Valves, Covered

The engine-bay centerpiece no one cares to talk about.

5w ago


Valve cover, rocker cover, cam cover, rocker boxes, or whatever you may call them based off of your geographic location; you've likely dealt with them to some extent. In the early days of the internal combustion engine, before anyone really knew what they were doing; rockers were prone to throwing off the oil that lubricated them and attracting dirt to hinder their performance even further. Obviously this was counterproductive and one day some guy came up with the idea to cover them with a box, genius.

How interesting isn't that? Fortunately we're not here to talk about the functionality of the valve cover, or how it's evolved from a simple box to a working mechanism of it's own over the years. No, we're here to talk about which ones are the prettiest and how come this overlooked centerpiece of the engine bay has gone from a statement piece to a bland and hidden component.

Granted we all know that in most modern engine bays everything is hidden underneath a sea of boring plastic covers designed to awe those who insist looking under the hood of the new car they're purchasing even though they wouldn't know the basic function of the 710 cap.

I understand the boring and technical reasons behind the way engine bays are engineered these days versus the good old days, but I also simply find it disappointing that we've gotten away from the days when manufactures would take extra steps in designing something extra for no other purpose than because it was nice to look at, and I don't believe I stand alone in saying this.

It wasn't just luxury and exotic brands like Jaguar, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and the like that were doing this either. In fact some of the best looking valve cover designs came from companies like Mazda, Honda, and even Ford; with a little help from Cosworth at times.

So tell me, what are some of your favorite covers of all time?

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Comments (3)

  • Crackle finished cam covers on a four cam Ferrari Colombo V12, nothing better.

      1 month ago
  • You've brought up the Jaguar grooved covers - which I can't argue with.

      1 month ago


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