In Search of “Eight Barrel”

All this because of a sticker on an air cleaner, and the words “eight barrel carburetor” from the hazy mists of ancient days… Apparently, Chrysler was developing an “eight barrel wedge” engine

This engine to replace the eight barrel wedge requested in Production Planning Letter of 8/5/64.

white paper, written for John Wehrly by Bob Rodger, January 6, 1965

There is also this description of the 426


425 @ 5,600 2 x 4 carbs Dodge 330, 440, Polara Ramcharger “Eight Barrel” (1964) (1965)

enginge code 426VMPHC

Ramcharger ‘Eight-Barrel’ Overhead valve. Cast iron block. Displacement: 426 cubic inches. Bore and stroke: 4.25 x 3.75 inches. Compression ratio 11.0:1 (12.5:1 also available). Brake horsepower: 425 at 5600 R.P.M. Five main bearings. Solid valve lifters. Carburetion: Two Carter AFB-3084S four-barrels.

from here

“The first of the cross-ram, eight-barrel 413 Wedge cars we got running was a white Plymouth two-door.”

some guy named Hoover

8 barrel is not the only one who ever used the phrase “8 barrel carburetor”:

The Hyper-Pak option was carried over into 1961 and also made available on the 225; but, 1962 was the beginning of the “big-inch” factory hot rod and the Hemi was coming! The little slant six got lost in the eight-barrel carburetors.


What have we learned?

  1. Google rocks.
  2. “8 Barrel” was part of the automotive lexicon before 1977. The phrase seems to apply to dual 4 barrel carbs and not to one 8-barreled carb. I win (in part).
  3. Chrysler itself sanctioned this not exactly correct jargon before 1977. So, 8 Barrel was not inventing a phrase or an application that did not exist in the history of the world, like I first claimed. My bad.
  4. There is no evidence that the phrase “eight barrel” was ever applied to a 440 V-8 or any 1971 Monaco wagons with Southern Host labels stuck on their back windows, or on any such car that was also equipped with a(n inherently defective) dog avoidance system. Also, that particular car did not have an eight barrel carb or two four barrel carbs. While I have no mechanical ability whatsoever, I can count. I win again. It would have been cool if it did. However, it would also likely mean that I would have died that day on M-43, and deservedly so.
  5. So, it could have had an eight barrel carb, but it didn’t. Victory is mine.
  6. 8 Barrel must be an OK dude, to put up with 30 year of abuse and to read this all the way to the end. I would never dive this deeply into an insane and relentless inquiry into obsolete trivia otherwise. But he fucking owes me a beer for all this research.

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