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Building and running the slant six line at Trenton Engine

Photos provided by David Van Buren

Many know Trenton Engine as the place where V6 engines have been made for decades; or they recall it for classic V8 engines, or for the famed Hemi-powered Air Raid Sirens. But Trenton also made huge numbers of another six-cylinder, where every cylinder sat in a straight line, and all were tilted by 30%.

1977 Slant Six

As we reported in our slant six page, the slant six was created largely because a new compact car, the Valiant, needed a powerplant smaller than anything in Chrysler Corporation’s parts bins. The engine team was led by the highly talented Robert S. Rarey, a major force in the original Chrysler V8s and the brand new B-series V8s alike. The size and engine type were finalized in April 1958; the day Plymouth chief Harry Chesebrough saw the proposal, he approved it—and asked for a more powerful version. Bob Rarey and Willem Weertman figured out how to do that within five days—by making a long-stroke version, taking displacement from 170 to 225 cubic inches.

Engines were given a single-letter code name at that time. A stood for high-volume small-block V8s; B for big-block V8s. The new six was coded G (RG for raised block and LG for low block, unlike RB and plain-B). Aluminum blocks were made in Kokomo for a few years; iron blocks were made at Trenton. The company’s Windsor engine plant also made the slant six. The following photos show the Trenton plant being readied for the new engines—and show them in production, all in 1959. The signs show just how rapidly the project moved along.

Preparing the assembly lines

Trenton Engine prepares to make slant six engines





Trenton Engine slant six line

Making and testing slant sixes

stub line

stub line closeup

early slant sixes

Trenton Engine machinery

host testing

Was the engine successful, you may ask? Here’s the 15 millionth engine from the Trenton plant, made in mid-1978—a slant six. Contact us if you know the names of these people!

15 millionth engine

next up: making V8 engines; also see building the plant (1951-52)

Other Trenton Engine pages at motales

Building Trenton Engine
to Make Classic V8s and Air Raid Sirens

Building and Running the Slant Six Line at Trenton
Making the legendary Leaning Tower of Power

Making V8 engines
Trenton in pictures

Trenton Engine milestones
1964 Hemi to Pentastar

Trenton Engine: Building New V6 Lines in 2000
A pictorial with explanations and stories

Tales From the Factory: Matching Pistons and Blocks
How the factory managed precision problems, back in the day

Other Chrysler plants and such

  • Brampton: Making big Mopars, then STLA Medium: From muscle cars to the new midsize series

  • Building Trenton Engine: to Make Classic V8s and Air Raid Sirens

  • Building and Running the Slant Six Line at Trenton: Making the legendary Leaning Tower of Power

  • Innovation factory: Chrysler Technology Center (CTC): The most advanced engineering facility in the world for years

  • Making V8 engines: Trenton in pictures

  • Dodge Main: Sturdy car creation complex: Multi-story car factory

  • Making Mopar Vans in Windsor: Dodge B-van factory photos

  • Making Cars in Canada: Factory Photos: A pictorial with some captions

  • Making Minivans in Windsor: Chrysler factory photos

  • Creating the Chrysler Technology Center (CTC): The long story of the massive complex

  • Mopar Engine-Based Windsor Factory Photos: Putting engines together in Canada

  • When Chrysler made cars in LA: The westernmost Mopar plant

  • Trenton Engine milestones: 1964 Hemi to Pentastar

  • Off the Line: People Doing Other Things in Chrysler Canada Plants: A pictorial of the labs, factory, and computer control areas

  • Trenton Engine: Building New V6 Lines in 2000: A pictorial with explanations and stories

  • Mopar plants: rumors, what they make, and what they made: Updated now and then

  • Tales From the Factory: Matching Pistons and Blocks: How the factory managed precision problems, back in the day

  • What was in a 1950s Chrysler factory: A partial listing of all the things that Chrysler factories needed - especially Dodge Main

  • The Walter P. Chrysler Museum, 1999-2012: Inside the museum which recalled Chrysler’s many accomplishments (and some of its follies)

  • Trenton: V8, Slant Six, and Trans Four Engines By Year: How many did they make? By model year, 1957 to 1989

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