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most popular Traditional Hot rod engine?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Split Bones, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Split Bones
    Joined: Jun 4, 2005
    Posts: 88

    Split Bones

    Ok this may have been done before......I have my views on what is ...but whats yours ?

    mine is a 312 thunderbird mill with three 2's on top
  2. Jimv
    Joined: Dec 5, 2001
    Posts: 2,924


    I'm split on this, i say a SBC with 3 dueces or a flattie with 2 dueces.
  3. ol fueler
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 935

    ol fueler

    Kinda depends on just HOW Traditional you wanna be & WHEN you are calling traditional.
    People my age 60+ might easily opt for a Flathead , of course when the Olds Rocket & Chrysler Hemi came along & we found they couuld kick the snot of even a 3/8 x 3/8 ( 296 in.) flathead & not be a PERCULATOR too ,we lusted after them like no tomorrow.
    Then just as we got settled in with those -- along came an outrageuos interloper -- the Small Block Chevy--- plentiful --cheap -- a horse per cube -- I hate em still!! :mad: :)
    So a younger bunch will call the SBchev traditional.
    BUT -- IF I have to name ONE I Guess it would have to be The OLDS Rocket.
    Why the OLDs -- well you asked about a TRADITIONAL motor -- OLDS were USED a LOT --they were cheaper than the Hemi & Easier to get -- had tons of stuff made for them--so they ended up in a lot of rods. ANother thing NO ENGINE on Earth SOUNDS like a hopped up unmuffeled OLDS, I was driveing a few weeks back & I heard a motor sound & thought -- it Cant be -- but it sure sounds like a hot Olds -- sure nuff around the corner comes a little 27 roadster rat --with a ROCKET OLDS!! Even 20 + years since I heard one, I still remembered. :D
  4. Split Bones
    Joined: Jun 4, 2005
    Posts: 88

    Split Bones

    whhaaahooooo....keep em comin......the question was posted on another board from another country...the trend there was SBC....I thought of my option or a flathead......thats why I thought i would post it on the H.A.M.B and see what you guru's can come up with
    ol fueler....I not ever heard a Old's rocket.....but from just reading your post ....I Want One

  5. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,204

    from Burton, MI

    Uhhhh...Flathead! 'Specially a Merc Flatty w/ 2-4 deuces on top, finned heads, generator, and a clutch pedal also in the car.
    Next to that, I'd have to say an old banger motor.
  6. kennedy
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 693

    from TN

    Either a y-block or a flathead.
  7. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,445

    from MN,USA

    I would have to say Flathead V/8.
  8. skumbag
    Joined: Feb 16, 2005
    Posts: 688


    small block chevy. they seem to be the most popular, they're everywhere you look!
  9. hatch
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 3,667

    from house

    Flathead Ford until the early fifties....then SBC till today. My picks are directly related to the number of people that actually ran these engines....not just talked about em.
  10. Just because it's popular doesn't automatically mean it's good.

    Brittney Spears
    New Kids On The Block
    eyebrow piercings
    nose piercings
    navel piercings
    tattoos on women
    Bill Clinton
    USA Today
    Gansta rap
    Celine Dion
    NASCAR (Uh-oh, the doo-doo's gonna fly on that one)
    Budweiser (again - flying doo-doo)
    22" billets on a crappy '78 Caprice
    Wings on ricers
    McDonald's food
    Taco Bell

    Oh, the list goes on and on....
  11. Artiki
    Joined: Feb 17, 2004
    Posts: 2,008

    from Brum...

  12. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,204

    from Burton, MI

    Here...what more can be said?
  13. lehr
    Joined: May 13, 2004
    Posts: 602


    Man do I like that oldcarmike.
  14. hatch
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 3,667

    from house

    He's not looking for popular or good....he's looking at tradtition....and tradition is history. McDonalds is traditional for cheap shitty burgers.....Britney is traditional for cheap slutty brainless young females...and the Hamb is traditional for this type of endless arguments.
  15. skumbag
    Joined: Feb 16, 2005
    Posts: 688


    And whats wrong with Celine Dion?? :p :eek: :D
  16. skumbag
    Joined: Feb 16, 2005
    Posts: 688


    theres really nothing wrong with the sbc, i think it's the best bang for you buck.
    i probably opened a whole new can of worms with that.:D
  17. Nothing that me NOT hearing her can't cure...

    As far as my pick for most popular Traditional engine goes, Flathead Ford V8 without a doubt, Olds Rocket 2nd, hopped up banger 3rd, SBC 4th, Nailhead 5th, any of the many Hemis 6th.

    That's how I see it, but then again, what the hell do I know? Nothing, just ask my ex-wife.
  18. TriFiveChevyJohn
    Joined: Apr 18, 2005
    Posts: 212

    from TEXAS!

    I must concur.:eek:

    Remember he asked "most popular", not "your favorite".:rolleyes:
  19. johnboyrox
    Joined: Feb 3, 2005
    Posts: 134

    from Ottawa, KS

    Popularity is Easy. In order of appearance I would say, banger, flattie, rocket, SBC.
    Cool is more up for discussion. Hemi, Nailhead, Caddy; personally, I like the W best, but it didn't come along until the late 50s.
  20. Kev Nemo
    Joined: Aug 7, 2004
    Posts: 2,453

    Kev Nemo

    I'd say Olds Rocket or Caddy. Besides the sbc, seems like what I see the most.
  21. AZAV8
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 997

    from Tucson, AZ

    MY Favorite:
    I'm with flatheadpete: Flathead first with an old banger second.

