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What was your first Y-Block?

Posted By Florida_Phil Last Year
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Florida_Phil
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When I was in high school, my father had a 1957 Willow Green and White Custom 300 with a 272 automatic transmission.  It was the first car I ever drove. The engine ran good but it had a top end oiling problem and the lifters clicked badly.  My father installed one of those auxiliary oil line kits in the valve covers, but it didn't help that much.  I dated my future wife in that car and took her to both proms.  She said she could hear me coming a block away.

When we got married, I bought a copper colored 1956 Victoria off a used car lot.  It had been slightly hot rodded with a tired 292 and a three speed on the floor.  I bought a good running 272 out of a wrecked 1957 Ford for $50, installed a 4 barrel and a 3.90 gear.  It was my daily driver until I made enough money to buy a new Mustang. I still remember working on that old Victoria late Sunday nights so I could drive to work the next day.  Back then, all my friends were Ford guys.  With few exceptions, I have always drove Fords. I recently bought a new Explorer.   I think it's the best Ford yet.


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DANIEL TINDER
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1961. I bought a friend’s clean ‘54 two-door hardtop (off-white 3sp. 239) for $200.  It ran ok, but valves were noisy, and gummed up with sludge (it backfired frequently). Someone suggested pouring kerosene down the carb while it was running (didn’t help much).  I cut holes in the engine-turned dash panel to install gauges, disconnected the column shift and put in a cheap (Honest Charlie?) floor shifter.  I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to do a good job getting the shift rods properly aligned (what does a 15 yr. old kid know?), so when the guy I finally sold it to jammed it between two gears (and was thus very inconveniently stranded), he never finished paying me for it.

6 VOLTS/POS. GRD. NW INDIANA
Hoosier Hurricane
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My first Y-Block was a '56 Victoria 292 with a three speed.  Ran good, but the winter after I bought it I rolled it end-over-end in a snow covered ditch.  The carcas is still rusting away in my woods. Hunters have used it for target practice for a long time.  I put it in the woods when I was 18, I turned 80 today..

John - "The Hoosier Hurricane"
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Florida_Phil
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It seems we all have similar stories. Before I got my license, my buddy down the street had a 54 Ford with a 292 manual.  We thought it was fast and used to drive it by the high school.  I wanted to buy it from him, but my father wisely turned me down.  Good thing, as I probably would have been thrown in jail. Remember when you could buy a nice old Ford for $100?  $200 would get you a Crown Vic or a convertible. I got my first speeding ticket in my Dad's 57 Custom going 75 on the Florida Turnpike.  These days going 75 will get you run off the road.  Hehe


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Gene Purser
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When I was 15 I bought a '37 Ford coupe with a mildly souped 59A flathead. It ran really good and surprised a few scrubrolets around town. A couple of years later it wouldn't start one morning. I had been reading too many Hot Rod magazines so I pulled it out and bought a '54 239 out of a wrecked Victoria. With parts from JC Whitney and Honest Charlie I got it installed. Quite a feat for a 17 yo. It didn't run any faster than the flathead I took out. I later traded it heads up to a schoolmate for a '40 Ford convertible. He replaced the 239 with an Edsel E400 and turned it into a screamer. After I had entered the workforce I had a '35 Ford pickup that I put a '50 Cadillac engine/LaSalle transmission in. I traded it to the local Ford dealer for a '55 T-Bird. One beautiful Sunday Afternoon I took the T-bird to a long downhill stretch of an un-opened newly constructed highway and opened it up. When the tachometer was registering 5000 I heard a sucking sound, then air rushing in the cabin. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw the rear window doing flips in the air. It hit the roadway and shattered into a million little pieces. I turned around and found all the rubber and trim that goes around the rear glass, even the two small clips that cover the joints of the stainless trim. 
DANIEL TINDER
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Before I got MY ‘54, an older acquaintance had one with overdrive.  He took a carload of us teens to a larger city where he could buy us all alcohol without getting in trouble. On the way back (he was buzzed) he ran that 239 flat out (in 3rd underdrive...solenoid was broke) for about 30 miles. Finally threw a couple pushrods, and we hitchhiked home.

