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vintage hotrod motor, that are still out there, not selling for their weight in gold

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Magnum Wheel Man, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Magnum Wheel Man
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 418

    Magnum Wheel Man
    Member

    I'm still in the planning stages for my old school 47 hot rod truck project... looking for some engine options, thinking late 40's to middle 50's engines... I want something unique, but not something so rare it takes me years to find the parts needed, & not so expensive I need to win the lottery to complete

    If I won the lottery, I'd put in a Hudson 308 dual carb flathead six in it, just because I always thought they were too cool... I don't want a new crate engine... in my mind, that kinda leaves the Ford flathead 8... but in talking with a local "real" old school hotrodder yesterday, he said... he loves the flat head Fords, but in a non Ford vehical, he'd go with the lil Caddy V-8 ( 301 ??? ) I tried looking, & there are one or two around, but pretty slim pickings... I then spent most of yesterday on the net looking at / for vintage V-8's... & again this morning... this morning I ran across an early 50's 303 Olds Rocket, & it looks like there are some speed parts available for that engine... right now I'm leaning towards the lil Rocket, though I'm still looking... the truck is a 40's Studebaker, & I thought I found a Stude 289 Sweepstakes in running condition, & thought I could rod that up a little & give me what I want... but think he had it priced too low, & sold it to the 1st buyer that came along...

    so if you were in my position, what would you put under the hood ???
     
  2. VoodooTwin
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 3,455

    VoodooTwin
    Member
    from Noo Yawk

    It depends on what you intend to do with it, and how mechanically inclined you are with engines. I'm not an engine guru, so "unique" was not an option for me. I stuck with what is easy to repair/find parts for because I like to drive my truck. So I went with a sbc 283. I know, GASP! lol. But I tell ya what, when I'm in Bumfuck Arizona and need a water pump, I know I'll be able to find one at NAPA and be back on the road in short order. So that's how I would decide on a mill. Also, when at 'shows', I keep my hood closed. I think vehicles look best that way. So again, a "unique" mill isn't an issue for me. But again, it's all about what YOU want to do with your truck. If showing it and getting ooo's and ahh's is your thing, then a 12-cylinder flattie would be wicked cool.
     
  3. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,058

    porknbeaner
    Member


    Olds, pontiac, caddillac or about any GM built in your time frame. A stude engine would be cool it is almost a caddy:D

    A ford or merc or lincoln Y block would also do you well. If I wanted a flatty I would look for a lincoln 12 cylinder. Hard to find speed part for but they are col.

    If you can lay your hands on the little olds reasonable there is anything in the world that you could want for one. And although cost is higher than say an era SBC it isn't so much higher as to be out of reach. I am an SBC man as most people know by now but I have a rocket that I am screwing together now for a future project.

    You have options out the wazoo my friend.
     
  4. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,155

    RMR&C
    Member
    from NW Montana

    So you want an engine that is unique, cheap and easy to find parts for? Good luck with that....you gotta pay to play.

    It's funny, years past we swapped in bigger better motors to go FASTER, now we are putting the old motors back in for LOOKS. What happened?
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
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  5. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,819

    chaddilac
    Member

    Just find a parts car with the engine... then it'll have all the pieces your need.
     
  6. The nailhead comes to mind first, dont know why.
     
  7. F-6Garagerat
    Joined: Apr 12, 2008
    Posts: 2,651

    F-6Garagerat
    Member

    Everything is pricey except SBC stuff but even the coolest equipment for those can get up there. Y-Blocks are a good choice as they normally fall somewhere in the middle range. 3x2's and stock Merc valvecovers are still pretty reasonable. Now the 6x2 Dragstar we had on our last Y-Block, not so cheap.
     
  8. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,058

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I don't swap in engines for looks and you can make book on fast if you are talking about an engine that I am going to swap in.

    He is looking for a period motor, I am guessing that he gets it.



    By the way, I just read your bio, there is a saying that goes like this:

    There are those that know not not and know not that they know not. They are stupid avoid them.

    There are those that know not and know that they know not. They are trainable, teach them.

    There are those that know and know not that they know, they are asleep awaken them.

    And there are those that know and know that they know. They are leaders follow them.



    I am going to pay attention to what you post. Now wake the hell up.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  9. spiders web
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 383

    spiders web
    Member

    I have a 1939 Hudson Terraplane with a flat head six in it. I'm going a different direction and will sell the engine and trans combo. Not familiar with how to tell if its a 308 but it has only one carb. Ran when I bought it but been sitting in a shed for 4-5 years piled with parts. PM me if you are interested with a phone number and I'll call you.
     
