Wartime Y-Block: This 1957 Phase 1 Supercharged 312ci Y-Block Was Designed To Maintain Ford’s Honor

Wartime Y-Block: This 1957 Phase 1 Supercharged 312ci Y-Block Was Designed To Maintain Ford’s Honor

It was in 1957 when the the gloves really started to come off with regard to “factory” racing programs from Ford and Chevrolet. Chevrolet launched the “not a factory race car but kind of is a factory race car” Black Widow with its rock and roll fuel injected engine and not wanting to be caught with their pants down, Ford decided on their own countermeasure.

The guy running the show at the time was Robert McNamara and he was never someone who viewed racing and performance with much more than distain but he did know that if Chevrolet showed up at NASCAR races and speed trials with the Black Widows and buried the Fords deep on the results sheets, the company would look bad. That’s why he commissioned the construction of a limited number of McCulloch blown Thunderbirds to attack the beaches at Daytona during Speed Week. The engines, using a pre-determined before a single one was ever built 300hp rating made great power and a Thunderbird set a new sports car record of 138mph on the beach, garnering the headlines the company wanted and taking some wind out of the Chevrolet, fuel injected sails.

This engine is restored example of what we believe were only 15 such engines built be the company. Yes, the supercharged option went into production on a limited basis but as far as the “full race” versions, this thing is rare as hell and it is restored with all the right factory parts.

If you have a “War Bird” era T-Bird you are looking to make special, bust out your wallet and pile on the power!

eBay find: This 1957 Phase 1 supercharged Y-Block was a weapon of war 

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12 thoughts on “Wartime Y-Block: This 1957 Phase 1 Supercharged 312ci Y-Block Was Designed To Maintain Ford’s Honor

  1. Cleve Masad

    Glad to see articles on the 312s, 292s,and 272 -Blocks..took a lot of razing whenI built my 312 in 1970…

    1. Kevin

      I feel on that. I used to have a 55 Mercury with a 292 with 312 heads. I was going the 292 in a Tbucket kit


    My first car at 15 years old was a 54 ford business cpe had a 312 with a 4 barrel holley 600? 390 gears , wish I had it back .oiling problems to the top end I believe was standard .

  3. Rick McLain

    Normally the 312 had a cast crank while the 292 could be equipped with a forged crank.

    But in Santa Maria CA in 1957 the chevy guys were crying their eyes out when their super stocks only had 283 FI, while the Ford guys (Patterson Ford) had a Tbird and a two door sedan with superchargers that won every race. The NHRA told them to get lost.

  4. Leif

    Hi. You should possibly have some kind of words from a T-bird expert like for example in the Classic Thunderbird Club Int. to verify the authenticity of what you’re talking about in generic terms. Thanks Leif

  5. cliff tate

    the forged crankshafts wher mainly industrial engines. they needed the forged crank as power take off was used driven off the front and if alignment not perfect the nose on cast cranks broke off.
    the 292 industrial engine was dominate in forklifts, lumber carriers,logging yarders ,marine use

    1. uwe schmidt

      i thought the y block had a lot more potential then ever realized also there were two more smaller displacement versions of this engine which came in those Flatnose Trucks sure woul like the smallest one

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