Top 10 U.S. Hot Rod Engines: #10 to #7

- #10
- Our 1st engine is the '49-'64 produced Oldsmobile Rocket. The engine reached peak HP with the '57 J-2 version making 312HP. The Rocket would come in 303, 324, 371 & 394 cubic inches. This engine found its way into many early Hot Rods.
- #9
- Next up is the Buick Nailhead. Coming in 264, 322, 364, 401 & 425 cubic inch sizes the engine was introduced in '53 & production stopped in '66. A narrow & light engine it too was a early choice for many Rodders.
- #8
- The number 8 spot has 3 different engine manufacturers, but one cubic inch number. That's 455. The big Buick was introduced in '67. The '70 Stage 1 & 2 variants were the most potent. Buick equalised the 426 Hemi with this monster. '76 was the end.
- Oldsmobile was the 1st to produce this torque monster in '65. Torque is so high with these engines they are still widely used in drag racing.
- Pontiac introduced tri power to the 455 & solidified its place in American automotive history. I once had a '53 Ford F100 with a 455 Pontiac in it. The thing was terrifying! I understand what it is like to have a car try and kill you.
- #7
- Seventh place is likewise a 3 way tie, this time with small displacement GM engines. From '61 to '80 Buick, Oldsmobile & Pontiac made a 350 cubic inch juggernaut. In '61 & '62 these engines where made of aluminum & used in smaller cars.
- By '63 the aluminum was gone and they were cast in iron. Rover got rights to the engine in '66 & produced it until 2005. (1st picture is a Buick 350, here we have the Olds version & next is the Pontiac)
- These easy to maintain, rear oil pump mounted, engines found their way into Hot Rods of every type! Check back tomorrow for number's 6, 5 & 4!

A completely objective look at engines & Hot Rodding in the U.S. of A.!

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Comments (6)

  • Excellent read on some pretty cool engines. I really need to learn more about american cars.

      2 years ago
  • Hi congratulations - your post has been selected by DriveTribe USA Ambassador for promotion on the DriveTribe homepage.

      2 years ago