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All time greatest engine?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by exwestracer, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. It's Monday, just got off work and kinda feel like startin an argument...:D

    Had one of those typical new-student questions today..."What is the best engine to use in a hot rod?". Gave him the usual "It depends..." answer, but it got me thinking.

    So, what is THE all-time classic rodder's engine? Obviously, the flattie would be at or near the top of any list...but I'm willing to bet that with all the diverse styles and age groups on the HAMB, there might be a few other opinions. SBC? Ardun, maybe? As with everything about rodding, it's largely a matter of taste.

    Too much trouble to break it down to different models of car, so how about pre and post 1936?

    Personally, I've always been a big fan of the "10lbs of stuff in a 5lb bag" look, so for me it has to be the early Hemis.
  2. tomslik
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 2,162


    gotta be a toss up between a sbc and a flathead..
  3. Crankhole
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,618


    Personally, I like the flatheads. But, for the most bang for your buck, it's gotta be a sbc.
  4. Flathead, what else is there? Everybody and they're grandmother's dog's asshole has a SBC.

  5. thebrassnuckles
    Joined: Feb 20, 2008
    Posts: 238


    oldsmobile rocket
  6. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,248

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member


    If you take away all bias and look at the history of the internal combustion engine, you have to say the SBC. I mean, hell... it's STILL around and competitive over 50 years after it's first production date.

    Frankly, I don't think there is much of an argument here at all.
  7. PurplePearl50
    Joined: Aug 1, 2007
    Posts: 816

    from Sedalia,Mo

    if you lined up all the Small Block Chevrolets ever prodcued end to end they would rap around the world like 4 times!!! what other company can say that?

    more than 90000000 SBC have be produced
  8. The Lone Wolf
    Joined: May 19, 2007
    Posts: 145

    The Lone Wolf
    from Malta

    Ditto on the 10 lbs. . . .
    Hemi. Always and forever
  9. BangerMatt
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 465


    Rolls-Royce Merlin V12

    Supercharged of course.
  10. If I were a rich man, i'd have one of each:
    W Motor
    Early Cad
    Olds Rocket

    Already have a few SBCs.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  11. Pir8Darryl
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,488


    An EA code [275 hp] 1967 SBC 327 with the [first year] Q-jet with the good brass floats, ordered with the optional HD 3 speed manual tranny.... Probably the MOST bullit-proof combo put out by ANY factory ever!
  12. Littleman
    Joined: Aug 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,619

    Alliance Member
    from OHIO, USA

    Thats easy....SBC..... changed everything.........they all are can HotRod any engine.....but as far utilization, being light, easy power to be made, parts available, its small size.......SBC is king.............I have a sbc's, 409 Chevy, 292 Y block Ford, 392 Hemi's, 394 Olds.........I dig them all..........Littleman....the Sbc put many smiles on HotRodders faces when they became available...........back cannot be denied..They all have their place from Flatheads to todays stuff..
  13. Catfiesh
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 54


    Buick Nailhead.. I just like this motor.. and it looks cool
  14. AA/Fuel34fordpu
    Joined: Mar 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,266


    Sound like the sbc have it!
  15. They look pretty nice with finned valve covers, six twos, and a Spalding Flamethrower.
  16. I think the Reason that Most everybody like the sbc is because you break down on the Road!
    you can Find sbc Parts anywhere
    Break down with a Flatty, Olds or Buick and you have a Hard time finding Parts
    just my 2.5 cents
  17. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,743

    Tech Editor

    All time greatest engine has to be the Miller/Offy.

    For the length of time it was Raced, and for how dominant it was.


    And the Ford Cosworth DFV.

    For the same reasons...

  18. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,248

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Doah... good point... So,

    Street car: SBC
    Race Car: Miller/Offy
  19. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,795

    from Indy

  20. Damn that's exactly what I was going to say. You could add Drake to the Offy too. But of course these aren't really the Greatest Hot Rod engine - just the greatest engines ever.

    Greatest Hot Rod engine really has to be the flathead - if it weren't for the flatty, hot rodding would be a whole different game and Zora never would have made the pitch to GM Brass to make the SBC what it became.
  21. TGrant
    Joined: May 2, 2008
    Posts: 43

    from Ohio

    As far as design goes the Small block chevy is one of the worst in my opinion, only thing it has going for it is availability.

    But then again flatheads are the worst design, but they happen to be my traditional engine of choice.
  22. Just because a SBC is cheap and easy doesn't mean they're great.
  23. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,950


    For Pre '36 I would say Ford four hands down. Since then the SBC pretty much has taken over. In 1950 the Flathead was king. Good thing about Hot Rods. Do it your way
  24. early 283s and 327s are aight but comeon, think a little outside the box....caddilac and olds are unmatchable for their low end torque... on the other note hemispherical design heads were and still are the industry standard for drag racing..why else would hemis be around so long for the primo fuel engine?...ill go with the Hemi.
  25. TGrant
    Joined: May 2, 2008
    Posts: 43

    from Ohio

    Just because the "Hemi" is still used in fuel racing doesnt mean that its Chryslers "Hemi". Yes it does have a hemispherical combustion chamber, but that is where the similarities end. As far as pushrods go, you cant get much better than Pro Stock Drag Race motors, but pushrods dont reside in the "All time greatest engine".
  26. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,639


    69 302 sbc with 4 wheres the pop corn,thisin is gonna be good:D
  27. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,248

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    I think some of you fellas are arguing what's the "coolest" engine ever... There is a difference you know...

    Nailhead? Awesome, one of my favorites... but those tiny valves didn't get it past the 60's.

    Cadd overheads? Again, awesome... but... come on.

    Olds? How can you not love them? But again, outed by the SBC.

    Hemi? The ultimate horsepower motor for sure... But they don't win many road races - huh? :)

    Flathead? Maybe my favorite and prolly the only engine that can stand by an SBC in history. It started it all.

    The SBC might not be cool, but it has kicked a lot of ass in the past 53 years... More than any other production blocked motor EVER.
  28. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,865

    from DFW USA

    Conceptually, the Chrysler Hemi.

    In practice, the small block Chevrolet.

    Show me all the Top Fuel titles won by SBCs. :D
  29. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,018

    Rich Rogers

    sure it does. What else can you buy cheap, build cheap, get half way decent mpg out of and still kick alot of ass on the street or on the track. That answer is just wrong, You must have been beaten bad by the sbc's to have that opinion:D
  30. jerry7702
    Joined: Aug 29, 2006
    Posts: 57

    from fla

    like it or not look at any major gathering and count them sbc' s

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