Here's to the V-6, the engine world’s unsung workhorse

I was a teenager when the V6 Capri came out, driving a VW Beetle; the V6 Capri became one of my aspirational cars.

Kinda hard to say that the V6 in the exotic Dino was a “workhorse”, but the article is a good one. I have owned at least 6 V6’s (three of GM 3.8’s, including a supercharged one), and have found them to be very good engines overall. My current Impala 3600 is a very capable, high-tech engine; my Accord coupe with the Honda V6 (including cylinder deactivation) is powerful and fuel-efficient. They don’t have the great sound of a good V8, but their low-RPM growl and high-RPM snarl sounds pretty darn good - MUCH better than most any 4-cylinder sounds.

Yeah… Had a wannabe GNX, a 1986 T-Type Regal. God I loved that car! Stock I would say definitely made more that 245HP. After one got used to the turbo lag and figured out how to drive the somewhat cushy car, it was a blast. With a small amount of engine work, the little V6 was producing well into the realm of 350HP. Then if one went further to stiffin up the suspension, the car was something to be dealt with. Stock Vettes used to challange me all the time… to their demise!

Hi, which GM V6 engines do you have EFI or carburetors? Transverse or rear wheel drive? Darrell I might be interested in one for my MGB. I am interested in 60 degree GM V6 for my little sports car. Not sure how to contact you. Where are you located?

@dwjiles - If you click on his screen name (gfkjhk) the option to send him a message will appear. That message will go between just you and him.

I’m so disappointed that the V6 used in my 2008 Mercedes C 350 was hard to beat for balance. It’s trouble free and reliable, quick, but still gets great mileage. Unfortunately most C cars now have a turbo 4.

It looks like you forgot the VW VR6 engine.
Larry Kenworthy

A couple of years ago I bought a 2000 Oldsmobile intrigue with a 3.5 V6 ,rated at 225 horsepower, it has amazed me with its power flexibility, and torque, I under stand it is a NorthStar ,with two cylinders removed, runs on regular gets great gas mileage, has been trouble free, and is a blast to drive !

Giuseppe Busso, Enzo Ferrari’s first engine designer created the SOHC fuel injected 60 degree Hemi V6 for Alfa-Romeo. Sports car magazines at the time voted it the best sounding engine in the world. Tisk-Tisk Hagerty it should’ve made the list.

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They are from the early to mid sixties, so I believe they are rear wheel drive engines. Brand new, never installed in a vehicle. Let me know if you need more information.

I had a GMC 3/4 ton Pickup back in the sixties as a work truck. It had the 305 cu. in. V6. You could pop the clutch at an idle in compound low gear and it would lurch forward and idle up the road. Still at idle, you almost couldn’t stop it by applying the brakes! That engine had torque that was unreal. Not a racer by any means though.

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I’ve had five 3.8 L Buick engines, three turbocharged and two supercharged. I still have one in a WH1 1986 designer series T-type. All were great running engines but the turbos were more fun due to the gear ratio and set up to drag race. The superchargers were strong too but not geared as low. All had plenty of power when you put your foot in it and got pretty good mpg when you drove conservatively. Hard to beat combination.

Hi, so what are the displacements of your engines? Long block, short block? Where are you located? I assume they are 90 degree GM V6 engines from the 60’s. I also assume all cast iron block. What is you asking price for these engines?

I always liked the Chevrolet 4.3L V6 although it is actually a Chevrolet 350 V8 with the front two cylinders chopped off. Hey, maybe that is exactly why it is such a good engine.

I loved the sho too and had the gm 3800 supercharged, both solid motors surprisingly , neither made the list

I own the same Alfa Romeo GTV-6 in Red with OZ 2-piece alloys AND the 3.0 Busso -designed V6 (donated by a Milano Verde 3.0 ) . I also own a Milano Verde 3.0 V6 . The Alfa V6 engine is so eager and it’s intoxicating to feel & hear it sing when it’s working up the Tach . Too few car lovers have experienced it .


Maybe they are playing to their core reader base only ? Impartiality rules only some of the time . You are absolutely correct on your point . I own 2 Alfa’s with the Busso-designed V6 . Superb !

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Well @Kyle when do we discuss the corvair flat 6!?!

Lets not forget the Z code 4.3 turbo from the 91 GMC Syclone! An underrated 280 HP little torque monster always over shadowed by those “slower” Buick turbos!

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@bdldo44 - I’ll admit I do not describe the flat six as a “180 degree V-6” like some. I think flat engines live in their own category. Maybe the Corvair engine is at the top of that category, maybe it is not…

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