Mickey Thompson's Pontiac V8

Updated: Feb 9

Motor Monday!

This creative genius in the early ’60s would try it all! Mickey Thompson (1928-1988) was a great innovator in motorsport. Running at Indy, Bonneville, desert racing, anywhere he could go fast and push the limits.

One of Mickey's projects was his Pontiac V8 with twin GMC blowers and a pair of custom non cross flow cylinder heads. He built this in 1962 and it featured a twin-supercharged Pontiac V8 with an unusual breathing arrangement; the intake and exhaust ports on the same side of the cylinder heads. He mounted this unusual set up in a dragster chassis. Mickey had a sponsorship deal with Pontiac, (in which they provided engines) he added a pair of GMC blowers mounted outboard and driven by Gilmer belts. The cylinder heads appear to be new aluminum rather than modified Pontiac cast iron.

There was also a naturally aspirated version of Mickey’s V8 using a pair of Carter AFB 4 barrel carburetors. Since the conventional V8’s cylinder firing order would create some carburetion problems with this set up, it most likely ran a 180-degree crankshaft/flat crank. This would make the Pontiac V8 into two separate inline four-cylinder engines on a common crankshaft.

Mickey Thompson was always pushing the boundaries and trying things others would say were impossible. May he drive always in that ‘impossible’ realm now! If you never try how do you know it’s a crazy idea?

~Blanton Payne

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