Monday, April 27, 2009

Weslake Ford Y-Block Engine

Much attention has been focused in the Y-Block community on the rare Argentina-built Y-block engines. Perhaps the most rare connection to that is the famed Weslake Ford Y-block engine built by Harry Weslake's famous British racing and aircraft engine company. According to "Speedy" Bill Smith of Speedway Motors (who has one of the few known in existence on display in his museum), the engine features aluminum heads with "Industria Argentina" cast onto them. With the fuel injection and aluminum accessories it can be only speculated that this was an engine development intended for Formula One racing which, unfortunately, never made it. However, Smith doesn't even know much about this motor, which is very similar in appearance to the famed Gurney Weslake engines based on the Ford 289, and which began development around 1965. In 1967, it was reported by Jim McFarland in Hot Rod magazine that a problem with the 289 was "cracks developed in the main webs ... but until such time when the current block design is made obsolete by the new patterns, the problem will probably continue to exist." Could it be that someone at Weslake decided to experiment with foregoing the new 289 for the inherently more rugged bottom-end design of the then obsolete in the U.S. Y-block? The ribbed aluminum oil pan and injectors would seem to indicate that the Y-block Weslake head development came after the Gurney Weslake 289 head development. That's my theory at least. More>