11 Best Hot Rod Engines – Motor City Style
Traditional Hot Rods, Drag Racers & Muscle Engines
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Just like when I shot the “17 best wheel and tire” story from the 2012 Detroit Autorama, I made my way around the show shooting the best hot rod engines too. just like wheels and tires, and especially in a hot rod (cause you can see it most times) the engine says, “My Ride is Me” and sets the tone for mild or wild, traditional or… more towards the street rod style. Whatever the case, the shine and for an outside show, the rumble let’s people know what’s on your mind. What are these folks saying??
(Click any image for the full size picture)
So here’s my favorites… divided into:
- Drag Racers
- Muscle Engines (what else ya gonna call them?)
- Traditional Hot Rods (reserved for the flatheads!)
Tell me what’s your favorite or if I shot your engine… I’ll put your name with the picture. (Please leave a comment below – you don’t have to join anything!)
2012 Detroit Autorama – Drag Racing Engines
#2 Coupe bodied front engine dragsters have always been a favorite. Add an injected Chevy with just the right amount of shiny parts and this can’t miss. This is just nasty. It says, “Lens Automotive & Speed Equipment” on the side and is owned by Paul Arft of Lapeer, MI.
#3 If I just said this is another injected Chevy, that wouldn’t tell the story at all! Look at the stacks! Listed on the show card simply as “Hilborn Mechanical Fuel Injection” this 17 to 1 – 352 cube thumper is ready to run! And run it did setting the B/Gas record at Detroit Dragway in 1960. It’s called “Touche” Want to hear how it sounds?
2012 Detroit Autorama – Muscle Engines
#6 Chevy 350 wearing a 6×2 cross ram intake manifold and some slick custom headers. Look for a feature on this ride soon… it’s the second go-around on Voodoo Larry’s own hot rod. He calls it, “Voodoo Psychosis”
#7 This one also falls into the glorious (and believe it or not complimentary) category of “Dirty”. Maybe literally too… those headers must kick up some road debris when the fuel injected and blown Chevy starts makin’ noise!
2012 Detroit Autorama – Traditional Hot Rods
#9 Look really, REALLY closely. See anything out of the ordinary? What’s that tube running into the bottom of the air cleaner hat? That’s one of the go-tubes stuffing air from twin turbos on this Ford Flathead. Set in a trick 1934 three window coupe owned by Jack Stirnemann. See a picture of the car here: Shoulda Been Great 8 Cars
#10 If you’re going traditional for your next hot rod build, here’s a great role model built by the guys at Brothers Custom Automotive. With the Edelbrock heads, Hildebrandt finned oil filter to match and the cloth covered spark plug wires, these are the sweet little details that make this one of my favorites!
#11 Wrapping things up, this blown flathead from the guys at Shadow Rods. They make a stretched 1927 ford body that fits on deuce rails. You get the style of a 27 with a little more room for those long drives.
That’s it! Which hot rod engine is your favorite?
For all my coverage of the 2012 Detroit Autorama, click here.
If you can’t get enough, “Best of” check out these other best engine stories: