My Car Quest

May 27, 2024

Hot Rod Engines

by Mike –

The engine is a very important element of the hot rod and there are almost as many different hot rod engines as their are hot rod designs.

Hot Rod

With all of the engine choices it is common for the engines to be mixed up with the car marque that makes up the original car that became a hot rod. Meaning a Ford hot rod may have a Chevy engine.

Hot Rods are an interesting part of the collector car world where many times, if not most, the financial aspects are not as important as achieving the vision of the builder. The finished hot rod may not be worth what it cost to build. This does not deter the builder seeking to realize his or her hot rod vision.

Hot Rod engine

Part of the cost is the engine and the engine features: power, other characteristics like weight and of course how it looks. Hot Rod builders love to show off their engines – many engine bays are open for all to see and to more clearly hear the engine. Yes, the sound is important.

Hot Rod

Almost all of the hot rod engines are American V8s but occasionally something like a Ferrari engine in a hot rod shows up.

Hot Rod engine

Either way it’s all fun and the Offenhauser engine is a great choice if one can be found.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

More hot rods and their engines are in the slide shows below



So-Cal Belly Tanker sign

This was originally posted in April 2015.

Hot Rod Engines
Article Name
Hot Rod Engines
There are almost as many kinds of hot rod engines as their are hot rods.


  1. Years ago, I sold a Ferrari Daytona engine to a dude in Northern Ca, for installation in a hot rod, a 32 roadster as I recall. I wonder where that car is now.

  2. Ed,

    There are a few Ferrari Hot Rods that were made up here in Northern California. Two are profiled in the book, “’32 Ford Deuce” by Tony Thacker.

    The Ells/Hansen Roadster built by Roy Brizio for James Ells (page 200) uses a 4.4 liter 1971 Ferrari V12. It won the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award in 1987 and is owned by Cliff Hansen as of the book publishing date (2007). Could this be the one that used your engine?

    The other in the book on page 170 is the Brian Burnett Deucari Roadster built by Dick “Magoo” Megugorac which uses a 245 cid V12 from a 1972 365 GT 2+2. Brian Burnett was a Ferrari dealer in Los Gatos – I assume the famous Ferrari of Los Gatos.

    I have seen two others:

    The Torpedo owned by Eric Zausner and built by Steve Moal has a 550 Maranello V12 bought new directly from Ferrari. See photos at this link:

    The latest is The Angelo Special owned by Larry Carter, built by Roy Brizio, uses a 365GTC/4 V12 – photos are at this link:

  3. To bad we can’t post pictures. Mike when are you going to bring this site into the modern world?

  4. Jeffrey Kobman says

    WELL DONE MIKE!!! Great photos with a wide variety – NICE!!!

  5. Richard Bartholomew says

    I was told most cobra replicas are fitted and sold with Chevy power instead of Ford V8s but I wonder if this statistic has changed over the years back to Ford power plants.

Speak Your Mind