More proof that size matters
In the late 1960s, Detroit was at the center of the automotive universe. Horsepower was king, imports were a novelty that resided far outside the mainstream and the connection between race track and showroom was direct and vibrant, and not just for professional race teams. The race track adventures of the guy next door influenced many buying decisions. Unfettered by mindless bureaucrats, auto manufacturers were free to develop new solutions to the ongoing challenge of extracting maximum horsepower from engines that would put their respective corporate logos in the spotlight.
Chrysler pegged its efforts on the recently reborn Hemi, Chevrolet relied on the 427 big block “Rat Motor”, and Ford used its 427 “FE” series engines. That scenario put Ford at a bit of a disadvantage because the “FE” was a dated design having originated in 1958; the 426 Hemi debuted in 1964 and the big block Chevy first hit the streets in 1965. Ford’s answer to the age disparity was to introduce the all-new 385 engine series in 1968. Of particular interest to performance enthusiasts and racers was the 429 Boss version which featured large valve aluminum cylinder heads with hemispherical-type combustion chambers. To avoid any confusion with the Chrysler Hemi, the Boss head chamber design was referred to as being “crescent-shaped”.