Would it be fair for me to assume that just about any 1960's head for a V8 would be a head that would be desirable for someone looking for stock heads?
Especially if it was off of any of the big bore FE blocks? like 390, 427, 428?
Or is the valuation of the heads from the 60's not that simple?
Ford heads are NOT simple. Drives Chevy guys nuts.
I'm far from an expert, but here are a few data points:
- Here in the 21st century, we have a lot of very good choices of aluminum heads for Fords. When you compare the prices for a complete set of aluminum heads to getting factory iron heads ported and machined for adjustable rockers, things get pretty close. Thus, most people interested in performance heads will just go aluminum. So, not nearly as many people are looking for iron heads these days.
- Ford made millions of heads for the 289/302. The vast majority are pretty lackluster for performance. Very little value here.
- The earlier heads had closed combustion chambers. These heads are more desirable since they result in higher compression and better resistance to detonation/pinging. Still, not a lot of value even for closed chambered 289/302 heads.
- One exception here are the "K-Code" heads. These heads were used on the High Performance 289 from 1965 to 1967 (possibly early 1968?). While the ports are not really any larger than other 289/302 heads, they have adjustable rocker studs and push rod guides. These heads are very desirable for people restoring a K-Code Mustang and can be quite valuable. How much? I don't know. What month is it?
- Sometime in the 80s (??) Ford installed "GT 40" heads into factory vehicles. Ford guys seem to really like these heads. While not rare, they are desirable and have value.
- In 1969, Ford started putting the 351 Windsor into vehicles. This first year 351W had heads with very small combustion chambers. Thus, they result in high compression. So, they are somewhat desirable. Otherwise, these are decent, but not great, heads for for performance. You can find them most anywhere; cheap and plentiful.
- In 1969 and 1970 Ford produced a "Boss 302" engine. These engines were available ONLY in the 69/70 Boss 302 Mustang and 1970 Cougar Eliminator. Contrary to what people tell you, they did NOT have a Falcon, Ranchero or Galaxy with a factory Boss 302. These engines are unique and pretty rare. The heads were basically 351 Cleveland 4V heads with screw-in, adjustable rocker studs, push rod guides, closed combustion chambers and some modifications to make them work on the 302 Windsor block. People restoring a Boss 302 Mustang or Eliminator will pay big bucks for authentic, factory Boss 302 heads. The casting numbers will reveal them to be Boss 302 heads vs 351 Cleveland heads. How much money? Again, what month is it?
- In 1971, for one year only, Ford made a "Boss 351" Mustang. The Boss 351 was a special performance version of the 351 Cleveland. The heads were the same as the Boss 302 heads without the mods for the Windsor block. Again, pretty rare casting number here, again, people restoring a Boss 351 will pay big bucks and again, "What month is it?".
- 351 Cleveland; here's a weird one. Cleveland heads came in 4V closed chamber, 4V open chamber, 2V open chamber and, from Australia only, 2V closed chamber. The latter "Aussie" heads were pretty popular back in the 80s and 90s. (I'm running a set on my Mach 1.) Those have some value, but again, people tend to go with aluminum heads these days. The 4V closed chamber heads are desirable with a smaller market for the 4V open chamber, but racers still want them. Bottom line, you can likely find a buyer for any Cleveland heads, although not for big buck.
- I don't know a lot about the 427s, but I hear the "Medium Riser" heads are rare, desirable and valuable. Can't add much there.
- 427 "Cammer"; these heads were for racing only; never installed in a factory car. Rare, desirable and valuable. Likely, you'll NEVER come across these without looking pretty hard.
- 390 heads are nothing special. Not much value. You can find them almost anywhere.
- 428 Cobra Jet heads are desirable, rare and valuable.
- 429 Cobra Jet heads are desirable, rare and valuable.
- Boss 429 heads are rare, desirable and VERY valuable. Again, extremely unlikely you'd ever stumble on these. They are aluminum and have a "Semi-Hemi" design. The Boss 429 engine was available ONLY in the 69/70 Boss 429 Mustang. Ford also produced Boss 429 engines for NASCAR and NHRA racing, but it's even less likely you'll stumble onto those.
Hope this helps a little.