Buick Nailhead V8
| Fireball Eight
Buick Straight-6 engine
Buick Straight-8 engine Wikipedia
The Buick Straight-8 engine (Fireball 8) was produced from 1931 to 1953 and sold in Buick automobiles. Like many American automobile makers, Buick adopted the straight-8 engine in 1931 as a more powerful alternative to the previous inline-6 engines. However, unlike most other car makers at the time, Buick had been using a valve-in-head/OHV overhead valve design or I-head since its inception and continued this practice in their inline-8 designs. The engine was sold in different displacements depending on the model of car and the year and was constructed upon two distinct (possibly more) block castings. The smaller displacement versions internally resembled the inline Chevrolet straight six, with additional cylinders. The large block version (the 345 and 320, used in large-chassis models such as the Roadmaster) was considerably heavier and this weight adversely affected vehicle performance and handling. In earlier years the engines used cast-in-place bearings that were then machined, which made engine rebuilding an expensive procedure, but after 1937 they began using drop-in bearings. The last year for Buick's straight-8 was 1953, but only in the Special, as the new V8 322ci Nailhead became standard in all other lines in the same basic chassis. Starting in 1954, the Special received the V-8 as well.
1952 Production Engines and Ratings