Monday 12 June 2023

Ain’t no substitute

Nobody is sure who came up with the phrase “there ain’t no substitute for cubic inches” although it is credited to a cartoon character called Stroker McGurk who graced the pages of ‘Hot Rod’ magazine in the 1950s and 60s. The custom car scene in America was really taking off back then but to make life a little easier for the customisers, getting more power meant installing a bigger engine. To heck with all the meticulous finesse and fiddly nonsense of engine tuning, just stick a bigger engine up front, bolt a supercharger on top and feed it some nitrous. Job done.

The phrase is not so relevant these days as engineers can extract phenomenal outputs from smaller engines, just look at F1 and WRC. They are also more compact and lighter which offers additional advantages to the car builders and customisers.

And yet, there is still a generation or two which lives by the phrase and nothing less (or more) than a big block V8 will satisfy their need for speed. It’s not just about speed though, it’s about the noise. Where others swoon and sway to Stormzy or lulled into a Tom Jones crooned stupor, it is the deep and sonorous soul stirring beat of a V8 that raises the pulse and heartbeat of the motorheads.

Which is why the Ford Mustang, and others like it, are still lusted after by those rich enough to afford to feed them.

And on the occasion of this year’s Le Mans 24 Hour Race, Ford took the opportunity to announce their GT3 challenger for the 2024 race. Multimatic Engineering who built the Ford GT will manufacture the new chassis while M-Sport will be entrusted with the 500+bhp Coyote based 5.4 litre V8.

So if your standard 450bhp Mustang doesn’t tighten your pyjama strings then rumble along to Dovenby for some wings and a power upgrade.

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