Greatest American Engines

Ford flathead V8

Ford FlatheadFord’s Model T revolutionized the way American’s drove, and the Ford flathead V8 changed just how fast we were able to get there. Although the Ford “flatty” was not the first V8 or even the first mass-produced V8 it was the first one that was readily affordable to the general population. At last, an average family was able to afford a car that could go 60 mph! Model Ts were only able to do about 40 mph.

The Ford flathead got its name since the valves are seated in the block and the head is a perfectly flat “lid” that would simply bolt onto the deck. Ford’s flathead configuration gave up a lot by the way of valve efficiency but easily made up for it in its simple design and cost. Introduced in 1932, Ford kept it in production in the U.S. until 1953 and was found in German trucks until 1973.

Duesenberg straight eight

duesenberg straight 8The Duesenberg J was probably the greatest American classic car ever manufactured. These regal, two-tone locomotives of lacquer and chrome were the pinnacle of the automotive world when new. Unfortunately, they were built at the beginning of the Great Depression and priced at $15,000, the cars were about 5 times what a doctor would make in a year.

The 6.9-liter engine was made in 3 versions from 1928 until 1937. The naturally aspirated model put out an impressive 265 hp. Duesenberg also made 36 supercharged cars that had a whopping 320 hp each and could reach speeds of over 125 mph. The SSJ was the ultimate version of the car and put out nearly 400 hp. Only two were ever made: one was for Gary Cooper, and the other for Clark Gable.  Continue reading “Greatest American Engines”