Sunday, February 10, 2013

E Code Engine


There were reportedly 1,449 of these special dual quad engines installed in Fords at the Dearborn plant for the 1957 model year. The "E" code was rated at 270 HP and some had a little better camshaft that raised them to 285 HP . Although the "E" model was available throughout the 1957 model year, a very large percentage of the "E'"s were built in the last month of the production year. Ford decided to get out of the racing business (with the help of the govern­ment) and they had all these odd parts, so they really accelerated the production of this rare model. Ford also in­structed their dealers not to charge for these options, and the factory invoices on these late models indicated NO CHARGE. In most cases, this directive was not adhered to. The handwriting was on the wall! The little Bird and it's "Y" Block engine was not going to be part of the 1958 Thunderbird line, and Ford didn't want all these unique parts in stock: so they put them on cars. The last 1957 Thunderbird built was an "E" model. Below is a copy of a factory in­voice dated December 13, 1957 (13Z), the last day of production for the two seat Thunderbird. Notice the part cir­cled states 312 8V ENG PROD SUB NC. The NC indicates No Charge. Copies of invoices with the no charge ap­peared as early as Mid-November, 1957. If you purchased the "E" engine prior to the give away, the cost would have been $301.35 with the Fordomatic Transmission, $253.35 with an Overdrive Transmission, or $151.35 with a standard transmission.

The "E" model has many unique parts. The valley pan is recessed to allow for the deeper casting of the manifold, as well as the different manifold hold down plates, linkage, fuel filter, fuel lines, air cleaner, distributor, and main wiring harness and carbs. The intake manifold was replaced by a dual carb aluminum manifold. The carbs appear to be similar to the original type of the 1955 and 1956 Thunderbirds. The carbs were mounted back­wards with the primary barrels to the rear of the car. This was done to accommodate the hood scoop. The reversal of the carbs allowed the air cleaner to be far enough back to allow the hood to close.

Dave Tulowitzkv
Ed. Note I have 618 "E" Code 1957 Thiuiderbirds in the regis­try. The Trail Birds of Southwest Florida has four members who own 1957's equipped with this special engine.

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