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The ceo 429 V8 was readily available in a production automobile for just two years, but its influence on the Ford power scene has continued for decades.

When the Ford Motor agency unveiled its recent racing engine to the public in the loss of 1968, a number of prospective name were readily available up, consisting of Blue Racer, Blue Crescent, Shotgun engine, and also Twisted Hemi. Yet somehow the label that stuck was ceo 429—the very same name as the only factory production vehicle that ever before used the engine. And while the Mustang boss 429 was developed for just two years, the engine’s power career has continued on for half a century.

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Like the big-block Chevy and also the Cleveland Ford, two an ext American V8s of the ’60s, the 385 work a canted-valve cylinder head layout, through the intake and exhaust valves inclined 4-5 degrees and also splayed 9 degrees. The 385 was produced in two displacements: a 429 cubic-inch variation (4.36-in boring x 3.59-in stroke) for the ’68 Thunderbird and a 460 cubic-inch unit of 4.36-in x 3.85-in bore and also stroke for Lincoln. (Reportedly, the 385 surname is taken native the stroke of the 460 version.) A racing engine based on the 385 architecture was likewise under development, and when Semon E. “Bunkie” Knudsen left general Motors to come to be president in ~ Ford in in march of 1968, that threw his enthusiastic assistance behind the project.

" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" loading="lazy" class="alignnone wp-image-78705 size-full" src="" alt="" width="584" height="303" srcset=" 594w, 300w, 500w" sizes="(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px" data-recalc-dims="1" />The heart and soul that the boss 429, you might say, is its burning chamber design: a traditional hemi configuration, but with a twist. Top top a standard hemi, Chrysler for example, the valves room deployed at right angles come the crankshaft centerline, or upright in this photo’s orientation. But on the Boss, the valves (2.28-in intake and 1.90-in exhaust) were rotated counterclockwise roughly 30 degrees, largely to enhance the harbor angles—hence the surname Twisted Hemi. Also, there were generally a pair that squish/quench zones on either next of the valves, as displayed here. Part racing execution of the boss head execute not employ these compression pads, giving the chambers an ext of a pure hemispherical shape. Except for at an early stage prototypes and also a couple of special castings created nitro traction racing, all boss heads space aluminum.

Another distinctive ceo feature: There space no head gaskets together such. Instead, a recipient groove was machined around the circumference of every cylinder (above) to expropriate a Cooper ring (aka WIlls ring) this rings were made from hollow steel tube around .093-.096 inches in diameter, i m sorry collapsed around .016 inches when the head bolts were torqued down, sealing the cylinder and leaving a .010-in waiting gap between the head and also the block. The sealing ring were previously used on part British gyeongju engines in the ’50s, and also Ford do the efforts variations the the setup top top the DOHC Indy and Le mans 427 engines before they were supplied on the Boss. Come seal the oil and coolant passages, receivers were also machined to accept DuPont Viton O-rings. If the no-gasket system forced extra care in assembly, it was essentially bulletproof.

This shop hands-on photo over illustrates the novel valvetrain hardware that permitted the Boss combustion chamber layout. Instead of a pair of rocker shafts, there to be an separation, personal, instance pedestal for each valve, with brief rocker arms because that the input valves, lengthy rockers for the exhausts, and valve lash adjustment taken in ~ the rocker arm. The sprawling valve train layout compelled broad, enormous rocker covers, which provided the boss V8 its distinctive, muscular look.

" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" loading="lazy" class="alignnone wp-image-78708 size-full" src="" alt="" width="584" height="389" srcset=" 600w, 300w, 450w" sizes="(max-width: 584px) 100vw, 584px" data-recalc-dims="1" />The boss V8’s primary target, of course, was NASCAR, and also here the engine is shown over with Ford factory chauffeurs David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, Lee Roy Yarbrough, and also Donnie Alllison (clockwise from bottom). The engine do its NASCAR debut partway into the ’69 season on in march 30 at Atlanta, where Cale Yarborough, control a hardwood Brothers Mercury, earned the ceo its first win appropriate out the the box. Spicy engine building contractors could acquire 620 horsepower or more, reportedly. The boss was the Ford NASCAR engine of an option until 1975 once the series reduced the displacement border to 358 CID, ending the big-block era in stock auto racing.

In the photo, also note the giant Holley four-barrel carburetor. Later on named the Dominator in a customer contest, this carb, capable of processing an ext than 1000 cubic feet that air every minute, to be jointly emerged by Ford and also Holley particularly for the ceo 429, and Ford gyeongju teams appreciated its exclusive use for a time. Later on the architecture was turned over to Holley and marketed come racers of every makes.

To homologate the 429 CID hem for NASCAR use, Ford was compelled to offer the engine to the public in a standard production car. Therefore an assembly line (above) was set up in a former motor house plant in Brighton, Michigan, whereby Ford’s exclusive performance contractor, Kar-Kraft, put together a restricted run of ceo 429 Mustangs. A total of 1,358 cars were built, offer or take, consisting of 859 in 1969 and also 499 for 1970. (The manufacturing run also included two Boss Cougars.) Priced at practically $5,000, the boss Mustang was expensive and also exotic, excessively nose-heavy, and with that is conservative roadway tuning and dinky 735 cfm carburetor, performed listed below its really potential. Still, the rare Mustangs are extremely prized by collectors today, v sound examples selling in the mid-six-figure range.

The ceo V8 additionally found its means into roadway racing, whereby a distinct 494 cubic-inch Can-Am version was emerged with an aluminum block and mechanical fuel injection. Holman Moody and also Alan Mann (shown) were amongst the teams that experimented with the ceo in the Can-Am series, enjoying minimal success, and also barely a grasp of the big 494 engines to be produced.

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The boss 429 engine story isn’t end yet. Ford engine guru and perennial Engine masters dyno vain winner Jon Kaase supplies a ceo for the 21st century, if girlfriend will. The ceo Nine V8 (below) is based upon Kaase’s very own cylinder head castings, which sport the recent combustion and also airflow technology. The package, designed to it is in both an effective and practical, has actually been re-engineered to usage the traditional (and extensively available) 429/460 Ford cylinder block and conventional steel head gaskets. Buyers and also builders have the right to go the classic carburetor course or use electronic fuel injection. Prices start at $23,500 because that a finish engine and combinations v up to 1,000 typically aspirated horsepower space available.