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496 cid Big Block Chevy Engine

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If you follow the drag-and-drive scene, you already know the pits get loaded up by awesome streetcars. However, trucks are much more rare to come by. That’s why when we joined for the 2022 Summit Midwest Drags earlier in June and came across Mark Fisher’s 1932 Ford truck with a big block Chevy tucked inside, we had to stop and find out more.

The 1932 Ford pickup features a 496 cubic inch big block Chevy engine, which is essentially the truck’s entire front end. Despite the pickup truck being relatively small compared to many of those on the road today, owner Mark Fisher pointed out that it actually isn’t super lightweight.

“It weighs almost 2,900 lbs.,” Fisher told us. “Everybody thinks it’s super light, but man, it’s not. But it does alright.”

The ‘32 pickup has done alright indeed. In fact, Mark won the Hot Rod class at Drag Week in 2019 and 2021, and he won the Hot Rod class in 2021’s edition of the Midwest Drags. He was back this year looking to repeat his victory.

The ‘32 Ford was purchased by Fisher in Detroit as just a cab a number of years back. Mark already had a few hot rods, so he didn’t initially know exactly what he was going to do with it.

“We’ve got several of these old trucks, but I wanted one chopped down a little bit more than the other ones I’ve got,” Fisher says. “That’s what we did. We chopped it down and it’s really kind of thrown together. My boys built the frame correct to the class, and it also features a Powerglide transmission, a Gear Vendors and a 9-inch Ford rear.”

As for the engine, the big block is also something Mark has had for a long time – 25 years in fact. However, it had been in a different car for thousands and thousands of passes before being swapped into the ‘32 Ford. Fisher told us when he did the engine swap, he sent the big block to Franz Performance in Flatwoods, KY to get freshened up and have some new stuff added.

The 496 big block Chevy has two-bolt mains, an Ohio crankshaft, Molnar connecting rods, Wiseco pistons, Canfield cylinder heads, Ferrea stainless valves, a Tunnel Ram, and two carburetors sit on top.

“We ran it for a couple years with a single four-barrel carb on it,” he says. “However, I always wanted a Tunnel Ram on it because it just matches the class and the hot rod, so we put the Tunnel Ram on it. We got some Tunnel Ram-specific carburetors for it from AED and some old 310 Canfield heads that have a little bit of work done to them. We also home-built the headers.”

Fisher took the engine to BES Racing Engines where Tony Bischoff tuned the big block and ran it on the dyno where it made 808 horsepower.

“It’s been a best of 8.98 at 151 mph,” Fisher says. “The goal was to try to get in the 8s at 150 mph, so I accomplished that. My goal for the Midwest Drags is to finish. Everybody says that, but everybody also wants to win. I don’t think there’s too many cars here in this class this year, but still it’s really just about personal goals because there’s always someone who has something faster or builds something faster. We just try to set personal goals for ourselves and accomplish them. As long as we don’t break down and finish out the week, you can’t beat that and we’re sure to have a good time.”

After the Midwest Drags did it’s drag-and-drive thing from Edgewater Motorsports Park to US41 Dragstrip to Dragway 42 and back to Edgewater, Mark successfully defending his Hot Rod class win with an average ET of 9.762 at 132.35 mph.

Engine of the Week is sponsored by PennGrade Motor OilElring – Das Original and Engine & Performance Warehouse Inc./NPW Companies. If you have an engine you’d like to highlight in this series, please email Engine Builder Editor Greg Jones at [email protected]

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