Engine Mini-Series – Ford’s Small Block V8s Part I

I haven’t done a Engine Mini-Series in sometime, I find readers like the Engine Line Up posts a lot, so I’ve stuck with that.  They are quick and fun pieces to research and write.


I received a request from a reader  (motown_missile) from the /r/classiccar subdirectory over on Reddit, who read my latest Engine Line UP post, for something on Ford small block V8’s specifically  the 221, 260 and 289 engines.  So I thought yeah that’s a great idea!!! But it didn’t really fit how I structure the Engine Line Up posts and then I recalled doing these mini-series and that fits the request.  Thanks motown_missile!!!!

Now the Ford small block V8 label (also called the “90 Degree V8s”) covers a few rare engines (limited production/limited use), one of the most iconic and some real workhorses.  The engines that fall under this designation are 221, 255, 260, 289 and yes the 302 and even the 351 Windsor (not the Cleveland).  I’ll cover each one in separate posts.

The Ford small blocks were designed the end of the 1950’s put in to production cars in 1962  the first and smallest (20 inches across and only 475 lbs) and it displaced 221 cubic inches and so designated as the 221.

The 221, in 1962,  had a compression ratio of 8.7:1 with a bore and stroke respectively of 3.50 x 2.87.  It sported two-bolt main-bearing, cast nodular crankshaft (only 37 lbs), cast aluminum pistons, hydraulic camshaft and individually mounted iron rockers.  The cylinder heads were wedge-shaped and the intake valves were 1.59 in. and the exhaust valves were 1.39  This was all topped off with a cast iron two barrel intake manifold and it produced about 143 hp @ 4,500 rmp and 217 foot lbs of torque @ 2200 rpm.  For 1963 it remained about the same with a slight increase in the bore and stroke (3.75×3.30 inches) producing a compression ratio of 8.8:1 and 145 hp.   Both years were topped with Holley carbs.

The 221 is one of the rarest small block.  It saw only 2 years of production use (1962 and 1963) and you could find it in the Ford Fairlanes and Mercury Meteor.  If you want to know if your 62-63 Fairlane or Mete0r originally had a 221 check the VIN for the code L ( C – 1962 export or 3 for 1963 export).

Nicely painted 221 V8

Nicely painted 221 V8

1962 Mercury Meteor 33

1962 Mercury Meteor 33

1963 Ford Fairlane

1963 Ford Fairlane


Next up will be the 255.

Thanks for reading and if you have any input or pic of your own 221, drop me a note a AGCarRestoration@cox.net.  Comments always welcome!!!



Out and About!!! #ProjectSportsRoof

Out and About!!!













ford 221 v8 engine

1973 Mustang SportsRoof – Floor Pans Getting To It! – Part Two

Hey, welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof (1973 Mustang).  We are working through the rusted floor pans and I’m about to make the cut for removing rust from the right rear foot-well.

Quick note about the video sequence.  As executive director, camera guy (well smart phone guy) and film editor (is that still a real thing?), I don’t always plan out the steps like you might see on a TV show.  (There goes my chances of being on Counting Cars – I’ve got a better chance of being a walk-on-the-set zombie on the Walking Dead – I love both of those shows!!!! ) Perfect example is in the next few posts and videos.  Instead of stripping out all the carpeting, I made a cut along the tunnel on the right side and just removed that carpet.  You can clearly see that.   Then I removed the rust from the foot-well (you’ll see that below) and then worked on cutting the re-pop floor patch.

That went so well, I felt confident enough to remove the driver’s seat and the rest of the carpeting.  So when I show that video you’ll notice both patch panels on the right side are fitted.  There just no ‘do overs’ on this project.

Here are the next two videos.  By the way you can see all the videos on my YouTube channel  just search for #ProjectSportsRoof and you’ll find most of them.



Once again in the video I mention getting the replacement pan for under the rear seat – above the muffler.  However, as I mentioned previously that portion of the floor is not reproduced.

More floor panel work coming up.  If you have comments or tips/hints use the comment box below.  Love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading.



Out and About!!! #ProjectSportsRoof

Out and About!!!







1973 Mustang – Project SportsRoof – Compression, Rods and Heads

Thanks for check in on #ProjectSportsRoof. If you remember a of couple months back, shortly after bringing the ’73 Mustang home, I conducted a compression test on all the cylinders.  The 351C was running rough (to put it mildly) and smoked like a pile of tires on fire (only the smoke …



Let’s Admit It: Manual Transmissions Need to Go

You just have to read the entire article and then seem my comments.

