July 21, 2024

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Old Meets New: Carlisle Celebrates the Ford Y-Block and RTR Vehicles

This year’s Carlisle Ford Nationals takes place May 31 to June 2 — and as part of the all-Ford celebration, the event will showcase 70 years of Ford’s Y-block V8 alongside two new classes of RTR vehicles.

In 1954, the Y-block debuted into an American car scene that was at the time still dominated by Ford’s flathead V8. The Y-block brought more advanced engineering into the mix, with overhead valves offering a significant bump in power over the outgoing flathead. 

The effect that overhead valves had to the hot rodding world can’t be overstated, starting with the Oldsmobile V8 in 1949. The Y was Ford’s main OHV effort, competing alongside 1955’s Chevrolet small-block V8 and OHV alternatives from Cadillac, too. The Y was offered in 239-ci, 256-ci, 272-ci, 292-ci and 312-ci versions through 1960. and continued on in trucks until 1965.

Carlisle will celebrate Ford’s Y-block engines, and the cars that they powered, with a special class of cars at the National Parts Depot Showfield during the Ford Nationals.

In addition, two new classes of RTR vehicles will be included as part of the event: Class 190 is all RTR Mustangs, and Class 195 is all RTR vehicles / Non-Mustang. 

RTR (“Ready to Rock”) is an OEM performance vehicle company founded in 2009 that applies performance mods to Ford’s product line, including the Mustang, Bronco, Ranger, F-150 and Mach-E. It was created by professional drift racer Vaughn Gittin Jr.  

Beyond that, the Carlisle Events team is celebrating 50 years of business in 2024, and the Ford Nationals event will be celebrating 30 years of car clubs, with special recognition for “Charter” member clubs that have been with the event since its founding in 1974.

Learn more here.