In the 1968 model year, Ford decided that its existing small-block V8 might be a tad too small, what with the ongoing horsepower wars and the possibility (later a certainty) of emissions regulations, and increased the stroke to 3.00 inches. The bore remained at 4.00 inches, giving a total displacement of 302 cubic inches. To this day you can buy a 302 crate engine from Ford Racing.

And to this day there have been 302 installments of the Carnival of the Vanities, the most recent dubbed “Maltese”, inasmuch as Andrew Ian Dodge is just back from Malta.


  1. Dick Stanley »

    3 October 2008 · 10:27 pm

    But wouldn’t you really rather have an engine controlled by a computer? I drove some of those ghastly Ford products in the 60s and they were awfully unreliable. I seem to remember some with chokes on their dashboards, like a lawn mower or an outboard motor. Nostalgia has its place, but so does realism.

  2. CGHill »

    4 October 2008 · 9:40 am

    You should have seen them in the 80s. (Or maybe you shouldn’t have.)

    Anyway, the guys buying crate engines aren’t updating their daily drivers; they’re wanting to go racing. Different dynamic entirely.

  3. unimpressed »

    4 October 2008 · 3:58 pm

    I’ve driven 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s. When they are running right, the newer computer-controlled models are great; more power per pound, better mileage, cleaner running, etc.! When they aren’t, a shadetree mechanic doesn’t have a prayer–too much crap on the engine(s). I’ve done complete teardowns/rebuilds on mid-70s and before. It’s as simple as falling off a log. Anything after that, you gotta have thousands of dollars worth of diagnostic equipment to even know where to start on a repair. That doesn’t even take into account the multitude of specialty tools required for this, that and something else.

    The newest car I ever saw with a manual choke was an early-50s Chevy truck.

  4. CGHill »

    4 October 2008 · 4:54 pm

    The nice thing about my old ’75 Celica was that I could identify most of its parts on sight. It even had points, fercrissake. (And no catalytic converter, either.)

    I pop the hood on my current ride, though, and I’m doing well to find the dipstick for the transmission fluid.

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