Tuesday, 06 November 2012 13:00

Jim’s Blog – Question of the Month: Is it wrong to put a Chevy engine in a Ford hot rod?

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A crown jewel or an abomination? A crown jewel or an abomination? Jim Pickering

We’ve all seen it hundreds of times. A 1932 Ford roadster done up in hot rod style, with big and little wheels, candy paint, tuck and roll upholstery, and a 350 Chevy V8. 

A Chevrolet 350? Wait a second. Shouldn’t your Ford hot rod be all blue oval? 

Traditionally, in the hot rod world, Bow Tie powerplants have been popular swaps over their Ford counterparts. Why? Because the small-block Chevy is cheap, effective, and simple. And hot rodders loved that combination back in the day – especially compared to the old technology of flathead Ford V8s. Plus, since GM built the small block from 1955 through the late 1990s, parts are literally everywhere. And a lot of those parts interchange. 

But what about other Ford products like Mustangs, trucks, and full-size cars? There’s a ’60s Fairlane street/strip car running around Portland that’s powered a hot small-block Chevy. If you’re OK with Chevy-powered ’32s, how do you feel about cars like that Fairlane?

Personally, I have no problem with Chevrolet engines in anything. But then again, I’m a Chevy guy (even though I drive a Mopar daily). But Ford engines are just as common, inexpensive, and powerful as their Chevrolet counterparts. So why would you swap? Why wouldn’t you?

This is our “Insider’s View” question for issue #7, and we’d like your participation. So what do you think? Is it wrong to put a Chevy engine in a Ford hot rod, or are there shades of gray? This one got all of the ACC staff arguing, so now it’s your turn. Let’s answer this once and for all!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Be sure to include your name and your city/state. Look for your responses in the next print issue of ACC!



Jim Pickering

Jim Pickering is the Editor of American Car Collector magazine and has been the Managing Editor of Sports Car Market magazine since 2006. As proficient with Snap-On tools as he is with a keyboard, Jim began his career as a professional mechanic while still in college at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, where he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing. He can often be found at Portland International Raceway at the Late-Night Drags, behind the wheel of his 12-second big-block powered 1966 Chevrolet Caprice. He is also currently restoring a 1972 Chevrolet K10 Cheyenne Super longbed in his spare time.