What are your favorite engine names?

Brandan Gillogly

What’s in a name? Is it massive torque? Immense power? Something else?

Hybrid Synergy Drive: Fancy words for a fancy pair of engines. Toyota UK

No matter what you’re into, great engine names are out there. Ford has the Windsor and Coyote, with the Essex for oddball lovers like yours truly. Chrysler has the Hemi and Hellcat, but there’s something inherently impressive about the phrase Max Wedge. Chevrolet motors aren’t necessarily as catchy in the moniker department, but the big-block rat and small-block mouse motors are nicknames worthy of mention.

And let’s not forget the (Mercury) Super Marauder V-8, (Buick) Fireball V-6, and even the (Oldsmobile) Rocket. Marketers in Detroit were working overtime in the good ol’ days, and we admire Stellantis for dubbing its new inline-six “Hurricane,” which has a whiff of decades past.

That’s just what we see stateside and in English, too, which means there are perhaps plenty more noms de “boom around the globe. (Multi-lingual readers—enlighten us!)

So let’s get into it, what are your all-time favorite engine names?

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    My ’63 Plymouth says: Golden Commando POWER on the fender badge; but, has a 318 Poly Head the “Semi Hemi”! Small Big Block.

    The Jeep Willys “Go Devil”, that’s quite a name, I would drive that into war. Pontiac’s inline 6, named “OHC 6 Sprint”, and lets not forget the powerplant in the Crosley Hotshots, the “Cobra”. The Cobra was a gear driven overhead camshaft motor made from dozens of steel stamped components and brazed together with 44cid and produced up tp 36hp.

    Easily the Oldsmobile Jetfire with Turbo-Rocket V-8 engine snorting Turbo-Rocket Fluid, as water methanol injection. Had the fluid tank been 3 times the size, or the compression been 7-8 it might have hung around a little longer.

    You’ve got include the BOSS engines by Ford. They encompassed the slang of the day and they’re still respected almost 50 years later.

    Although not by a main line manufacturer, back in the late 70s I believe it was, an Australian engine builder produced the “Megadon Mastodon”. I don’t remember the cubic inches but it was a very large V8 based on (of course) the Chrysler 426 Hemi “elephant” motor.

    Simple, descriptive, succinct, auto history, reliable and immediately identifiable: “Air cooled, flat Six” also, for us older guys, something across two brands: “Air cooled Flat Four”.

    always liked “ROCKET 88”
    and don’t forget all the “head” names : flathead, panhead, shovelhead, etc.

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