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Junkyard Crawl - Alloy Granny

Yeah, yeah. It's 6 cylinder time. See why Steve is so excited to find one.

Photography by Steve Magnante

OK, I can hear you now: enough with the six-cylinder stuff! But hear me out, this one is really, really cool! Sure, the aluminum-block '62 Plymouth Slant Six junkyard discovery from a few issues back was pretty neat, but here's an aluminum-block inline six from ... are you ready for it ... American Motors! Yep, even AMC, which infamously pledged (at the dawn of the musclecar era, no less) "the only race we care about is the human race" was playing the alloy game when it produced this wacky, die-cast-aluminum overhead valve, 195.6-cube six popper. Produced between 1961 and 1964 as an option on fullsize Rambler models, the aluminum engine block was intended to reduce engine mass from the 460 pounds of its otherwise identical cast-iron cousin to a svelte 380 pounds. The result was improved handling and easier steering for Granny, plus bragging rights to let GM-whose cutting-edge Corvair flat 6 and 215 V-8 were made of aluminum-know that Kenosha wasn't stuck in the past. Though I wish I could report that the aluminum AMC six could boast 10:1 compression, a ram-tuned four-barrel, and at least 1 hp per cubic inch, the sad fact is even the optional two-barrel Power Pak version kicked out a humble 138 hp (127 hp in 1-BBL trim). Records show that at least 60,000 were sold before the new cast-iron 199/232 Typhoon engine family arrived on the scene in 1964 and the OHV 195.6 engine family was put to rest.

Factoids
*Besides the aluminum block, special head gasket, and certain fasteners, the alloy 195.6 mill shared the head, crank, cam, pistons, lifters--virtually everything--with its cast-iron OHV sibling.

*Hey AMC, what's up with the wacky 195.6 decimal-point displacement claim? Guess every bit helps, but why didn't you just round up to 196 cubes like everybody else?

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