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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

According to you: 11 cool air cleaners to spruce up your engine bay

Although they're far more efficient and power-packed than their V-8 ancestors, most late-model cars just don't have the same kind of under-hood presence as cars from the '80s, let alone the '50s and '60s. We asked our community to tell us their favorite air cleaners, and we are happy to report that there is some clear consensus on what air cleaners look the best.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/according-to-you-11-cool-air-cleaners-to-spruce-up-your-engine-b...
82 REPLIES 82
Rons
Pit Crew

Any of the Mopar cold air intakes that have the big button in the cabin marked “Carb Air”.  My fave is the air grabber with the teeth on the sides, but the plain side intake worked as well. All were sealed to the hood so that when open, cold outside air was pulled in. 

jsa1932
New Driver

I nominate the 70-72 Corvette dual snorkel air cleaner. I run a sbc 427 (Dart block) in my '68 C10 stepside. The air cleaner I run is off a '72 big block Corvette. Together with the Corvette cast aluminum valve covers it looks right at home.
gbvette62
Pit Crew

Personally I find nothing cool about smog era dual snorkel air cleaners. The 60's Olds W-30 dual snorkel that took in air from between the headlights, or below the bumper, now that was cool, but every car in the 80's had at least one hose feeding the air cleaner.

The 57 Chevy 2x4 "batwing" belongs on any list of cool air cleaners. The two small chrome air cleaners on 56-57 Corvettes, and the little chrome air cleaner on 57 Corvette fuelies were also cool. The finned aluminum air cleaners found on Shelby Mustangs were pretty cool too, as was the finned ram air unit on the 64 Fairlane Thunderbolt. But without a doubt, the coolest air cleaner of all, was also the simplest, the open element air cleaner found on various late 60's and early 70's Chevrolets. 14" in diameter, with a chrome lid and an exposed filter, it was very efficient and also very cool looking, in an all business sort of way.
tricyclerob
Pit Crew

SamB
New Driver

These are some super cool air cleaners,but obviously this list is way too short.
Ragtop69
Detailer

You guys forgot the standard chrome high performance air cleaner that came as part of the dress up kit for Ford V8s. I had one on my '64 Falcon Sprint (260), my '64 Comet Caliente (289) and I still have one on my '69 Mustang convertible (302). They were also standard on the K code HiPo cars.
acooper529
Advanced Driver

C'mon... It's the TRANS-AM scoop on a black body with gold accents and in combination with the stock type Firebird decal (just like the picture). I forget what the REAL name was for the BIRD? We could ask Sheriff Buford T. Justice or Burt Reynolds himself, if either one is still kickin'.
Fastlane
New Driver

Also looked fine on my ‘78 T/A in ultra marine blue metallic. Chrome valve covers not to bad for a late 70’s car either. The decal name may have been fire chicken? My chicken was black…
redeuce52
New Driver

No Chevelle cowl induction?
MTPantera
Pit Crew

I guess I would also add the Lamborghini Mira into the mix
stockamx
New Driver

Np rambler scrambler or 1970 AMX?
ConfuciusRacing
Detailer

Wow, that '58 Mercury! 10/10 !!! ...I had a 1964 Buick Riv Grand Sport, had this huge circular chrome cleaner, hiding two 4 barrels...not particularly handsome, I just miss it tho. Felt like a caged lion to me...
jdreeves
Pit Crew

You failed to mention the cross tunnel ram air intakes on any of the fabulous 392 and 413 hemi and wedge engines from Chrysler Dodge or Plymouth. Or the unique air cleaner for the dual quad 67 GT500 Shelby. You showed the same ram air hood several times on the Trans Am and other vehicles. You forgot the twin snorkel air cleaner on the 63 Corvette.
Duck
New Driver

People forgot Chevelle cowl induction hood , Trans am ram air scoops on 1999 ws6 and the best of all time , the flipped over air cleaner cover on any brand car ! Varooom
Jfingbond007
Pit Crew

Great job Brandon.
The list will grow with additions such as the Ford piece. Enjoyed the oil bath episode in the Comments as well. After a short period of road use the contents were pretty crude.
SJ
Technician

For just the simplicity, the '64-'66 GTO Tripower, deserves a place here. That Merc. is pretty awesome! But the Mustang & Firebird you can appreciate with the hood closed!
motolargo
Intermediate Driver

All great solutions for a clean free flowing intake system. A couple of Air Dome filters attached to a pair of side draft DCOE Webers poking out through the hood panel of a Lotus Super Seven would have made the selection a bit more complete.
Stellit67
New Driver
Hans1965
New Driver

The triangle shaped air cleaner of mid 50s Cadillacs with the so called power pack, two four barrel carbs, were painted gold and look absolutely marvelous, too.
Foxbodyknowledg
Pit Crew

The 4rth gen Firebird Firehawk is one of my favorites. It is modern but the filters right under the functional hood openings makes for an aggressive look bringing cold air right to the intake.
KdFregistry
Intermediate Driver

Great ones on the list, but the 69' Roadrunner "Air Grabber Scoop" first came to mind for me. It's arguably the coolest & most memorable part of those cars.
SilentBoy741
Instructor

Pour one out for this classic piece of engine style, as once the EVs take over, this icon of muscle will be gone... or worse, still there but ridiculously fake.
jrzybob442
Pit Crew

The 1968-1969 Olds W-30 and W-31 AC has to be on the list. Shame we can't post photos here.
gtokdx1
Detailer

Wow. How do you stop at 11 with this list? There were so many and the 50's, 60's and early 70's had the all time best! They were all a personality of the car and manufactures. My votes are the GTO Tri-Power's/Ram Air's, Buick GS Dual Snorkel's and Chevelle SS Cowl Induction set up's.
Blu68caddy
New Driver

Twin snorkel air cleaner on the 1966-67 Oldsmobile Toronado😎

DLP
Intermediate Driver

One of the coolest not shown here is the 60's Mopar long ram intake with the individual small round air cleaners.
jjmcd
New Driver

How could this list not include the two coolest muscle car intake systems of all times:

413 Max Wedge:
https://www.enginelabs.com/news/the-magnificent-mopar-max-wedge/

Ford Thunderbolt:
https://fordauthority.com/2020/05/this-masterfully-restored-1964-ford-fairlane-thunderbolt-is-one-of...

SuperDeLuxe
Advanced Driver

Ugliest air cleaner? 1949-50 Olds. Ack!
Lonestar245
New Driver

This article states: "While the shaker scoop was shared with the spicier Formula variants..."
I don't recall any of the Formula Firebirds having a shaker. They had their own ram-air hood, which was quite cool in itself. Can someone point me to a Formula with a shaker intake/hood?
okfoz
Advanced Driver

The only Formula to get a Shaker was the 1973 & 1974 Super Duty Formulas.
JStein
Pit Crew

Several of those air cleaners are not only functional, but artistically designed. I always got a kick out of the air intake system used on the UK-only MGB/GT V8. That system required some creative thinking so that the hood wouldn't have to be redesigned as it was for the MGC. Go to: https://www.mgexp.com/phile/1/605215/13D3A243-6F32-4AA1-8184-0134775E4745.jpeg
majorbob
Intermediate Driver

I like most of these air cleaners but favor the Pontiac shaker of these selections. Of course being an Oldsmobile 442 fanatic, my favorite air cleaner and hood is the W25 system on 70-72 ram air Cutlass and 442 cars.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

I love the Hudson Twin H Power and the Buick GS. I've seen a few batwing ones out there, also very cool. The Mercury was a new one to me and all the old 70'd ones are part of my childhood memories.