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Hot Rods Best Over All Vintage Engine Combo

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Speed Gems, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,740

    Speed Gems
    Member

    We all know the that the small block Chevy is as dependable as the day is long and flatheads are known for over heating if over bored too much. So what would you say is the best vintage engine combo as far as dependability. Being able to keep up with traffic flying down the highway at 70 mph, cruzing, driving around at the car show without overheating. Is it a single four barrel carburetor, modern automatic transition(powerglide)?
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,870

    squirrel
    Member

    I think engine choice for a traditional car has far more to do with aesthetics, than with practicality. If you want a really nice working car, buy any late model, and be done with it. If you want a nice traditional car, pick whatever engine belongs in it, and do what it takes to make it meet your needs for cruising, cooling, reliability, etc.
     
  3. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,873

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    That's like asking what's the best color for a traditional car....everyone will have a different answer.
     
    VANDENPLAS and Speed Gems like this.
  4. Fitnessguy
    Joined: Sep 28, 2015
    Posts: 1,428

    Fitnessguy
    Member

    X2 what Squirrel said. If it’s a hot rod like mine with no hood, I’m a firm believer in a vintage mill. Take the time to build it right and it will serve you well. New motors like LS are obviously super reliable and can make gobs of power but they’re ugly as shit unless highly dressed. Even then they’re still ugly Do what turns your crank.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     

  5. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,324

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    Chevrolet 454 low compression seventies truck motor, Th400 and a 2:73 rear end....
     
  6. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 1,324

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    Another favorite is the 63-64 Pontiac 421 with the 4 speed Super Hydra matic.. With a 3:08 rear end these really haul ass!! Instead of tri power, use dual quad Carter AFB carbs..
     
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  7. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,617

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    I think that no matter the engine, dependability, durability, longevity mostly depends on the quality of the build. Maintaining good tolerances when machining, quality components, good assembly practices... and then good maintenance.

    Still, everything else being equal, it's hard to discount the small block Chevy. I've seen a driver in a demolition derby lose a driveshaft and then just sit there and run the engine at full speed until the exhaust manifolds were orange and caught the car on fire. But it was still running strong until the fireman stopped him and put the fire out. LOL
     
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  8. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,617

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    We all know though, that application always has to be considered when deciding what's "best".
     
    Speed Gems likes this.
  9. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,212

    goldmountain

    The small block Chev gives the best bang for the buck. Starting in 1955, so it fits the vintage part. Hop up parts are common place and affordable. It dresses up real nice. Fits an old Ford like it was made for it. Starter is not in the way of the steering (unless you are in one of those RHD countries). Reliable. Sure, a hemi or a nailhead would give more bragging rights here, but so what?
     
  10. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,174

    392
    Member

    Early Chrysler Hemi with 518 overdrive. You did say best combo. Can’t beat it.
     
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  11. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,593

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    I kind of like my Father in laws 47 lincoln, v12 with overdrive.
     
    Desoto291Hemi and Speed Gems like this.

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