A begrudging appreciation for the Ford FE V8

It’s hard to rank an American institution like Ford Motor Company, which has been making cars for longer than nearly any other manufacturer. Not only has this brand sold the most cars stateside in history, Ford has also been a leader in quality for over a century, though, like every American automaker, there have been a few bumps in the road.

Being raised a Chevy guy, I was brought up believing that Ford was an acronym for “Fix Or Repair Daily” or the phrase “Freakin’ Oughta Rode a Donkey.” However, it’s hard to knock the brand that made the Boss 302 and the legendary GT. And, after all, they did a really good job bringing back the pony car back to glory with the revamped fifth-generation Mustang.

A phrase that Ford enthusiasts are known for throwing around is “thank the lord for the big block Ford,” and I won’t deny that this brand has produced some epic V8s.

The 352ci FE V8 was probably the signature engine produced by the Blue Oval through the late ’50s. This engine was what made the Thunderbird sing, and with a Holley 4160 carburetor, it was one of the most effective motors on the road. All of the FEs, which started production in 1958, featured the innovative and slim Y-block approach.

This design allowed the engine to have long skirts that cradled the crankshaft. This sort of deep-skirted block provided excellent rigidity and sturdy performance when put to the test.

Superior performance can be found in the 360/390/410 FE V8s that came about in the ’60s, which were all based around the same 4.05-inch bore that was characteristic of these sort of engines.These engines were pretty much equal caliber to many of the ones made by Chevy, I hate to admit, which made the competition between the two powerhouses so exciting during the ’50s and ’60s.

Which was your favorite Ford engine? Or do you, like me, have an inherent bias against the Blue Oval? Leave your thoughts below: