For almost a full century, the American car industry has been dominated by big engines, most commonly V8s. Although U.S. manufacturers didn’t invent the V8 or V10, they started producing it in significant numbers from the beginning of the 20th century. Since V8s were so common and inexpensive to maintain and modify, hot rod and muscle car cultures have become highly significant landmarks of the American car industry.
Today, we broke down some of the best American engines of the last 100 years. While you may know some of them, others are rare collector items. You may even find one of these engines in a long-lost sports car. They’ve gained respect and recognition on the race tracks and drag strips all over the country. However, all these engines have three things in common: they are American, they are important and they sound glorious.
30. Ford 289 V8 HiPo
Ford’s 289 V8 engine marked the evolution of the V8 motor. It was introduced in 1961 with a 221 cubic inch displacement. This family of V8 engines had a 90-degree angle between the cylinder banks, a relatively small and lightweight block. Soon, the 221 cubic inch engine was enlarged to 260, and then to a 289 cubic inch displacement. The 289 gained fame as the engine of choice in 1964 to 1968 Ford Mustang. The base power output was around 200 HP, but there was also a famous 289 HiPo version with significantly more power.
Called the K-Code, it was the 289 V8 but with the different internals, heads, and 271 HP, which was more than enough for the performance Mustang fans asked for. Introduced in 1965 and available until 1967, the 289 HiPo was the first Mustang that ran as well as it looked, especially if you ordered it in the gorgeous Fastback body style.