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Engine Of The Day: Ford 385 Family V8

Illustration for article titled Engine Of The Day: Ford 385 Family V8

Today we're going to give EOTD honors to one of FoMoCo's all-time workhorses: the longest-lived of the Ford big-block V8s, most familiar to us in 429 and 460 c.i. displacements.

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You could also get the 385- so called, apparently, because of the 3.85" stroke in the 460- in 370- and 514-cube displacements (though the former was for trucks only and the latter was an SVO crate engine). The 385 enjoyed a nearly three-decade production run, starting in 1968, and powered countless LTDs, Country Squires, Torinos, Cyclones, big trucks, and- of course- the Boss 429 Mustang. It's no sweat to find 460s cheap in the junkyard these days (thanks to all the Malaise Continentals and Thunderbirds), so the Ford freaks can still build seriously hairy drag race machines on a budget.
[Wikipedia, Popular Hot Rodding]

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DISCUSSION

Spencer_Williams
Spencer Williams

What's the difference between a big-block and a small-block? I understand it's a matter of size, but where's the dividing line?

I understand this question is the automotive equivalent of "if you don't use it, do you indeed lose it?" but I'm asking it anyways.