We were offered the rare opportunity of testing a new electronic fuel injection system – an award winning fuel injection system, as soon as MSD Ignition began shipping the Atomic EFI conversion kit. Of course we couldn’t turn that down, as a matter of fact, we had been dying to get our hands on the kit after the first viewing at this year’s SEMA tradeshow.
Fuel injection systems are not new, in fact, direct injection fuel systems have been common in diesel engines since the 1920’s. Mechanical fuel injection became the standard for racers, bonneville cars and midget race cars in the 1940’s when hot rodder Stuart Hilborn began offering the systems. Electronic fuel injection hit the commercial market in 1957 when AMC offered the Electrojector system on their Rambler Rebel.
Even with the race proven efficiencies and power gains in fuel injection systems, the public was slow to accept the idea of electronic fuel injected cars until the 1980’s. One major reason for the public’s lack of acceptance of electronic fuel systems was the sophisticated and confusing controls and sensors. Home mechanics often felt that they could no longer work on their own cars if electronic fuel systems were involved.
While the rest of the world was focused on splitting atoms and creating massive energy releases with Atomic bombs, automotive enthusiasts tightly held onto the status quo when it came to internal combustion engines. When electronic fuel injection became the only option on commercial vehicles coming out of Detroit, car enthusiasts besieged aftermarket manufacturers to make conversion kits that replaced EFI systems with mechanical carbureted intake systems.
Coming Full Circle
1960’s muscle car enthusiasts loved the simple look of carburetors and uncluttered engine bays while most of the commercial EFI systems offered at that time held the opposite look. Long fuel rails running down the cylinder heads, wire bundles criss-crossing the engine bay and lots of black boxes that prevented the do-it-yourself mechanic from tuning the engine easily.
At this year’s SEMA Tradeshow in Las Vegas, Nevada, we ran across a fuel injection system that would have changed car enthusiasts early opinions on electronic fuel injection had it been produced in the “atomic age” era of the late ‘50s/early ’60’s. MSD’s Atomic EFI fuel injection system is user friendly and simple and maintains a clean look under the hood with all the added benefits of EFI. It’s a great choice for anyone planning on a carburetor swap to fuel injection.
We felt that the time was right to branch out into other areas of internal combustion and fuel injection was a natural fit. – Todd Ryden
Seeing MSD’s name on a throttle body seemed strange after having spending decades of seeing the logo on ignition systems. “We’ve dabbled in fuel injection components over the years,” said MSD’s Street Performance Division Director, Todd Ryden. “We felt that the time was right to branch out into other areas of internal combustion and fuel injection was a natural fit.”
We couldn’t wait to get our hands on one of these conversion kits because we had the perfect project car in mind to convert to modern fuel/air induction technology and pristine stock-like appearance. We invited Cory Dotzler and his ’69 Nova daily driver down from Santa Barbara, California, to our garage in the Inland Empire Region of Southern California.