Not all engine designers get the credit they deserve, but occasionally their names carry as much weight as the storied badges on the trunk lid or hood. In no particular order, here’s our pick of legends behind some of the greatest engines of all time.
Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/people/9-of-the-worlds-greatest-engine-designers/
Ed Cole the father of the small block Chevy should be at the top of the list here.
It is the single engine that changed the entire industry and even our sports and hobbies.
The light castings, valve train and 1 HP per cubic inch were all milestones that today are still being used.
While today’s Chevy engine is different than the 55 V8 it still holds to the same engineering and it shows it is still relevant 65 years later.
if you are going to get brand specific, what about the designer of the hemi? you know, the engine that put the ford's and chevy's on the trailer when used at Nascar? original design in the early 50's, still around now. got one in my ram 4x4
How bout the mighty FE 427 Side Oiler that dominated NASCAR and IMSA and not least the BOSS 429 that won it's way into outlaw elimination from NASCAR in the 70s. The Side Oiler's domination in NHRA Super Stock (Thunder Bolts) should not be forgotten either.
Alphonse Beau de Rochas' design started the ball rolling, and Nicolaus Otto made the four-stroke engine feasible. Those two should be at the top of any list regarding great engine designers.
The Ford flathead V-8 should be listed. It introduced a mass produced affordable and good performing V-8 engine. The flathead was produced for over 20 years and the V-8 itself is still with us.
Ford's BDA is ~ 1600cc, BDG is the 2 litre. Worth mentioning Lampredi's fiat twin cam that was used for roughly 30yrs, including powering numerous World Rally Championship conquering 124s, 131s, 037s & integrales.
Ed Cole also did the 1949 Cadillac 331 V8 high compression engine. How about Owen Nacker who designed the Cadillac 1930 V-16 engine (hydraulic lifters), Alanson Brush who did engines with Olds, Buick, Cadillac (Leland), Oakland (Pontiac), Welch, Brush, Scripps-Booth
Edward Turner, how can you leave that genius off the list? Ariel "Squariel", Triumph Speed Twin (and many more legendary motorcycles), Swiss watch beautiful Daimler Hemis in 2.5 and 4.5 forms, and more.
My goodness! How can you outdo the designer of the small block Chevrolet (original 265) that morphed into so many upgrades? 283 327 400 etc. by far, the most popular engine in building hot rods & custom cars today in America. Even Ford copied the design with their 289. I';d like to know who that designer was.
I guess you only looked overseas for greatness? Not one American could make your cut? Maybe the guy behind the small block chevy? Maybe the guy behind the LS? The Northstar? Lousy list, at best......
Wally hassan , the father of the famous Jaguar XK engine and the V12. When introduced in 1948 , the Xk engine came as a bomb into the automotive world. powerful and affordable. The engine dominated Le Mans in the fifties. Also his V12 had a Le Mans victory. Ironically the idea of the XK engine came during WW2 when Wally was a fire watcher on the roof of the Jaguar factory to warn for German attacks. Most of the time he had nothing to do and designed, on paper, the famous engine.
I think this article is getting people confused and a little tricky. They are not talking about engines in itself, but variations of engines that designers created, for the most part, motorsports (I think). Now there needs to be a follow up article on the greatest engines ever invented.
Chrysler's iconic 331 c.i. hemi, from its early victories in the Mexican road race to its domination (in hugely modified forms) on U.S. drag strips for more than a decade. It powered America's first muscle car in the original 1955 C-300.
I believe it was the first American engine to make one h.p per c.i.
Have no idea who gets design credit here...but someone here can tell me.
Great story. You missed Ed Cole and the over 100 million small block Chevys built, honored as one of the 10 Best Engines of the 20th Century by automotive magazine Ward's AutoWorld.
As important, particularly to the British, as Bill Blydenstein was Harry Weslake. Weslake was involved in the design of just about every Jaguar engine up to the V12 but also designed engines for speedway bikes and F1. Anyone who enjoyed Dan Gurney’s All American Racing Eagle built in the late 60’s has seen what might just have been Harry Weslake’s opus.
Just change the title to read "Some Great Engine Designers" and they add to the list in future newsletters. Personally I would like to see the specific technical characteristic explained that differentiates and identifies their design success.
These low volume engines that were designed to do a very specific limited task will be forgotten long before the Flathead Ford, Small Block Chevy and Aluminum Buick. Thats why these names haven't been front and center in Automotive History.
Alex von Falkenhausen - "Nelson Piquet driving a Brabham-BMW BT52 became the first Formula One world champion to use a turbo engine, . . . /using AVF's / 4-cylinder engine block from 1962, the racing cylinder head and his turbocharger idea, /which allowed BMW to achieve / the absolute summit of motor sport."
Come on, Hagerty - you really thought that this list, by Eurosnobs and for Eurosnobs, was going to fly here? You're getting roasted, and deservedly so.
For "most revolutionary" I'd suggest Fabio Taglioni whose early (1950s & 60s) 250cc bevel drive, OHC motorcycle engines were out performing contemporary 500 cc units and then the introduction of desmodromic valve trains in production motors, and then the awesome Ducati v-twins, first with bevel drive cams and later with belt drives ("Rubber bands? that'll never work!")