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Question Of The Day: Most Legendary Inline Six Engine?

Illustration for article titled Question Of The Day: Most Legendary Inline Six Engine?

Now here's a QOTD that's sure to get the single-interest fanatics swinging their sabers at the neck-pipes of perceived infidels, but we're hoping that y'all can dredge up some, like, objectivity here: Which I6 engine is most legendary?

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Originally, this was going to be a straight-up Chrysler Slant Six versus BMW M20 versus Jaguar XK match, but then what about all those dominating Hudson racers of the 1950s? Fine, we'll consider a bunch of postwar I6s. For that matter, what makes a legend? Should sheer production figures get the plain-vanilla GM and Ford sixes in the running? What about the 10,000-year run of the Chrysler Flathead Six? The BMC C? How about the Japanese? All those great Mercedes-Benz sixes? Aaargh!

Because it's just impossible to come up with a list that won't get my name on a fatwa issued by the likes of the North American 250-Powered Camaro And Fully Automatic Weapon Owner's Club, you don't get a poll, or even suggestions (beyond the simple, unassailable fact that anyone who doesn't go with the Slant Six is a Communist or maybe worse). You can refer to the EOTD Overload list for ideas, but I'll betcha you know the answer to this question already.

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DISCUSSION

Wow; tough question. I've driven a Chrysler slant six, an AMC six, and both the M20 & M30 BMW's... The Chrysler was probably the most robust; that thing carried me most of the way through my high school years with all the abuse/neglect I could throw at it. Too bad it was wrapped in such crap ('70 Duster) that the motor outlasted the car.

The AMC six was in an '81 Jeep, and it's only weakness was the stoopid plastic valve cover. Once that was gone, that engine was everything it was supposed to be.

But then came the BMW's... Can't beat the M20 for longevity, but the M30 is a strong contender, and the M30 doesn't have the timing belt Achilles Heel of the M20. Plus, the M30 turns an e28/e30 from a car that's fun to drive into a car that's an absolute BLAST to drive.

1. M30!

2. M20

3. Chrysler

4. AMC