As I walked the endless aisles of the 2016 Detroit Autorama at the Cobo, I passed two Ford Highboys with no hoods and two different engines. These two engines are perhaps the best looking American V8s dropped between the frame rails of anything. The first was this supercharged Buick Nailhead. For my money, the Nailhead, especially with finned valve covers, is the best looking engine ever. It looks as good in a hot rod as it does in a ’63 Riviera. Number two?
It’s just as easy–the Ford Y-Block, especially with T-Bird valve covers. The best looking V8s seem to have their distributors in the rear of the block, which eliminates most Ford and Buick V8s, Chrysler B/RB engines, AMC 390s, etc. And while the Y-Block wasn’t a great performance engine, it looks good (and likely performs just fine) with a blower on top. The headers are aesthetically spaced, and its two valve cover hold down bolts is an exercise in simplicity (if not leakiness).
Certainly the classic Flathead Ford will get some votes, but what do you think? What is the best looking American V8?