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5 Mystery Muscle Motors of the 1960s that Detroit Never Sold in a Car

1968 Ford 289 SOHC V8

Ford built three experimental 289 with a unique single overhead camshaft design that features a cam located in each of the cast aluminum valve covers (instead of on top of the cylinder heads). The lobes of each cam activate the cast iron rocker arms that open each valve. In the original camshaft position within the engine is smooth shaft whose role is to drive the distributor as well as the two overhead cams. The purpose of this project was to raise the maximum engine speed and with it peak power. The OHC 289 produced 300 HP at 6500 rpm.

Ford considered offering the SOHC conversion as a kit. But as the stock HiPo 289 already made 271 hp, and Shelby was getting 306 hp with bolt-on parts, it was deemed not worth pursuing.

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Categories: Gear Grinding

Chris Riley

About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community that helped raise me.