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BangShift Question of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Non-Mainstream Engine?

BangShift Question of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Non-Mainstream Engine?

After watching those two killer drag motor dyno pulls, our thoughts wandered off the beaten path to engines that we’ve owned, wanted to own, or will own in the future. While a small cadre of motors truly dominate the hot rod hobby, there is ample opportunity to step outside of that small group and run a neat mill.

With companies like Egge and others providing hard to find hard parts for old engines, the sky (and your personal budget) is the limit. The traditional rodding set typically gravitates to unique and interesting engines. Their concern is less for all out performance and speed and more for style and individuality.

Over the last couple years we’ve owned flattie fours, an inline six, a ‘Stude 289, and an AMC 360. While none of them can match the efficiency and cost effectiveness of a small block Chevy, they all kick the daylights out of it in the neat factor.

So what’s your favorite “out of the box” engine. Gas or diesel. It doesn’t have to be anything you’ve owned. It can be a dream piece or something milled from billet unobtanium. Spill the beans! (We’ll hint to one we’re hankering for below)


Buick Nailhead

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24 thoughts on “BangShift Question of the Day: What’s Your Favorite Non-Mainstream Engine?

    1. TheSilverBuick

      On top of that one! =D

      I think the Ford FE engine is the most mainstream engine I own. At least behind the Buick and Pontiac.

      I would like to build a Nailhead, but I don’t have a car worth putting a Nailhead in. Likewise for a Cadillac 472/500 but with the 4-6-8 valvetrain.

  1. JZ9C1LT1

    I always wanted to build a Buick aluminum 215 to put in a Vega/Monza. I know they have been done but curious how much HP can these realy make?

  2. Rhett

    You already “Nailed” it. aha ha ha ha.


    Seriously, no better motor on the face of the planet. Just ask Ivo or Balchowsky

  3. OHC 6 Sprint

    Pontiac OHC-6 (I have a couple)
    Inverted MB V-12 for a single-seat aircraft project (I have one)
    Ford GAA (Also have one of these, with no idea what to put it into – I’m thinking maybe a Volvo 122S …

  4. Freeman42

    Ford 300 I-6. Cheap as hell, tons of them in the junkyard, and extremely tough to break. And there’s nothing in this world like straight 6 torque.

  5. Acf Superstars

    Slant six all the way.
    Ideally in South African Police Special trim, with the long runner manifold and twin dual throat carbies.
    Or one of the old Argentinian F1 racing slant sixes, with individual throttle body injection and spinning to 8,000.
    Oh yes, dear me.

    1. floating doc

      I had my driver’s license for almost 8 years before I owned something other than a slant 6. I see that they get lots of attention here. Amazing engines.

      I’ll have to google the ones referred to in Acf Superstars’ post.

      1. Acf Superstars

        It was my first engine, and now I have another to play with *mwah ha ha*.

        There is info on the Argentinian F1 slant six stuff on slant6.org, and there was a proposed group-buy of the long-runner dual carbie manifolds on a South African slant six forum which got folks pretty excited in the US and here in Oz as well. Same as the fabled alloy heads, or the hemi crossflows, they never appeared.

        I’m working towards a starting point of twin carbs. you can’t beat multi-carbs on a slant. But some day, I want boost!


    430 Lincoln,200,250,ford six Chevy 2 four banger iron duke,Packard straight eight…………..built em all, made em fast……………loved em all the same, just like children

  7. Birdman

    Jeep 4.0L I-6. They really do get better with age! Had a friend tell me once that these were about the closest one could get to a factory-B&B’d engine. So far I’ve had 2: the first got to 210,000+ miles before I sold it, running smoother then than when it was new. The current has 140,000+ and getting better with every added mile. LOVE ‘EM!

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