Tornado Seeks New Home!

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
tornado seeks new home

American-made overhead-cam engines were almost as rare as reliable South Vietnamese presidents in the mid-1960s, so I did a doubletake when I spotted one in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a Tempest with a Sprint OHC Six, but running across an old Jeep pickup with a Tornado six still made my day.

The Tornado was only used in American-market vehicles for a few years, but IKA of Argentina kept building Tornadoes for the AMC Rogue-based, Pininfarina-restyled Renault Torino until 1982.

Clearly, this engine belongs in some sort of evil-looking rat rod— preferably a member of the proto-AMC family— but what kind? A rusted-to-hell ’25 Nash Ajax, perhaps?

Join the conversation
2 of 26 comments
  • Murilee Martin Murilee Martin on Jan 25, 2011

    If nobody has bought that engine by the next time I visit that yard, I'm going to buy the Tornado valve cover to hang on the wall.

  • Cheezeweggie Cheezeweggie on Jan 25, 2011

    +1 on the plastic cover comments. It's an easy way to cover up slop. I had a Nissan Frontier with the VG33 engine. It looked like someone tossed in a taped-up harness and slammed the hood. The bastardization of the VG from a DOHC to a SOHC truck engine was bad enough. The lack of a decent mass produced small displacement OHC engine by GM (until the development of the Ecotec) was laughable. The Chevy Cavalier pushrod 4 mated to a three speed automatic was a sharp contrast to the OHC engines and 4-speed automatics available offshore.

  • Bullnuke It may be awhile before these show up on US shores. The MV Fremantle Highway has just started demo/reconstruction in Rotterdam after the large fire when transporting its last shipment of electric Porsche products.
  • Fie on Fiasler Big, fast and thirsty does not equal good. True luxury is not cobbled together by the UAW.
  • Inside Looking Out I see it as gladiator races - only one survives in virtual world.
  • Crown They need to put the EcoDiesel back in the Grand Cherokee. I have a 2018 and it has been the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. 69,000 miles and only needed tires, and regular oil and fuel filter changes.
  • El scotto Y'all are overthinking this. Find some young hard-charging DA seeking the TV limelight to lock this kid up. Heck, have John Boehner come up from Cincy to help the young DA get his political career going. Better yet, have the young DA spin this as hard as he or she can; I'm the candidate for Law and Order, I defied our go-easy office and leadership to get this identified criminal locked up. Oh this could be spun more than a hyper active kid's top.Now I'd do some consulting work for Little Kings Original Cream Ale and Skyline Chili.