  10. Magnum Wheel Man
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 418

    Magnum Wheel Man
    Member

    SPIDER... thanks for the offer... I'm not a Hudson expert either, but a quick search shows the motor as ( suposedly ) the 212 CI flathead six... likely similar in power & performance to my 38 Nash six... I'm not sure if any of the parts would cross over with the 308 CI or not ???

    I guess I'm trying to build an old school ride, & am willing to put up with the little problems that come with that kind of build... looks aren't totally what it's about, as the motor will be tucked away under that Studie hood & sides...

    I'm actually trying to think like a 1949 / 1950 hot rodder, & am looking to find the kind of motor I would have put in the truck in 1950, for performance... unfortunately... if I was using the best stuff for 1950, those parts might be hard to come by today ( you tried to find a Lincoln V-12 motor lately, let alone the bolt on parts that might be needed ??? )... so I'm just trying to get a good pic of what all my options would be...

    I appreciate you guys offering me the suggestions... If I'm reading it right, the smaller Nail Heads were in my age range ( not sure when they started going bigger... like the 401 ) I've also been looking at some of the lil Ford OHV's (Y block??? ) but honestly, don't know much about those compared to some of the others
     
  11. BINGO! The Nailhead would be my choice. great motor and looks fantastic in any car!

    Doc.
     
  12. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Easy choice the Cad. '49 to '54. The starter is on the right side and the 6V will work just fine. Cheap flat plate adapter because of the long bell housing. Stock form not so much H.P. to hurt the gears if your careful. The flywheel will cost a few bucks but I still see them and you can pick up an old Schaffer (spelling) or stock one for maybe $200. Lots of speed parts around. The stock hydro. is a good tranny. if you can find someone to rebuild it. Oh yeah and the pan sump is in the back. Fits almost as easy as a SBC but way kooler and not much more $.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  13. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,155

    RMR&C
    Member
    from NW Montana

    Oh, I'm awake......I love the old engines, my truck has a flathead and I drive the heck out of it.
    The OP was asking about an old engine that wasn't expensive ....to me they all are. If you want an old unique engine that runs well, you have to pay.
    If you add speed parts and shiny stuff, it costs even more.....
    Throw 3k at a flathead and you might get 150 hp. Is it cool? Hell yes! Is it a powerhouse? Not really.....
     
  14. Stevie Nash
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 2,999

    Stevie Nash
    Member

    I'm in the same boat. As you know I blew my 327 about a month ago. If there is any time to switch to a more "traditional" engine, it's now.

    Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time finding anything that doesn't start at $500 for a core. Building an engine from there I figure is going to run around $4000 for all the parts and machining, not to mention my own assembly and time. I'm also thinking that I will have to switch to a new transmission. Adapters are so expensive I might as well perform the swap.

    SOOOOOOOOO.... Am I ready to spend $5k for a traditional look, or buy a 290hp crate engine ($1700 short block, discounted through a friend) that drops right in???? 3 yr warranty and no headaches. I can drop my Chrevrolet script valve covers on and who would know the difference from a 283 or 327?

    I keep hearing that '64 is the cutoff for anything cool. Weren't small block Chevy's all over the place by then???

    Maybe if I wait long enough everyone will have anything BUT a sbc. Then I'll be the one that's different! And we'll start moving back in that direction again....
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  15. Magnum Wheel Man
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 418

    Magnum Wheel Man
    Member

    RMR... I'm not looking for something for nothing... I think I explained in my last post, what I'm after... & do appreciate any suggestions

    ... another problem, is finding something semi local... I'd be willing to drive within a couple states away to pick up an engine... but alot of what I find that fits what I'm looking for, is 1/2 way across the country, & only for sale as a local pick up... I manage a factory, & could easily arrange a freight pick up, but even then, have to trust the seller, that the motor is at least buildable...

    ...& BTW... I'd like to find a cheaper / rebuildable motor right now, so I have something in hand for chassis mock up, & could send it out later for rebuild, after I have the mock up done... I'd hate to spend 4,000 - $5,000 on an engine, only to have it sit for a couple years, till I was ready for it, & take up parts money that would push back my build time...
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  16. Balls Out Garage
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 107

    Balls Out Garage
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Arkansas

    How about a Stude / late Packard v8? Nothing would be cooler than lifting the hood to reveal one equipped with a vs-57 blower...
     
