Street Machine



WHEN it comes to Mopar V8s, Chrysler’s Hemi and big-block engines typically take the limelight, but the LA small-block series features some genuine muscle car royalty of its own.

Offered from 1964 to 1992, the ‘Light A’ engine series was offered in 273, 318, 340 and 360ci capacities, with the 1968 340 entering the muscle car wars as Chrysler’s dedicated high-performanc­e small-cube engine.

The 340 was a special engine, packing up to 10.5:1 compressio­n; dualrow timing chain; huge valves; larger exhaust manifolds; dual-plane intake manifold; 850cfm carburetto­r; forged steel crank; extra strength cast into the block; beefier conrods; better oil pump; aggressive cam; and redesigned heads. It arguably peaked in 1970, with a 290hp-rated Six-pack engine rocking triple two-barrel carburetto­rs!

The 340 lasted until 1974, when emissions and the OPEC oil crisis killed the vibe for high-horsepower hijinks. Chrysler replaced it with the 360, which itself has a dedicated fanbase who wring plenty of snot out of the 5.9L small-par.

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