I make no judgement (like some of the other commenters) on whether Aaron is a “real car guy”, in fact I’m sure he is a ‘car guy’ – just one of ‘THOSE’ car guys. (If you are a real car guy you’ll know what I mean).

Courtesy of BMW By Aaron Miller @aaron_m_miller


I’m going to take a lot of heat for what I’m about to say. While no manufacturer can expressly admit it, behind closed doors, deep within the bunkers in Detroit, Munich, Stuttgart, and Tokyo, most engineers will nod in agreement. With enough soul searching, quite a few of my fellow automotive writers will find themselves agreeing, too. The visceral allure of the manual transmission as we know and love it isn’t….

Source: Let’s Admit It: Manual Transmissions Need to Go


Thanks for reading.


07 and 73

07 and 73




Engine Line Up – 1947 Chrysler

There’s not a huge fan club for the 1947 Chrylsers.  They were huge cars weighing well over 3,000 lbs, 18ft long and room for the whole family.  With names like Town & Country, New Yorker, Windsor, Saratoga – these car did demand respect.

1947 Town and Country - that sub-model name was used a lot by Chrysler

1947 Town and Country – that sub-model name was used a lot by Chrysler

You’d think they’d have huge engines to push these around town but the engine line up for 1947 consisted of only 2, one 6 cylinder and one 8 cylinder.

The 6 cylinder was called the Royal/Windsor engine.  It was an L head, cast iron hunk of metal.  With a bore and stroke of 3.438 ” x 4.50 “, five main bearings, solid lifter it displaced 250.6 cubic inches.  With the compression ratio at 6.6:1 (rather low) and topped with various carbs (B-B EV1 or Ev2 or E7L4 – for the fluid drive and B-BEx-1, EX3 or Ex2 for the manual shift) it managed to put out 114 HP’s.

Flat Head L6 Chrysler engine - powered some of these giants.

Flat Head L6 Chrysler engine – powered some of these giants.

The 8 cylinder was labeled Saratoga/New Yorker.  It was a flat headed iron blocked L8.  The bore was smaller than the 6 cylinder @ 3.25″ and the stroke was slightly higher @ 4.875 (nearly 1/2 an inch higher), creating compression ratio of 6.7:1 and displacing 323.5 cid.  It had solid lifters and five main bearings and took in air though a B-B E7A1 carb.  This all produced horse power of about 135 @ 3400 RPMSs

1947 Chrysler Saratoga/New Yorker L8 engine

1947 Chrysler Saratoga/New Yorker L8 engine

I really enjoy  doing Engine Line Up series of blog post. Hopefully you do too!!!!


Thanks for reading.


Engine Line Up – 1946 Packard

I love writing Engine Line Up pieces. I learn a lot doing the research. Back in 1946 there wasn’t a lot of imagination when it came to naming cars. Packard either named their cars after the engines that powered them or their engines after their car models plus the cylinder count. …

Engine Line Up – 1949 Chevrolet

1949 was the first year after World War II where Chevrolet did a complete maker-over of its offerings, meager in terms of variations as compared to what they would become in the next decade. With only the Special Series 1500 GJ, Deluxe Series GK, each with a Fleetline and Styleline …

Engine Line Up – 1956 Hudson Part I

Think there was much of a choice of engines back in 1956?  Well there were a few for the 1956 Hudson. As was custom back in the 40’s and 50’s, the engines were often named similar to the model of the car they powered.  For the 1956 Hudson, the company had …

Engine Line UP – 1964-1966 Griffith

Ok…how many of you stopped to Google Griffith? Not a commonly mentioned classic car, right? Well the Griffith was developed by a Ford dealer, Jeff Griffith.  It was a tubular frame with a British TVR body bolted on.  He produce the cars in that configuration, until the source of the TVR bodies …



Car News Now – C.N.N. – Caddy CT6 Hybrid, Sicon FR-S or 86 and Elio P5

Is anyone tired of Hybrids? Part car, part generator. and I think it’s a cop-out for not being able to produce an affordable, long distance electric car (not include Tesla.)

But maybe the Cadillac CT6 Hybrid will change your mind or not.

The GM boast that the car produced 449 ponies at the rear wheel.  That produced by the 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder and two electric motors. This will push the car from 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds.  If that’s a the good news here’s the worse – only 37 miles on a full charge – DUDES – why bother?!?!?!?!?!  They are calling  it a (Chevy) Volt (might be because it shares parts with the Volt) on steroids!!!  Really?   Well, it’ll have comfy seats, I bet!!!!