    Most Popular:
    Its probably the SBC in its many variants.

    Most Popular Traditional:
    Tough call. My call is a toss-up between the Flathead, SBC and Olds.

    Worst Choice Most Popular:
    SBC with Olds Rocket valve covers.
    I can't stand "those" people who want to have fau-realism. If you want to build a "traditional" car than build a real one; but don't FUBAR it by faking it with real valve covers on some other pos motor.

    What's traditional is also in the reader's mind. What time period do you consider "traditional". For some oldest hot rodders, its the thirties and forties. For some older rodders, like me, its the forties and fifties. And so on. Its all in the eye of the beholder.
  22. Ted H
    Joined: Jan 7, 2003
    Posts: 312

    Ted H

    Much like OlFueler said
    Your question just can't be answered without considering the time line.During the post war period and well into the 50s I would guess that 95% of hotrods were Ford flathead powered simply for the fact there just wasn't anything out that would compare, especially when you the money factor.Yes, there were a few Jimmy 6s, an occasional flathead Lincoln or Caddy but the latter two were heavy with little or no speed parts available.By the early 50s there were dozens of firms making all kinds speed parts for the Ford flathead at quite reasonable prices.
    I went to highschool 56-60 and by the mid 50s the overhead engines were becoming available from the wrecking yards and started to show up in hotrods, especially in California.In my area Little farm town in No Tex, the olds was by far the most popular. By the 60s the Ford yblocks were quite common and the Cevys were starting to show up as well as Buick nailheads.
    Come the mid 60s the sbc was the overwhelming favorite and still is due in part to the availability speed parts and the accumulated knowledge of what works and whatdoesn't.
    So, IMO: 40s to mid 50s, Ford flathead
    mid 50s to early 60s Olds with a lot of Yblocks
    Early 60s to present Chevy
    Well, I guess I've dragged this out enough. For what its worth, I'm biulding an A sedan with a hopped up flathead.ala my highschool years.
    Ted H
  23. Derek Mitchell
    Joined: Nov 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,796

    Derek Mitchell

    I like Rockets. Check my avatar. :D

    Flatheads are cool, I have a few 6cyl flatties going into rods.

    Ask 20 people and you'll get 20 answers on this question.
  24. Obviously when you're talking about popular, you're talking about SBC.

    When you're talking about aspirational:

    1. Flathead (ideally Merc block)
    2. Early Hemi/ Red Ram
    3. Olds Rocket
    4. Early Caddy OHV
    5. Nailhead

    For weirdo coolness:

    1. Caddy flathead
    2. Buick Straight 8
    3. Studebaker V8
    4. GMC 300 6
    5. Ford banger, OHV conversion

    Nothing better than an off-the-beaten-path mill. One of my favorites was Nad's Packard-powered Ford (until he grenaded it). For my A coupe, I'm going with a 316 early Pontiac Strato Streak.
  25. PinHead
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 243


    If you're dealing with early 50's and doler style cars, then i believe the flathead, hands down. But...

    The Old's Rocket was also the motor that signalled the end days of the flathead. They started the OHV crave that culminated with the SBC explosion, in my opinion.

    As far as looks go, tho, my personal favorites would be a multi carb Nailhead or W-motor, or, of course, an injected hemi.
  26. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,418


    Are you talking about the most popular, as in the one most commonly found in the largest number of "traditional" hotrods, (in post september 1954 hotrods that would obviously be the SBC,) or are you talking about the most popular engine to BULLSHIT about on a message board? :rolleyes:
  27. Derek
    Joined: Dec 12, 2004
    Posts: 193


    I know he asked most popular, but it sounds to me like he's asking what you like personally.

    Most popular over the last 50 years, probably the SBC.

    My personal favorite? Early Chrysler Firepower, gotta love a Hemi.
  28. spudz
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 531


    as far as trad, here is my opinion, I like SBCs........ BUT I ONLY like them in kustoms under the hood, either some vette v/c or chevy script covers, stock, like right outa 1955. Just a clean, cheap motor to scoot your kustom around. And they are plenty fast. As far as a motor for a rod.. Gotta have somethin special... somethin diff. Like a Rocket motor, a poncho motor, or nailhead... I like to stay with the OHV motors, I like the looks of a flattie, but to much trouble for me, I'd rather not have one. Like I said, an open rod, I'd go with Olds rocket,nailhead,Y-block, poncho, a caddy mill is way cool too. The list goes on. Just my opinion, just stick with what you like, who cares what we want. Just how I would want one. Oh yeah.... How could I forget....HEMI!!! whats cooler than a hemi???
  29. Skibo
    Joined: Aug 28, 2005
    Posts: 62

    from FL

    Gotta be a flathead!

    Only SBC would be a 265 or 283

  30. 4-pot
    Joined: Aug 12, 2005
    Posts: 181


    Flathead hands down. Then comes the Olds. Cad. Chrysler, and nailhead Buick. There were also a few Studebakers, Buick and Chrysler straight eights, and the GMC sixes and quite a few of the flat sixes. But small block chevies were not part of the equation until the 60's with very few exceptions.

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