  17. Magnum Wheel Man
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 418

    Magnum Wheel Man
    Member

    L-79... There are a couple I'm looking at... found a nice running local 289, for cheap, but didn't get there in time... part of me thinks switching in a V-8 Studie for the flat 6 Studie would be the best way ( as far as looks ) but the lil Caddy, Rocket or Nailhead motor would probably outperform the Studie motor $ for $
     
  18. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922

    Fenders
    Member


    And I thought you'd add (but I will): PICK TWO !!
     
  19. nutajunka
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,466

    nutajunka
    Member
    from North Indy

    Around here it seems to change every few months. Of course there is always small/big chevy, ford, chry. But lately alot of 401 nailheads, and 394 olds. Even a 354, 392 and little 241 red ram. I like the ideal of finding one with a rotted out body, but decent drivetrain.
     
  20. Abomination
    Joined: Oct 5, 2006
    Posts: 6,692

    Abomination
    Member

    [​IMG]

    318 Poly

    (SSh! Don't tell! They made these from '57 - '66... and save for the heads, intake, exhaust and valvetrain they're all small block Mopars inside - the '62+ ones even bolt up to regular Small Block Mopar transmissions!)
     
  21. You must not want it bad enough or expect this unique motor to knock on your door.
    Local pick up is easy, if your motor was in Cleveland id go pick it up stick it on a pallet for you and load it onto your shippers truck. I'm sure lots of other hambers would too. Anything you find advertised is from a computer savy individual who can look this crap up just as you can. Beat the bushes, talk to the old timers, put up a want ad at the bingo hall.
     
  22. Magnum Wheel Man
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 418

    Magnum Wheel Man
    Member

    Just starting to do that now... I've got a couple leads on a couple local flathead Fords ( since that's where I started ) but the "old timer" I talked to yesterday ( has built a ton of flathead Fords ) got me a bit paranoid about buying any flathead Ford V-8 not magnafluxed before I buy it... he's the one that mentioned the Caddy motor, & got me interested in the early OHV V-8's
     
  23. Magnum Wheel Man
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 418

    Magnum Wheel Man
    Member

    right now I'm working on a local Studie 289 Sweepstakes motor, thats "in perfect running order" the guy pulled out to put a Chevy crate motor in the car...

    so if I swing the deal, I'll be looking for any dress up or performance parts... any idea what's available for this motor ???

    still bouncing back & forth on the tranny... the T-5, with an adaptor would be nicer for cruising... but the 4 speed would be more traditional hot rod ???
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  24. adamshumard
    Joined: Jan 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,380

    adamshumard
    Member

    My 308 actually has "308" cast into the head next to the water neck. Cant miss it. Also the head is aluminum.
     
  25. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,742

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you really want what you say. A 1949-1950 period looking build. The premium engine would have been the 331 Cad. Or the 303 Olds. In '50 they were the only OHV V8s. Very new at the time but the only choice. If you stepped up to a 394 Olds or 390 Cad few would know the difference.
     
  26. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,058

    porknbeaner
    Member


    I just sold a 390 Ford that came to me from a Houston HAMBer and I have a real sweet 394 Olds that came from Wisconsin, both via HAMB relay.

    You don't have to purchase an engine from your neighbor, just make sure you purchase your engine from someone reliable. It can get to you from wherever it happens to be.



    I was giving you a hard time from what you put in your bio is all. You were available, today.

    Most of us know very little, collectively we know a hell of a lot.

    Expensive is a relative term, I think. If you live on a Raman noodle budget a Big Mac might be considered expensive, But if you just happen to have a Big Mac budget you may decide to live on Raman noodles for a while to afford to build your car the way that you want. Everything is relative, well except one's wife, I hope.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  27. Magnum Wheel Man
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 418

    Magnum Wheel Man
    Member

    OK... sorry I'm so thick headed... stumbled through the classifieds here & found more vintage hot rod engines for sale than nearly anywhere... if I had been on the ball earlier, I could have picked one up & had someone drop it by, on their way up to back to the 50's
     
  28. RMR&C
    Joined: Dec 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,155

    RMR&C
    Member
    from NW Montana

    Hey if you can get one from a Hamber that's great....
    I bought a Y block from a local scrapper for $100, thought it was worth a chance. Turned out to be locked up solid with rust. Hey, at least I got some extra parts.
     
  29. turbostude
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 342

    turbostude
    Member
    from minnesota

    Talk to Phil Harris at Fairborn Studebaker in Ohio:937-878-1576
    Tell him Salt2Salt Greg sent you....
     
  30. Magnum Wheel Man
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 418

    Magnum Wheel Man
    Member

    Thanks for the tip... I'm going to look at the 289 on Sunday...
     

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