Una delle cose molto interessanti del progetto iniziale di Fabio era la scelta del motore: il Rocket 303 del 1949 è stato il primo V8 a valvole in testa della storia … il primo Small Block in un epoca di Flathead.Questo tipo di motore era stato usato per anni per le auto da corsa “tradizionali”
Rocket V8 303 engine
The 303-cubic-inch (5.0 L) engine had hydraulic lifters, an oversquare bore:stroke ratio, a counterweighted forged crankshaft, aluminum pistons, floating wristpins, and a dual-plane intake manifold. The 303 was produced from 1949 until 1953. Bore was 3.75 in (95 mm) and stroke was 3.4375 in (87.31 mm). Cadillac used a distantly related motor which appeared in three different sizes through to the 1962 model year; though the Oldsmobile and Cadillac motors were not physically related, many lessons learned by one division were incorporated into the others design, and the result were two engines known for their excellent power-to-weight ratio, fuel economy, and smooth, strong, reliable running.
The original Oldsmobile V8 was originally to be advertised as "Kettering Power" after chief engineer Charles Kettering, but company policy disallowed the use of his name. So the engine was sold as the Oldsmobile Rocket. The engine was available in Oldsmobile's 88 and Super 88 models, which acquired the nickname Rocket 88.
The 303 was available from 1949 through 1953. 1949 through 1951 "88" 303's came with a 2-barrel carburetor for 135 hp (101 kW) and 253 lb·ft (343 N·m). 1952 88 and Super 88 V8s used a 4-barrel carburetor for 160 hp (120 kW) and 265 lb·ft (359 N·m), while 1953 versions upped the compression from 7.5:1 to 8.0:1 for 165 hp (123 kW) and 275 lb·ft (373 N·m). For comparison, a 1949 Ford Flathead V8 produced just 100 hp (75 kW).
Applications: 1949-1953 Oldsmobile 88; 1949-1953 Oldsmobile 98; 1952-1953 Oldsmobile Super 88