Every gearhead has their favorite but which one is better? Or… is there one that’s better? These are the contenders…
Lucore Auto and Lucore Racing brings you Big Block Wars featuring iron-headed (mostly) big-block engines from Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Mopar — all with similar street setups throwing down on the dyno to see what’s what!
Chevrolet 454 LS6 Big Block Engine
First, they have a classic 454 LS6 Big Block Chevy engine. This was a GM Performance Motor purchased in the mid-80s to power a classic 1957 GMC Truck.
Stuffed full of goodness from the “factory”, this motor just needed an overhaul and cam change to bring it down more into the range more fitting the truck it was powering.
Of the four engines tested, this one is also the only one running a roller cam and valve train but still gives us some very useful information. Classic wisdom says the 454 Chevy is the best… is that true?
Oldsmobile 455 Big Block Engine
Second, they ran an in-house built 455 Oldsmobile that will be powering Rich’s own ’65 Oldsmobile F-85. The factory crank and rods were checked and reconditioned then topped with a set of SpeedPro pistons, and an out of the box set of Speedmaster heads.
Of the four motors run, this is the only one with aluminum heads, and honestly, they feel are equivalent to a set of GOOD cast iron Oldsmobile heads. How did the ole “FA” Olds Rocket 455 do?
Pontiac 455 Big Block Engine
Third, came the Pontiac 455, mated to a set of 6X cast iron heads. This motor came out of Lucore’s own 1970 Pontiac LeMans and actually performed pretty respectably when tested.
To accompany the freshly rebuilt heads we ran the factory crankshaft, Eagle forged rods, and SRP forged pistons. This motor was also fully machined and assembled at Performance Research Inc in Columbus Ohio, so there IS some more advanced “machine shop magic” hiding inside.
Would the Poncho show why the 455 GTO was often considered a king of the streets?
Mopar 451 Stroker Engine
Finally, they have tossed a freshly built 451 Stroker Mopar on the dyno that will be the new heart for 73ChargerChic’s 1974 Dodge Charger known as “Momma’s Mopar”. It’s built out of a 1977 Dodge 400 block with the rotating assembly out of an early 70s 440.
The machined and prepped setup brought displacement within striking range of the other 3 big blocks, so they thought it was fitting. On top of the classic Mopar rods, they mounted some ICON forged pistons to handle any future track abuse that is likely coming.
Not many people know of this type of build, so it’s been a pretty interesting experience bringing it to life. Will this B series Mopar Big Block sneak up on the competition?
These motors have been coming together over the past 3 years, and finally getting a chance to film all this was great — Four of the big boys of Classic American Muscle all in one video!
Lucore Automotive is a small independent American small business located just outside Columbus Ohio. While they are a full-service shop that maintains and repairs countless daily drivers, they are also well known for their work on classics, race cars, and collector cars.