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Old 08-10-2011, 11:38 AM
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50s Engines Performance?

I was wondering last night after looking at an old 32 Ford rod online that had a Buick Nailhead in it. Can the 50s Engines get the same modern Street and Strip performances like the 60s and 60s style crate motors can? Engines like the Buick Nailheads, the 392 Hemis (the 50s ones), the Chevy 409, the Chevy 283, the Olds Rocket 88 motors, etc.
I can't seem to find any parts online for these, only the 409 has performance parts listed online.
Could these motors still make good street and strip motors?

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Old 08-10-2011, 01:03 PM
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Good engines for a rod

Those older V8 motors are still good engines to put in a street rod for the classic look. Those old vintage engines may not have very much hard core speed equipment available for them but just a stock re-build in a 1000 lb. to 2600 lb. street rod can get you in the high 11s to low 12's with no problem. A low 12 second car that can be driven daily is hard to beat on the street.

My friend and I had a '23 T-bucket "rat rod" pick up in the early 60's and it was a low 12 second street rod. It had a stock '59 Pontiac 389 CI engine with headers and side pipes. It only weighed about 1,000 lb. It was a breath taking ride and hard to control when you really got on it.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MXrider13
I was wondering last night after looking at an old 32 Ford rod online that had a Buick Nailhead in it. Can the 50s Engines get the same modern Street and Strip performances like the 60s and 60s style crate motors can? Engines like the Buick Nailheads, the 392 Hemis (the 50s ones), the Chevy 409, the Chevy 283, the Olds Rocket 88 motors, etc.
I can't seem to find any parts online for these, only the 409 has performance parts listed online.
Could these motors still make good street and strip motors?
You will still see 392 Hemi's and 394 Olds in HotRods and Nostalgia Drags, parts are available, but not ot the extent you see for the SBC and SBF, and theyre more expensive due to the low volume of sales.
283-plenty of parts available, but unless youre racing in a class that restricts cubic inches, building the largest motor you can makes more power across the board for close to the same price.(350-383-400)
W motors(348-409) have parts, still a popular motor for early 60's cars and earlier Hotrods.
Realize too, that the 50's thru the 60's was a time of fast engineering growth. As fast as they could design and build a new motor(the Olds and Caddilac V8's) an engineer is figuring a way to improve it, and the later motors have those improvements. Making them a better platform for a performance build.

It really all comes down to $$$, its not cheap to design, engineer, test, produce and machine a new product, and if you cant sell enoough to make a profit, why would you do it? Unless youre rich and need some business losses to right off.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:48 PM
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I think if I ever try it I will probably use a 409 Chevy, they seem to have the most parts for them.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:47 AM
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50's engine performance?

I like to play with the inline GMC's and the Yblock Ford's from that era. Fun first, and great performance second. I have a '58 Yblock Ford 341 in my shop now. With the correct head work and attention to detail they are fun to show up at Nostalgia Drags with and see what it will do. I have found the Ford, Buick, Olds, all trhe era MOPARS and yes even the Packards to be strong and have a potential to produce a lot of good, strong power. Pay attention to Fuel Management and Delivery plus a good source of ignition power. I have used Blowers, Turbo-chargers and both horizontal and vertical carburetion. The head work is very important. I do constantly rely on outside sources who have websites and are not afraid to coach you through any engine you choose to build up. Just Google up you engine and model. You'l be amazed at just how many will be willing to share with you. For the Yblock Fords I use John Mummert and the www.theyblockguy.com. Parts may be hard to come by but these sources do share that information with you too. Don't be afraid to launch a project but plan it out on paper first. There is nothing like a good roadmap when you are in unknown areas.
Normbc9
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