When Ford introduced its Y-block engine in 1954, it labeled the engine the worthy successor to the venerable Flathead. The Flathead gained a loyal following of hot rodders and racers, but the big Cadillac overhead-valve V-8 and Oldsmobile’s Rocket 88 were stealing Ford’s thunder in terms of power, so something had to be done, and Ford decided to respond. The answer was a clean-sheet V-8 design, featuring overhead valves and improved cooling compared to the old Flathead. It was dubbed the “Y-block” because of the way it looked and because of its deep skirt and tall cylinder heads.


While the small-block Chevy is the popular engine choice for many enthusiasts, many are now relying on a Blue Oval heart for their performance bodies. With its link to Ford, the original body manufacturer for many of the classic cars we see today, the small-block Windsor-style Ford engine offers several advantages. When compared to Chevy, the lack of firewall clearance for a number of Chevy engine swaps is due to the rear distributor position of the engine. The front-mount distributor position is the more logical place to drive the distributor and the oil pump. Not to mention, it’s much more convenient.

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