The first 427 block has a large (4.23"-107.442 mm) bore and if a casting core was moved even slightly then it could render the casting useless, both are problems that increase building costs. Ford needs an engine about the same size, but easier and less expensive to manufacture. The engineers begin by taking features they have used in other FE castings that have worked well including the 3.985 inch (101.22 mm) stroke and a more manageable 4.135 inch (105.03 mm) bore. The result is an all new FE 428 with a cast iron crankshaft externally balanced and according to many the engine is more tractable than its predecessor. The new FE 428 engine could be ordered in a full range of models for 66 including the Cougar, Mustangs, AC Cobra, Thunderbirds, Galaxie and it was standard equipment for ‘66 and ’67 in the Mercury S-55.
The 428 CJ is completely about full, all stops pulled, dependable performance and this FE engine is available at all Ford dealers to get the job done right from April 1968. This new FE block can be made on a regular production line, although the heads all receive special treatment with the number “C80E-6090-N cylinder head casting” The intake manifold is centered between the two heads and will be mounted by a Holly 735 cfm four barrel carburetor in a Ford Motors finished product. This FE engine is cast with larger volume intake ports and can accommodate bigger valves than any other FE engine Ford has produced. The Cobra Jet engine connecting rods are thicker with 13/16” bolts securing them to a #1UB nodular crankshaft. The end product is very under-rated by Ford Motors as producing 335 hp (250 kW) @ 5200 rpm. By simply adding a hood scoop for unrestricted forced air induction the rating is upped to 410 hp (310 kW) on a dyno tested engine. The highly under-rated horse power is Ford management’s response to rising insurance rates on cars with powerful engines, which is causing sales to drop. This low rating Ford applies moves NHRA to rate the 428 Cobra Jet under the hood of a Mustang at 360 hp (270 kW) to match up drag racers. Pomona California hosts the NHRA Winternationals from February 2-4 at the Los Angeles county far grounds and this is where the first 428 CJ struts its stuff in 1968. The Ford Motor Company sponsors five drivers and supplies six Mustang units all powered by the 428 CJ. The classes are C Stock Automatic, Super Stock E, Super Stock E Automatic, SS/E manual and SS/EA automatic, with four cars making it to the finals in their class. One driver, Al Joniec, was first in his class and also won a first overall in the all Mustang 428CJ finals for the Super Stock Eliminator title that year. Ford Co. liked what went down at the winternationlals, but it would be another four months before the first 428 CJ is delivered to a Ford dealer.
The 428 SCJ engine block, pistons and the complete top end are identical to the 428 CJ The SCJ has a nodular cast iron crankshaft like the CJ, but the SCJ’s is the #1UA mould and the more substantial rods are secured with longer-life cappscrews instead of the CJ’s bolts. The 428 SCJ crankshaft is differently balanced and is external, while the counterweight on the inner crank of the CJ has been removed from the SCJ version. The pistons of each 428 variation are from the same casting, but the piston to cylinder wall relationship is altered and the pistons are a slightly looser fit installed on the SCJ. There is also a “Drag pack” option for track bound vehicles, but the first one offered was not available for the SCJ engine. The second Drag Pack option for the rear end was available starting on November -13, 1968 and would include an oil cooler with your choice of either the 391 or the 430 differential. The looser fit means the SCJ can dissipate heat a little quicker than the CJ and the former has been manufactured to withstand the abuse that automobile racing demands The location of the oil cooler in the SCJ dictates that no factory equipped SCJ engine could be equipped with air conditioning.
The Dodge Charger prototype was on the automotive showroom circuit by 1965 to gauge the public’s response to another class of personal luxury muscle car. The new Charger had a fastback and racing stripes that gave the car a sporty look, which did arouse public interest.
The Charger is on the Chrysler Coronet “B” body platform and uses many of the same components. The luxurious mid-sized AMC Marlin and the Dodge Charger both sport a radically long rear window, a fastback, setting a new course for the rest of the industry to follow, should it chose to. This new model was aimed as direct competition with, not only the smaller pony class Mustang and the two-seated Thunderbird, but also to the Plymouth Barracuda. The first generation Charger became available to the public late in the spring of 1966 and stayed the same through 1967.
The second-generation Charger, produced from 1968 until 1970, was, in the opinion of many, one of the most well designed and appealing vehicles ever made. These cars are among the most coveted muscle cars ever produced. For the ’69 model year, the base Charger had a 383-cubic-inch (6.7L) engine, which could have either a two-barrel carburetor that produced 290 hp or the four-barrel version, which developed 300 hp. The distinctive pie plate air cleaner displayed the 383/four barrel and identified this option, which was unique to the Charger for this one year only.
In ’69, if you chose the Charger RT, you could have the Magnum 440-cubic-inch (7.2L) engine with a four-barrel for 375 hp (279.5 kW) or the 426-cubic-inch (7.0L) Hemi engine with two four-barrel carburetors developing 425 hp (317 kW). For five more horsepower an “un-silenced” air cleaner was an option, and this particular version differed internally from the other 383 Magnum power plant in the Super Bee or the RoadRunner.
The two 383 engines used different valve springs, and had unique cam profiles, while the Magnum version also had a windage tray in the oil pan. Both engines used the same Carter AVS carburetors and sported the same exhaust manifolds as the larger 440 Magnum engines. There were five engines available for the Charger from the 225-cubic-inch six up to the 440-cubic-inch V8s that could couple with either of two three-speed automatic transmissions Also available was a three- or a four-speed to cover the two standard shifting options. Generally, all 1969 B series engines were turquoise, but both the Magnum power 440 choices and the 335 hp 383 were “Street Hemi Orange.”
For 1969, the Charger R/T had a revised grille with a divided center with horizontally configured taillights. There was a new trim option on the table in the form of the Special Edition or the SE, which could be ordered on its own for any Charger, including the RT. The SE package added front seat leather inserts, wood grain dash/steering wheel, and chromed rocker covers. There was also a seldom-seen option of a sunroof with only 260 units so equipped originally.
The bumblebee stripes were back, but slightly revised with one broad stripe between two narrower ones running down each rear quarter panel from the trunk lid. There was an R/T cutout in the center of the stripe and middle of the fender, or, if the stripe was deleted, then a metal R/T logo is in its place. The General Lee is a ’69 Charger used in the television series The Dukes of Hazzard, which ran from 1979 to 1985. The car had a confederate flag on the roof with 01 painted on each door and a horn that played Dixie. There were 89,199 Charger units produced in 1969.
The MGB is manufactured by the British Motor Corporation from the start, but later by British Leyland, from 1962 through 1980. The MGB is a totally redesigned version of the MGA, its predecessor. The newer model will do 0-60 mph (97km/h) in eleven plus seconds and shares few components with the earlier model. The unibody "B" type MG features 'crumple zones" to protect the occupants from a 30 mph (48 km/h) collision with an immovable barrier and this is a first for the American market place.
MCF would like to thank Gateway Classic Cars for the images reproduced here.