Question of the Week: What is the best sounding engine?


Any V8 or V12 with a flat crankshaft.


Three old Fords come to mind. There is nothing else like the sound of a flathead with Smithys, except maybe the mellow rumble of a Y-block through glasspacks, and a 289-302 smallblock with dual exhaust makes beautiful music. Ford actually got the new overhead cam Mustangs to sound almost as good as the old smallblocks.


Any radial aircraft engine, Harley, — '50s Chevy 6 with dual exhaust, as has been mentioned.
Edit: Forgot to mention, Rolls-Royce/ Packard Merlin engine at full song.


I have a 1934 ford hot rod truck with a 671 blower love the sound of a blower on anything


Sound is such a critical part of the emotions a car evokes. I’m captured by the sound of any performance engine. It first hit me when one of my dad’s buddies rolled up in a 67 GTO with glass packs, so a Pontiac 400. Then a 69 442 from another friend and I was hooked. I’ve put 3 exhaust, the last being a 3 inch custom with a Borla on my LS1 to make it sound just like I want it to. American V-8s stir my soul.


For me, it’s gotta be a small block Chevy (even better with high compression and a lumpy idle). 6 cylinders aren’t enough and 10 are too many.


Most of us in the day just cut the manifold in half and blocked the cut ends. That’s all there was to it.

If you have ever watched the movie Thunder Road with Robert Mitchum listen to the cars coming down the road. They dubbed in split manifold six exhaust sounds.


Back in the late 50ths I was working at Leo’s on PCH in Long Beach Vs and sometimes splitting Ang blocking threes day, had jigs set up to do, Jack


Great but with a 3inch exhaust and Borla mufflers he lost his low end but great for mid and top end, Jack


I’m a big block guy. A stock 428 CJ automatic idling in or out of gear does it for me. Has the right growl, but not over powering. I must admit though, a SBC with high compression, solid lifters & headers sounds great.


Well as much as I love a big block Chevy and my Pontiac LT1 1996 T/A. I never could get past the growl of the 5.4L 32 valve '95 Porsche 928 GTS. It was like cruising in a P51 without wings.


I like my 69 427 sidepipe corvette. Hard to believe they sold cars like that stock. Fast loud and in your face.


351 Cleveland bored 0.40 over with headers!


Gio, I too was around when they were racing and won the World Championship for Makes in '73 & '74 in the 670B. A dominating performance in both years. That engine went on to power many other successful racers including the Ligier Formula One teams in the 70’s.


Love the sound of s14 engine in a bmw e30 M3 screaming at 7000 rpm.


There are so many fabulous sounding STOCK FACTORY Cars. I love American Muscle and the sounds of these when IDLING were about as good as they got.
Obviously when running Wide Open it would be different.

68’ - 70’ Plymouth GTX or Roadrunner with a 383 or 440 in it.

64’ - 70’ Pontiac GTO 389 with 3x2’s,
400 or 455

68’ - 72’ Oldsmobile 442 with any of their Big Blocks in them

65’ Corvette I’m not sure what year but I know it had a 327/375 hp in it

70’ Boss Mustang 429 and 302

17’ Corvette ZR1 and ZO6

17’ Challenger Hemi Hellcat

65’ Cobra 302 and 427

69’ Yenko Camaro 427

69’ Corvette 427, L88 and or a ZL1

69’ Dodge Superbee 426 Hemi


And the best sounding Transmission I’ve ever heard was a;
Muncie M22 Rockcrusher


Ford 289 or 302 h-po with Holley 715 on an aluminum high riser, 11.5:1, Shelby solid lifter cam, factory tri-Y headers into stock 2.75” transverse muffler duals…exiting into factory (67 GT350) 4” stainless steel tips. Idle is beautiful and a Shelby small block at 7k is awesome. God, I miss just going out in the garage, turning the key and grinning even after I turned the key to off. One turn of the starter gear and instant harmony. I can still hear a solid cam 5.0 at a stop light and know what it is before I see what year it’s in. When it leaves the light, it brings back beautiful memories of the first 24 years of my drivers license


Don’t laugh too hard, but a Volkswagen 36 horsepower engine with pea shooters sounds the best.


Here is another one for you. The sound of the P51’s Merlin 12 cylinder. Indescribably delicious :yum: