5 Best Unknown V8 Engines From The Muscle Car Era

Everyone has heard of the Chrysler 426 Hemi, Chevrolet LS6 454, Buick Stage-1 455, Pontiac 455 HO, Oldsmobile W-30 455, and Ford 427 large displacement V8s. These were some of the biggest legends of the original muscle car era. However there are some small to medium displacement high performance V8s that have been forgotten over time due to hiding in plain view under the shadow of their large displacement muscle car brethren. Here’s a list of the 5 best forgotten muscle car V8 engines form the golden era that pack a lot of performance punch and are worthy of honor.

131 thoughts on “5 Best Unknown V8 Engines From The Muscle Car Era”

    1. Too bad the Thunderjet didn’t come out until 1968 and it wasn’t a 429. It was a 428.

    2. Actually it was a 429, and it’s possible your brothers car had an engine swap.

    1. I remember the 396 got a bad rap because people said they blew up too easy, people tried to rev them like a small block and it just didn’t work that way. Once people figure them out it wasn’t too bad after that.

    1. No and lots of parts for them. Throw a set of kaase cobra jet heads on them you’ll have a Badass ride. Stock stuff can handle up to 700 + HP. Something a piece of Chevy can’t calm out of there 454. HP TV built them both. The 454 had to get new interals to complete. Great motors to build on. Trick flow makes some awesome heads too.

  1. Got to go with the chevy 1970 LT1 350 c.i. 360 h.p. Small block solid lifter. High reviving beast !

    1. I thought that engine had 370 hp. I had a 71 LT-1 in a Z-28 that was stock 370 hp. They did make one in 71 with 330hp also. Not sure about 1970. But ur right, it was a beast especially with angle spark plug heads, more compression & phase 5 cam.

    2. Tom Berner For 71 the compression was down but hp was up 10. My 70 Monte Carlo ss had 360 hp and 101/2:1 compression. Same 454 in 71 was a 365 hp motor but compression was 8:1

    3. Olds 350 Rocket, Ford 351 Cleveland, ’70 LT1 350 / 402 , Boss 302, of course a Hemi :) , Ford 302 Windsor, Chevy 396, 454, Ford 429 Cobra Jet.

  2. Mopar’s 383 was a great motor not to leave out the Chevy 383 Stroker.

  3. 327 4 bolt main with large harmonic balancer! 365 HP with Fuel Injection, 4 bbl was 335!

  4. 327s never came with 4 bolt mains, even in fuel injected, high horsepower motors. Check your references.

  5. Hemi motors came with 2 4bbl Carter’s, not with the 6 pack setup. That came on the 440s.

  6. The 426 Hemi was actually very unreliable. The 440 is a preferred motor by most Mopar enthusiasts over the 426

  7. There were a whole lot more small block muscle car motors,back in the day than big blocks.

  8. Starting it off flathead fordv8,then small block chevy and from there on came many more small blocks of different makes!!

  9. So many to choose from what the Chevy 427 tri-power is the first thing that comes to mind

  10. I would have to go with the 1970 LS6 454 450hp right outta the box which was featured in the Chevelle SS

  11. Another bad ass motor is the 1967 chevy 427 435hp again was stock in the 1967 vette.

  12. Don’t forget the 70 Ford 351 Cobra Jet. There were so many awesome small blocks back in the day it’s hard to keep count.

  13. 350 4# bolt main and the 327 chevelle! And the ford mustang 302 & 351 and the 429 CJ ford & the 440 m & the 426 Hemi and a lot more!!!!

  14. I looked thru this whole response. A lot of great motors in here. I will add one to the list, the dodge 318. What a good one!

    1. Especially the old style 318 wide block. I had one in my 1966 Satellite. That thing got 22 miles to the gallon!! Pretty impressive for a car that size !

    2. You obviously do not know the 318. Having shit for brains yourself, I can understand your thought process . . . . . . huh boy

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