepower respectively!  However, these are not the low revving, heavy, loud, and wonderful engines of days gone past.  Here are a few cars that had incredible examples and iron turned into horsepower.

Chevelle:  The Chevrolet Chevelle is an example of days gone by. It was a large family car with even larger power options.  The Chevelle had the so called big-block on its option list.  A buyer will have to buy the encyclopedia and hire an expert to understand what all the factory and dealer codes mean.  I will not try to explain what all that mess but basically you have 3 sizes of big-blocks; 396, 402, and 454 cubic inches.  

Mustang:  The Ford Mustang started its life as a small coupe with small engines.  As the muscle car war heated up, America’s pony car got heavier and needed larger engines to carry the bulk.  Carrol Shelby showed Ford how it could be done when he put the Cobra Jet 428 in his GT 500 Cobra.  Ford took this lesson and built the boss of all muscle cars the Boss 429.  The Mustang Boss 429 was built strictly so Ford could have an engine to compete with the Chrysler Hemi engines in NASCAR. 


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