I keep hearing people preaching about the beauty of the modern engine.
But when I work on them, or see friends working on them, I see sludge. I see plastic parts where metal should probably be used for better durability. I see fasteners that must be thrown away because they are one-time-use, in order to allow the original robotic assembly systems more precision in installation - not for allowing humans to make them better. I see problems with dissimilar metals corroding each other. In short, right off the assembly line, or after a fresh rebuild, they're great.
But there are many aspects that are not designed for longevity. Even the coatings inside the cylinders of modern engines ensure that they can't be rebuilt without great expense and difficulty.. Everything is as inexpensive as it can properly be made, one-time use, disposable.
The trend is toward fewer cylinders, cheaper designs. Not better designs. The improvements don't come from better geometry or mechanical genius - they come from refinement of fuel/air delivery, and combustion chamber design, along with better computerized engine management.
With less money, you can build a Windsor that will start easily, run smoothly, deliver blistering power from idle to redline, and do it all in a much smaller package. You can even get the same mileage. I just don't agree with the people that talk about 'refinement' in regard to the newer engines, unless you're talking about comparing a bone-stock 289 or 302 to a mod V8. But that's not a very fair comparison. Before you carve out the towers, rebuild your front end with a setup that has less travel, more geometry change during its sweep, and spend thousands redoing everything, what if you took a pair of modern aluminum heads (to get those better combustion chambers and runner design!), intake, headers, and backed it with an overdrive transmission, then fixed the front suspension with a few basic parts to improve geometry and reduce deflection and friction?
Frankly, that's much more interesting to me. When I see a car like that, I know that the person who built it, and hopefully the person that drives it, appreciates the original engineering. It shows that they were able to refine and improve on the original ideas, not just carrying around a sledgehammer looking for nails, and applying the 'solution' to everything they find.
The only magical thing about a 'Yote is the massive distance between its valve covers, and the fact that so many people put them in unlikely places.
Seeing everything vintage being "Yotified" is nearly as bad as seeing an LS in everything. To me it exemplifies a refusal to learn from or appreciate the wisdom of people who designed these vehicles, and it is a crude addition at best - very much in keeping with many of Wile-E-Coyote's ideas.