Our 401 Buick Nailhead engine is a good, unusual, high performance street rod engine with lots of torque, and with it’s own unique look.
Our engine consists of Sealed Power pistons +.030 to equal 406.8 cu” with adjustable push rods, high performance camshaft, a billet front drive kit with A/C, aluminum finned valve covers and wire looms, nostalgia dress kit, nostalgia cotton braided and lacquer covered ignition wires, balanced and blueprinted.
This beauty would look good in any street rod.
A little bit of history:
Like the Small Block Chevy, the Rocket 88 Olds, the Ford Flathead and the Chrysler Hemi, the Buick Nailhead engine is one of those that has the immortal smell of history all over it. Yet, unlike its more familiar brothers, cousins and even competitors, the Nailhead has an aura of mystery about it as well.
The Buick Nailhead had a big-bore, short-stroke design that offered tremendous torque, spread out over a wide RPM range. Introduced in 1953, the overhead valve Buick design incorporated vertical valves (the small size of which gave rise to its somewhat uncomplimentary nickname of “Nailhead”) and a pent-roof combustion chamber. With its small valves and tight intake and exhaust ports, Buick used a very interesting camshaft as its stock offering, with higher lift and longer duration. The distributors were in the rear and the starters were on the driver’s side, unlike later Buick engines.
Built from 1953 through 1966, the Nailhead family included a variety of displacements including 264 c.i.d., 322 c.i.d., 364 c.i.d., 401 c.i.d. and 425 c.i.d. variations. There were other size Buick engines produced as well that resembled the Nailheads (such as the 215 and 300 V8s), but they had no parts interchangeability with the Nailhead and instead are actually more closely related to the V6 and later Buick V8.
Written by Doug Kaufman, Engine Builder Magazine