Underwhelmed? Sure if it looks just like this 2016

Underwhelmed? Sure, if it looks just like this 2016

Powered Up.

Powered Up.

Toyota used the ‘Scion’ name like software developers the word ‘beta’ – not really ready for prime time.  (I still hate the fact the Celica disappeared into that mess.)  Frankly nothing much was worth buying under the Scion name until they produced the FR-S in 2011.  The car was based on the previous 8-6 (86) concept and was a joint effort between Toyota and Subaru.  Toyota was moved the 86 platform back under the Toyota brand and will be giving it a new look.  Questions is will is cousin the BRZ get a new look?  No one knows yet.

New 86?

New 86?


Enter stage right – the Elio P5, the new U.S. Car company.   With it’s all powerful 60-hp 0.9-liter 3-cylinder front-mounted engine that can lay down 55 ft lb of torque, reach  a top speed of over 100 mph and  can get from  0 to 60 mph under 10 seconds.  Get all this for under $7K.

The P5

The P5 – Did I mention it only had 3 wheel?

P5 Power Plant

P5 Power Plant


It’s a trike-motorcycle, yes?

Thanks for reading.


AUTO FACTOIDS & C.N.N for Week of 7/26/2015 – Studebaker to Viper

Kaiser-Fraser formed July 26, 1945 – The Kaiser-Frazer Corporation was the result of a partnership between automobile executive Joseph W. Frazer and business man Henry  J. Kaiser. In 1947, the company acquired the automotive assets of Graham-Paige.  Interesting enough, Kaiser had no automotive business experience.   In 1953 the company became …
Auto Factoids and C.N.N for week of Sept 6th 2015 – TBird and Studebaker

Here is your #AutoFactoids and Car News Now for this first full week of September 2015. Auto Factoids Sept. 7, 1954 – Production of Ford Thunderbird begins 1955 T-Bird 2002 Thunderbird             Sept. 8, 1903   Preston Tucker was born in Capac, MI. While dubbed “Tucker Torpedo” during production no ‘Torpedoes’ were produced. Beautiful …
Car News Now (C.N.N. ) – Mustang Beats Corvette – WHAT!!?

Sometimes the Automotive Journalism world is so off track – pun intended – that they cross the line where “reporting” becomes “tabloid babble”. Take the headline  “MUSTANG BEATS CORVETTE!!!”  “America Meet Your New Sports-Car King”. That is quite a statement gracing the cover of the Feb 2016 issue of Car and …

1973 Mustang SportsRoof – Floor Pans Getting To It! – Part One

The last three post we basically a run down of the extent of the rust damage in the floor pan areas on #ProjectSportsRoof.  As you saw the right side was bad, especially the under the rear seat on that side and the left side not as bad.   Interesting enough it ended up being about the same work for both foot wells and a lot work for the whole under the rear seat.  (You’ll notice in at least one of the videos I mentioned that all I needed to do was to buy the panel for under the rear seat – but I was wrong.  Those just are reproduced.  What I ended up doing was purchasing a 3rd foot well pan and “modifying” that to get the whole patched.)

As this is my first time actually doing floor pans, I did a lot of “making sure” up front work to limited the size of the mistakes I might make.  Last thing I needed to do was cut in the wrong place or make the opening to big.  As you know the Mustangs of that era only had  sub-frames and the floor for the most part were what held them together.  A major screw up there and you’ve weakened the structure and then it’s body off complete floor replacement – NOT IN THE BUDGET!!!

Here’s some of the preliminary work.


So of course there isn’t a rear panel (see above) and the drain in the panel is not plugged with a rubber stopper, but with a metal screw down plate – sealed with seam sealer.

I worked the left side first (some I could keep the car mobile – for pulling in and out of the garage) so I left the driver’s seat and most of the carpet in place.


Coming up is the first cuts of the right side floor pan and fitting of the replacement panel.


Thanks for reading.








1973 Mustang SportsRoof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part Three

Thanks for checking in on the 1973 Mustang project.   Below is the last part of the discovery process for determining the extent rust damage.  Here is the driver’s side.


This shot doesn’t look too bad, especially compared with the right side.   Below is a video recap of what needs to happen.

Of course still need to remove the rest of the carpeting. All indications are that everything else is solid!!


