The Ford Windsor 351" engine is one of the most popular powerblocks among performance enthusiast of both today and yester-year, and it's history is closely related to that of the wildly popular Mustang line of vehicles. First introduced in 1962, the Windsor 351 replaced the y-block engines Ford had been using up until that time. Consumers quickly embraced the engine due in part to it's power, as well as it's durability, and soon word began to spread. Although known to many as the "Windsor", a name placed on the engine because it's original production location, very few of the engines actually came from the production facility in Windsor, Ontario. In fact, many of the "Windsor" engines were produced in the same plant as the "Cleveland" blocks. Names have a way of sticking however, and even today with the availablility of crate engines from a variety of different manufacturers, "Windsor" is still the household term for the impressive engine design.
When it debuted in 1962 the 351" Windsor engine was available as a thin-walled cast iron block with a seperate aluminum timing chain cover. The first models had larger intake valves and ports than later variations of the design, but the block was compatible with a number of major components already being produced by Ford. This compatibility includes the bell-housing and motor mounts used with the 289" and 302" engines of the time, this in turn made the larger engine as economical to produce as Ford's already popular 302" package.
The true power of the motor was made apparent when the 351" was placed in a Ford Mustang, demonstrating extreme functionality, power, and balance within the sleek lines of Ford's most popular sports car. While used initially with standard Ford components, later designs called for enhanced drivetrain components, and after many such modifications came the 351 Cobra powerplant.
Survivability is on the side of the 351" as well, the block remains in production to this day though it has undergone a variety of changes throughout the years. The 351" engine block is still available for purchase new as a crate motor, with many companies still manufacturing it, therefore renewing it's reputation among a new generation. Rebuilt Windsor motors are also available, but the much sought-after early models are few in number. Today the common crate 351" comes in many variations, depending upon the consumer and the scope of the project. Whether cruising with a low growl in a chrome covered classic, or ripping it up at the dragstrip in a fully built hotrod version, the 351" can be found in many venues.