Favorite V8 engine?

Photograph Courtesy Aston Martin

The V8 engine seems to have it all–the sound, the power and the prestige­–but which one is your favorite? The brutish American? The refined German?

Perhaps you enjoy something else entirely, like British, Italian or even Japanese?

Whatever it is, let us know in the comments below.

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View comments on the CMS forums
7/11/22 11:23 a.m.

Ford Voodoo 5.2 

GeoWeb New Reader
7/11/22 12:01 p.m.

Small block Chevy

Chris Econmaki used to claim that the most popular racing engine ever was the Ford Model B (four cylinder). That may have been true in the golden age of the midget racer, but I think that the Chevy has to have surpassed the Ford.

I remember when Car & Driver (or perhaps R&T) had a cover story in the late '50s or early '60s about how so many diffefrent kinds of racing cars in different racing disciplines were using that engine. And that's before it became ubiquitous in strock car racing

enderby New Reader
7/11/22 12:34 p.m.

The Ferrari F355 five valve motor.  One of the best sounding street cars.

Noddaz UberDork
7/11/22 12:36 p.m.



All filed under "engines that I will never own".

Desmodromic None
7/11/22 12:43 p.m.

Toyota 1UZ-FE.  I had a Soarer (Lexus SC400 in the US) with one of these engines.  Great build quality, more than enough power to drive the rear wheels. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/11/22 12:47 p.m.

Let's see, V8s in the fleet:

1966 Cadillac 429. Wants to be an electric motor. Sounds good with a hole in the header.

2002 BMW E39 M5 (insert secret engine code here). A sweetheart. Not a brute, this wants to be revved. Makes a great noise.

2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.7 (I think?). Characterless and attached to a sloppy automatic. 

LS1 and LS3: Hammers. Just compact bundles of instant torque and noise. It helps that they're both in cars that weigh 2300-2400 lbs. But man, they'll punch you in the back of the head.

So of that group, the BMW is the engine that feels the most special and the LS3 is the one that just plain gets the job done.

Appleseed MegaDork
7/11/22 1:23 p.m.

426 Hemi.

Kevin Couloures
Kevin Couloures None
7/11/22 3:40 p.m.

BMW S65.  Sounds amazing at 7500-8000 rpm 

sir_mike Reader
7/11/22 4:20 p.m.

427 Ford or SOHC Ford

Richard Richer
Richard Richer New Reader
7/11/22 4:26 p.m.

2.5 litre hemi Daimler SP250 - a jewel!

7/11/22 4:32 p.m.

The LS engines.

They are like boobs, readily available to the common man or woman, available in any displacement stock or modified, and always just an unquestionably good thing.

MGWrench New Reader
7/11/22 5:53 p.m.

My all time favorite V8 is the 1961-1963 Oldsmobile 215.  My 1961 Olds F85 Deluxe Wagon soldiered on the 275,000 miles and after GM quit building it, Repco took it the F1!  I'm fitting one now to my MGB-GT.

oldeskewltoy UberDork
7/11/22 6:25 p.m.

Being of that particular age....  I've owned a number of V8s... a few stand outs - Ford's 289 k code, Pontiac's 400 Ram AirIII, and Ford's 428SCJ.  I've not owned a Chevy V8, or a Mopar...  but I did have a boss with a Hemi Road Runner.....


Speaking about Hemi's.... cheeky my new favorite V8 is my Toyota 4.0 liter aluminum Hemi V8 - Lit'lphant



and for those who want a bit of exhaust note.....




malibuguy HalfDork
7/11/22 7:18 p.m.

toss up between SBC and 1uzfe

7/11/22 10:01 p.m.

I really like the motor in my Panoz Roadster...4 cam 4.6L ...Has a nice growl !



J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
7/12/22 9:19 a.m.

The sound of a flathead Ford always got my attention.

frenchyd MegaDork
7/12/22 10:23 a.m.

Does it have to be a V8?   Can it be a straight 8 like a Buick?  Well any V8 in a wooden hill boat with straight pipes burbling under water!   ( Chris Craft) 

 but actually for boat engines the KBL Chris Craft ( actually a Hercules )  but that's a Flathead 6 with 3 carbs and the wildest camshaft  you can imagine.  
   Let's see The Hemi,  doesn't matter if it's a Chrysler or DeSoto Red Ram. Daimler 2.5 &4.5,   Always a Little fuel goes directly from the intake to the exhaust and ignites  in the exhaust system.  The exhaust system sounds like it's blowing bubbles. 

wspohn SuperDork
7/12/22 10:50 a.m.

The best looking one I have worked on was this:

Available from 2.0 to 3.0 displacements (the one I worked on was in a 2.5 Uracco)

ShawnG MegaDork
7/12/22 11:19 a.m.

Hard to beat a fully dressed nailhead:

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