Willys, to a certain degree, I go along with most of that - aluminum heads stick out like a sore thumb.. Hard core racers go with aluminum everything for obvious reasons - weight, and the fact that the real spendy 'Bad Boy' stuff has been CNC'd to a nat's testicle, inside and out.
Looking at all the head gasket problems OEM aluminum heads have had when plunked down on iron blocks in factory rigs considered to be totally streetable like let's just say, the 3.8 Taurus or various assorted imports, I don't need them on my streetrod regardless of aluminum's so called "superior performance" or feather weight. On the other hand, there are lots of quality aftermarket iron castings that are quite attractive both in price and git-up... So far, I'm impressed with the way my S/R Torquers are working out. The 53 does a lot better with these heads than it did with those hogged out 461's, now shelved. The WP heads were $724 complete with spring, guide and seal upgrades and Manley 2.02-1.60's.
I know, with the 461's I had no un-needed bolt holes or flat spots but then, I'm not driving a T or an A with an open motor either. I have to say, the price and selection of new 'Made in USA' (mild to wild) performance heads these days is great. The concept of after market iron frees up lots of respectible early heads for those like me who are enclined to like to tinker with them. I've seen several sets of 461's and 186's lately, for under $175 complete. At that price they are CERTAINLY worth buying. Fitted with the bigger valves, these old heads will easily make 350hp with no port work at all. That's plenty for most street rods under 3500lbs. Most your average Sunday-go-to-Meetin' cruise fanatics will chose a smoothie cam anyway...
The old heads are still a good budget conscious pick for the average streeter's dream motor.
[ April 11, 2003: Message edited by: PrimeMover ]</p>