Thanks for reading


1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part Two …

Mar 2, 2016 Among these things are coins and #ProjectSportsRoof had an abundance of lost change. The first coin I found was a nickel. It was under the …
1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part One

Feb 29, 2016 Thanks for following along with #ProjectSportsRoof. Over the next couple of weeks (giving myself a lot of time to get this all down in the blog) …
vintage muscle car | Tumblr

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof. We beginning the actual work on the vacuum system on the projects 351C starting with the valve assembly distributor ( the …
07 and 73

07 and 73

2nd Annual Team Tanner and Friends Car Show – Benefiting Autism Society 2

The 2nd Annual Team Tanner and Friends Car Show – Benefiting Autism Society  was a lot of fun.  Some very cool cars  there –  like these 4 beauties!!!

You can see my 2007 C6 and the 1973 Mustang (#ProjectSportsRoof) and my son’s 1991 Chrysler Le Baron vert and good friend’s 2011 Mustang vert(with the nicest seats ever!!!).


Constant reader of this blog Bill and my son Ryan

Constant reader of this blog Bill and my son Ryan

This was my son Ryan’s first car he’s entered in a car show.  The 1991 Le Baron is a true collector and is in excellent survivor condition with over 140k miles he is the only the second owner.  Bill (sitting next to my son) was the Le Baron’s first owner – that’s Bill’s 2011 Mustang V6!!!

Besides those cars – here is my favorite late 50’s car at the show.

1956 Ford Club Sedan -1 1956 Ford Club Sedan -2

1956 Ford Club Sedan -3

Clean 282 Engine!!

1956 Ford Club Sedan -4

One of my favorite attributes….a painted dash!!!

1956 Ford Club Sedan -5

The fender skirts are great and the detailed side molding is outstanding!!! (And all original!!)

1956 Ford Club Sedan -6

This 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan has 282 engine, 3 speed column shift and has just over 30k original miles.  It all original except the tires (the spare is original).  This was an Ebay buy and originated in PA.

There were a couple beautiful pickups and a Lotus and 1988 Shelby Dodge Charger – very cool!!

The voting, interestingly enough, was done by the car owners and everyone that came to view the cars.

Trophies were handed out and one of the winner was this car:

#ProjectSportsRoof took home one in the 1970's/Under Construction category

#ProjectSportsRoof took home one in the 1970’s/Under Construction category

Yup lots of love shown to my 1973 Mustang SportsRoof.

It was a small but fun show.  Lots of time to have long conversations with the owners and the crowd.

Thanks to Hagerty Insurance, Mothers Wax and Car Guy Garage for supporting the car show.  We raised awareness and money for Southern Arizona  Autism Society!!

Oh…and if you are in Tucson, AZ there is a walk that raised money for this worthy cause as well.

Thanks for reading


10 Annual Autism Walk - Tucson, AZ

10 Annual Autism Walk – Tucson, AZ


1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part Two – Incidental Find

As with most car restoration projects discovering what needs to be worked on and to what extent is an experience to say the least.  Sometimes that discovery is a bit disheartening like the rust to floor pans on the right side, sometimes is a major relief  and sometimes it’s cool.

As I began removing carpet – which I’m now sure was 33 years old, it uncovered the normal dirt, pens, papers (no build sheet… bummer) and just about all the normal things that slide between the seat cushions and work their way under the carpet.  That can show a lot about its previous owners and how the car was used.

Among these things are coins and #ProjectSportsRoof had an abundance of lost change.   The first coin I found was a nickel.  It was under the underlayment which I found to be a tough place for nickel to have worked its way.   Interesting enough it was dated 1973.

1973 Jefferson Nickel.  Placed by a a worker at the factory?  hmmmm....

1973 Jefferson Nickel. Placed by a a worker at the factory? hmmmm….

This reminded me of an often told tail of auto workers leaving tokens of some sort in an inconspicuous place.  Wouldn’t that be interesting.

Over all nearly $30.00 in coins were found and of those 3 were from 1973 (a nickel, a quarter and a penny).  With a huge cap between 1979 and the 2005 (perhaps indicating it’s break in service when the car was left in a field, junked and then saved.

Someone in the Ford factory back in the day leave this 1973 Jefferson nickel so that someone years later might find it?   Interest thought!!!

Thanks for reading.



1973 Mustang Sports Roof – Floor Pan Discovery – Part One

2 days ago Thanks for following along with #ProjectSportsRoof. Over the next couple of weeks (giving myself a lot of time to get this all down in the blog) …
restored-cars | Tumblr

Welcome back to #ProjectSportsRoof. We beginning the actual work on the vacuum system on the projects 351C starting with the valve assembly distributor ( the …