Throwback Thursday: Only Ford Has a Short Stroke Engine!

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Classic Ford commercial highlights the then-new short stroke engine design, and its benefit to buyers.

This week’s “Throwback Thursday” video features a promotional piece from Ford Motor Company circa 1955. Back then the auto industry was shifting to short stroke engine designs, and Ford was the only company to utilize them in V8 from and in every truck. From their light duty consumer offerings, to their heavy duty and commercial-grade six-wheel work trucks, there was a short stroke under the hood.

In fact, Ford also used the short stroke design in their inline six-cylinder engines, so it wasn’t just the V8s which benefitted from this “new” technology. Why does this matter? Well, Ford explains it in the video with some handy, old-school graphics. The short stroke engine design in 1955 Ford trucks allowed the pistons to travel less distance in the cylinder, while also reducing engine RPM. This reduces the amount of friction which makes pistons and other parts last longer.


An interesting way to describe the benefits is by saying that it saves gas to the tune of “one in seven gallons,” meaning that fuel economy was increased by roughly 15% by switching to the short stroke V8.

However, back in 1955, Ford trucks were advertised as a group when the Motor Company looked to show off their lineup of efficient short stroke engines, unlike today.


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