Car Culture & Entertainment / News & Car Culture / Top 10 Engines

Top 10 Engines of All Time (Honorable Mentions): Flathead, Tri-Power & More

Editor’s Note: This series counts down the Top 10 engines of all time—see how the voting was done by reading our initial post.

Tomorrow, we’ll reveal your #1 engine of all time.

Before we do, we thought we’d give a little love to those engines that just missed the Top 10. These are engines that garnered quite a few votesjust not enough to make the final 10.

truckinwebFord Flathead V8

In all honesty, this one would have definitely been in our Top 10. Unfortunately, this legendary engine came up just short in the voting and finished just outside the list. The Ford Flathead 221 is essentially the engine that started the hot rod movementHot Rod magazine even did a comprehensive guide to the Flathead.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Ford Boss 429

The Ford 429 engine was born in 1968 but became legend in 1969. That’s when Ford introduced the Boss 429 Mustang, which was powered by a Boss 429 engine rated at 375 horsepower. By most estimates the rating was quite lowas were many ratings during the muscle car warsand the engine actually churned out over 500 horsepower!

Courtesy of Chevystreetperformance

Courtesy of Chevystreetperformance

Chevrolet 327

The Chevrolet 327 came in multiple horsepower versions and was offered in a wide range of automobiles from 1962-69. Because of the mass availability of parts for this small block engine, it remains a favorite among hot roddersas the voting proved.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Pontiac 421 Tri-Power

The Pontiac 421, most specifically the 421 Tri-Power, was popular among voters. The engine was initially introduced as a racing engine for the 1961 and 1962 model years, but was released for the general population in 1963. The 421 Tri-Power was basically the king of Pontiac performance in the 1960s, delivering 376 horsepower.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Ford 302

The 351 Windsor made the Top 10, but the 302 was one of the longest running engines of all time. First offered in 1968, the 302 is best known by performance enthusiasts for its use in the Mustang. It was also commonly known as the Ford 5.0L, although it actually only 4.942 liters. (The 4.9L moniker was already taken by the 300 I6).



Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Chrysler 440

Although not as powerful at the 426 HEMI, the Chrysler 440 could be purchased for about half the price. The bang-for-buck power made this engine a favorite among voters for the Top 10 list. The 440 was the last of the Chrysler mills above the 400 cubic inch mark, and with the addition of the “six-pack” carburetor setup from 1969-71, it really packed a punch.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Buick 3.8L Turbo

In 1987, the Buick Grand National was called America’s quickest car. This was due to its use of the Buick 3.8L turbo, which was first introduced at the 1976 Indianapolis 500, where it was used in the pace car. By 1978, Buick offered the 3.8L turbo as a production engine and its popularity rose throughout the 1980s.






  1. Engines ? How about GE 90-115B or Rolls Royce Merlin ?

    • MAZDA ROTARY AND TOYOTA 22RE are being slighted by our narrow minded patriotic gearheads…talking performance…or talking reliability these motors deserve a nod

  2. wiliam mccarter says:

    you failed to mention that ford made high performance version of the 300 six I do not know all the production years of 150 with this motor but I do know that 1987 was one, because i drove one at work in construction delivery. wilhavnrg wheelmcc@outlook,com

  3. Surprised to see nothing about the AMC/Jeep/Chrysler 4.0L straight six.

  4. If the Cummins 5.9 made the list then the IH 7.3 should have made the list. Best diesel engine for light duty trucks ever made…

  5. why don’t any of the European engines feature here? yes, I know you are gonna say that they are fancy pancy overrated boat anchors, but what about the BMW straight six,? Ferrari v12, Lamborghinini V12, oh, and of course the venerable and just plain fantastic Porsche flat 6. Come on, the Porsche flat six is not a great engine?…..please, be fair

  6. One of the REAL Top 10 made in USA engines coming from the factory IS the Oldsmobile 1970 455 – 4brl carb engine that to get by the rules they said was 396hp but actually 425hp AND the famous 500ft pounds of torque ……..compared to the 426 Chrysler Hemi

    It came stock in my 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme which btw can go 0-100 UP a steep mountain paved road and on the highway over 120mph with this 46 year old engine and car.

    I still scare the crap out of Corvettes and their 427’s

  7. Or as I call it, “Top Seven Engines of All Time” LOL

  8. Michael Bryan Hollingsworth says:

    Really surprised to hear nothing of Toyota 22re..maybe toyota inline 6 too…or rotary engines…one of those motors should have made the list no matter what the list was based on…reliability is the 22re….performance and reliability along with total value is the toyota straight 6 ie supra and land cruiser…then just sheer mind blowing performance Is the Mazda rx7..300hp out of 1.3 liters…I’m American and love muscle in fact my family has owned a Chevy dealership for near 100 years but those engines are all too notch and worth a mention.

    • Michael Bryan Hollingsworth says:

      Top notch not too notch unlike my bottom notch typing skills…sorry for being so long winded and thanks for reading.

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