Like yesterday’s look at the little 316ci Pontiac, the 317ci Lincoln Y-Block is not exactly history’s most celebrated engine. The mill as introduced in 1952 and produced trough 1954. It was the first generation Y-block to hit the Lincoln engine bay and it was also used to power Ford trucks in the middle 1950s as well. At its peak the engine produced 205hp and it used a solid lifter cam as well as a Holley four barrel carb to do it.
While it didn’t make a ton of power, the 317 became famous for really laying out the competition at the 1952-54 Pan American Road Race where in 1952 and 1953 it powered the top four finishing cars, and in 1954 powered the winner and runner up. While that race has faded into the sands of history, at the time it was one of the most famous/infamous races in the world. Fraught with danger and requiring endless miles of near WOT running, it was proof positive that the anvil-like Y-block had what it took to be a great passenger car engine. If it could survive that monster it could get you and your stuff around town with no issues.
In 1955 Ford bored the engine out and it displaced 341ci, then expanding further to 368 with more bore and stroke eventually progressing to the point where it produced 300hp and more than 400 lb-ft of torque. All that being said, by 1957 the Y-block was in need of replacement because it was lagging too far behind offerings from Chevrolet and Chrysler.
Thanks for the history lesson, Brian. Very interesting stuff.
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