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Engine Upgrades

class_68mustang_01I think my favorite improvement, if I look at my own restored classic cars, would have to be an engine upgrade.

Part of it makes real, practical sense: I like to go fast, I like it when the car always starts, I like better fuel economy, easier cooling, lighter weight, and easier maintenance. And some of it doesn’t make much sense: I feel better about the emissions, and I just think it’s cool to do.

Antique car engine technology isn’t near what engine technology is today. Cylinder head design in particular has allowed for far greater power and fuel economy. It would not be uncommon for us to remove an engine from a normal 50s or 60s era muscle car that was originally equipped with an engine that got 10 miles per gallon and developed 225 horsepower when it was brand new. With today’s technology we can install an engine in that same car that develops 450 horsepower and gets better than 20 MPG. And that is pretty common and doable for normal money. If you’re interested in a larger budget, we can go as far as 750 horse without any problem! And since I’m a fuel economy freak, I just love the jobs that go out with big efficiency, as well. Think about a diesel hot rod! How about a plug-in? How about either one that develops 500 HP?!

Most commonly, though, the typical job takes a car from the 200 HP range to the 350+ range for a very good value. As I write this there are 9 cars in the shop that fall into this category:

One is a ’66 convertible Thunderbird that used to have a 390 CID engine in it, and we installed a 350 HP EFI motor in its place. The client wasn’t as interested in the power, but in the economy and dependability. He bought the car new, and asked me what could be done to make it more dependable. Easy solution! We also completely restored this Thunderbird.

Another good example is a ’74 Mustang convertible engine upgrade. This gentleman wanted the same sort of relief from the old, heavy, undependable motor his car had in it originally, but he wanted his Mustang to be able to roast the tires. Again, there is an easy solution. We installed a stroked 351 Windsor that we put Edelbrock/Magneti Marelli fuel injection on. He was in and out for a good price, and about 430 HP.

In both of these cars we installed new, factory crate motors, my favorite for dependability, price, and great warranties.



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