6 VOLTS/POS. GRD. NW INDIANA
Joe-JDC
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1962 I got my '56 Fairlane Victoria, baby blue and white with blue padded dash, sun visors, and automatic.  Dated in high school, college where I met my wife of 54 years.  When I got drafted in 1966, I left the Victoria sitting at my mother's house, and she didn't think I still wanted it, and sold it.  I had just bought a new 1966 Mustang with 289 and really wanted to keep the '56 as my toy, but it slipped away, and is restored and going to car shows in Tennessee.  Fellow that has it now added chrome rocker panels, chrome spoke wheels, and made it look tacky.  Would love to have it back, but his son wants it when the time comes.  Joe-JDC

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Florida_Phil
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As a teenager, I always wanted a race cam.  I loved the way they sounded, especially loping around the pizza joint where all the hot rodders hung out.  I bought a cam for my Y-Block from a local auto parts store.  As I remember, it was a Melling. Not knowing any better, I installed it in my engine with the old lifters.  I got the cam installed OK, but for some reason my engine immediately developed a huge rear oil seal leak.  I sold the car right after that, so I never found the cause.  To this day, I wonder if I knocked the freeze plug out of the back of the block?

Another time, I was driving through the parking lot of a local grocery store.  I got on it and reved the engine up to 5,000 rpm when the engine stopped running.  We towed it home.  When the engine wouldn't start, I took one of the valve covers off and the rockers weren't moving.  I assumed the timing chain was broken, so I pulled the front cover.  When I grabbed the timing chain, the cam fell into pieces and dropped into the sump.  Back to the junk yard for another $50 engine....

I was pretty tough on equipment back then.  Went through three speed transmissions so fast the junk yard always kept one out for me.  As I remember I paid $15 each for them. 




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charliemccraney
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1961 F100.  My first vehicle.  Bad decision but it has worked out.  It had the typical lack of oil problem, among others.  I would oil manually once a week and somehow that worked until I built a new engine.  Manual oiling worked astoundingly well considering the issues I've had with aftermarket upper valve train parts which were getting oil as intended.  It only went into 2nd and 3rd gear due to linkage problems.  It was among my first times driving a manual transmission and I drove it home, about 50 miles with only my learners permit.


Lawrenceville, GA
MoonShadow
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I bought my first Y-Block in 1963. A 1957 Convertible with the 312 automatic. Loved that car! I didn't race much at the time more of a dreamer and busy chasing girls. Story was my folks had a 1954 Oldsmobile 88 4 door that was wearing out. On day mom and dad came home from car shopping and wanted me to go back to the lot with them and look over a car they found. I really didn't want to but they insisted. When we arrived they pointed out a Salmon and White 57 4 door hardtop. A hardtop! What were they thinking. I slipped away and checked the back of the lot. There was a 49 Ford business mans coupe with a Caddy engine. That was more like it. Dad said "no way". Then there was a old Essex coupe still original "nope" can't do it. Finally I headed out front where they were dealing with the salesman. Dad was insisting on one price for two cars. Two cars! I finally looked on the other side of the 4 door and there was a matching 57 Convertible. Dad says how do you like this one? Of course I was sold right away. Cost a whole $500 and dad let me make payments to him. At $50 a month I thought I'd never get it paid off. Engine went to a small cam with aftermarket high lift rockers. Saved up the money for a Mallory ignition and finally converted it to a 3 speed floor shift. I put on a Corvette floor shift so the pattern was backwards. Low was up second was down and 3rd was back up. Cut the front coil 1 1/2 turns for the Dago look. Replaced the engine once with a Sears rebuilt long block. More payments. Sold it when I joined the Army. Still miss the old girl.

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Y's guys rule!
Looking for McCullouch VS57 brackets and parts. Also looking for 28 Chrysler series 72 parts. And early Hemi parts.

MoonShadow, 292 w/McCulloch, 28 Chrysler Roadster, 354 Hemi)
Manchester, New Hampshire


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