It was known as the Model B engine and was produced for only four years beginning in 1932. Sporting only four cylinders, it was basically an upgrade of the earlier Model A powerplant. The “B” engine sported an impressive 200 cubic inches of displacement. Its compression ratio was a super-low 4.9-1. The paltry 50 horses it produced came at about 2,200 RPMs. The engine certainly didn’t appear likely to be a candidate for upgrading, but that wouldn’t be the case.
In addition to its carburetors, Winfield also produced a B Block compatible head, shown here.
Sporting only four cylinders, it was basically an upgrade of the earlier Model A powerplant.
The “B” engine sported an impressive 200 cubic inches of displacement. Its compression ratio was a super-low 4.9-1.
The paltry 50 horses it produced came at about 2,200 RPMs. Its main components included an ignition system, which included a coil and a centrifugal distributor.
The engine certainly didn’t appear likely to be a candidate for upgrading, but that wouldn’t be the case.
Shortly after its introduction, there was a wave of professional upgrades that evolved making every stock Deuce a potential race engine.
And, single-car garage engine builders would find many different ways of devising methods to triple, and sometimes more, its horsepower with a multitude of aftermarket and homemade performance parts.
It was a favorite of two types of motorsports fans.
First, there was the type that looked at it for performance street. But the performance improvements that were possible also made it an excellent candidate for oval track racing with the sprint car (then called big cars).
There was one common component in a majority of the conversions, that being a pair of two-barrel carbs, usually Winfields.
All these conversions could run on either alcohol or high-test (then called ethyl) fuels, but for alcohol, it was necessary to open up the jets for more flow. The compression ratios were also higher for alcohol use.
Established B Block Aftermarket Conversions:
HAL B Block Conversion
The HAL conversion was a popular racing conversion for the Deuce. This conversion lasted into the 1950s where it was still competitive. On some occasions, the block was bored out to about 220 cid.
Besides the HAL cylinder head, there was also a balanced crank, and either a single or double overhead cam. The latter was the preferred system if the pocketbook would allow it.
It also used a pair of single-barrel carburetors. It’s compression ratio was about 7-1. It was reported that some of these set-ups were capable of producing one horsepower per cubic inch of displacement, which was a pretty heady accomplishment for the time period
In addition, the very early HAL engines had carburetors sitting on top of the engine instead of the normal side-draft position. Hal B Block conversions have been noted with different displacements, some bored out to 220 cubic inches and sporting a balanced crank.
One restored 1934 HAL sprinter had an illustrious history and carried Flynn carburetors along with magneto ignition.
It burned alcohol. During its racing days, it won the NARA Northeast series and was reportedly driven by Indy 500 driver, Bill Holland
Dreyer B Block Conversion
Pop Dreyer was one of the best-known engine builders of the period. His cast iron heads connected to the B Block provided one of the best sprint car powerplants during the 1930s. The engine also sported twin Winfield carbs, aluminum intake manifold and a SOHC cam set-up. It was reported that these engines could produce over 200 horsepower.
He later would build a block of his own which would incorporate a double overhead cam and five main bearings instead of the three on the standard B Block
RAMAR B Block Conversion