The exotic becomes mundane

We take contemporary automotive technology more or less for granted. No, really:

The one piece to this story that I haven’t mentioned (at least I don’t think I have), is just how exotic this engine is. It’s an all aluminum, DOHC (Dual Overhead Camshafts) 24 valve V6. When I was a kid and muscle cars with their pushrod-operated, cast-iron, V8′s were all the rage, the only place you would have found an engine like this would have have been in something truly exotic, like a Ferrari Dino, and oh! how I lusted after a Ferrari in those days. Now it’s just one of a zillion very similar engines, and no one even appreciates how special they are. DOHC and 4 valves per cylinder are just a couple of bullet points on the marketing brochure, and they might just be one bullet point.

Down to one bullet point: one can do four valves per cylinder with a single overhead cam, but it hardly seems worth the effort anymore.

Interestingly, the engine being discussed is presumably the Chrysler LH, a 2.7-liter DOHC 24-valve V6; the next step up, in those days, was the 3.5, which had only the single cam.

Because I need to remind myself that there is progress being made, here’s what the mill in the Dino 206 was like: 2.0l DOHC V6, 9.7:1 compression, 160 hp @ 8000 rpm, 138 lb-ft @ 6500 rpm, redline 8000 rpm.

And this is my daily driver: 3.0l DOHC V6, 10:1 compression, 227 hp @ 6400 rpm, 217 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm, redline 6600 rpm. No trademark banshee wail, but you can’t have everything.


  1. Jeffro »

    10 December 2013 · 7:35 pm

    Less expensive repairs and reliability, too.

    When someone goes to waxing nostalgic about how well the cars were built back in the day compared to today, I figure they’ve lost their minds. Plugs every 10k, hard starting in cold weather and babysitting it until it will run on it’s own while freezing yer jewels off, points, rebuilding carbs, drum brakes all around, well, I could go on. Even the legendary quarter mile muscle cars have a good shot of being outrun by a V6 front driver these days.

  2. CGHill »

    10 December 2013 · 8:32 pm

    When’s the last time you saw a zerk?

  3. JT »

    10 December 2013 · 9:32 pm

    For some strange reason (well, it’s part British, perhaps not), my now 10 year old “new” Mini has that combination of 4 valves/cylinder and a single camshaft. Then again, it’s a Chrysler/Mercedes design engine that was originally meant for the European Neons. BMW finally figured out it wasn’t a good idea buying engines from their direct competitors and decided instead to buy them from Peugeot/Citroen (which at least had the decency to put two cams into the engine with those 4 valves/cylinder). Still, what were they thinking?

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