When you bought your car, if it had a distributor there was one choice. There weren’t any upgrades available for your ignition, either to increase the spark or to help fine tune your timing. So the performance aftermarket stepped up to the plate and produced distributors for performance junkies, like us, to give us more choices when it came to creating the spark that ignites the fire in our engines.

Mallory Ignition is one of those companies, and their name has been on the minds of performance enthusiasts since 1952 when the Mallory Research Company formed Mallory Electric. Mallory has come a very long way since that first breakerless magneto that they invented, and they now have several distributors to choose from – surely something to fit nearly every need when it comes to your vehicle.

Which Distributor Fits Your Needs?

While we all know that we need better performance than our factory stock distributor, the question gets raised quite often about which distributor best fits our needs. Well, guess no more, because Mallory has put up an info page to help you make that decision with a little more confidence, and a lot more knowledge about distributors.

Starting with the classic mechanical points-style distributor for the old school hot rodder (23, 24, 25, 26, and 27 Series), this dual point distributors have an adjustable mechanical advance, with the 27 series adding an adjustable vacuum advance, and are ready to run right from the box. Add the HyFire igntion to this distributor for even better control of your ignition system.

The Magnetic Breakerless distributors (42, 50, and 57 Series) all have a magnetic pickup and module to trigger the timing. Each has an adjustable mechanical advance, with the 57 Series including an adjustable vacuum advance, and simple three-wire hookup. These distributors require a high performance coil, and can be used with or without the HyFire ignition box.

The Unilite distributor is one that people see quite often (37, 38, 45, and 47 Series), and it contains a one-piece optical pickup and module with infrared technology. These also have a three-wire hookup and adjustable mechanical advance, with the 47 Series including the adjustable vacuum advance. Like the Magnetic Breakerless distributor, the Unilite is also for street performance and competition racing.

General Motors vehicles with the HEI distributors had the coil right in the distributor cap, and Mallory’s HEI distributor (75, 85 Series) is designed as a great replacement and has a very simple one wire hookup. But unlike the GM HEI distributors, Mallory gives other gearheads a taste of HEI with offerings for Ford, AMC and Mopar applications, taking advantage of the HEI style. Taking it a step further, the 75 Series HEI distributor includes the Mallory high-output module with a built-in rev limiter.

Drag racers and circle track racers can benefit from the Magnetic Pickup 2-wire distributor (32, 66, 81, and 84 Series) because of the range of performance options available. They’re a low profile, CNC-machined distributor made from 6061-T6 billet aluminum and feature dual magnetic triggers designed for use with their CT Pro and HyFire CD ignition boxes. These distributors offer a locked out mechanical advance for solid timing performance and lower bushings for stabilization throughout the RPM range, with the 84 Series offering an adjustable mechanical advance set at 20 degrees for racing. These distributors require a capacitive discharge ignition box, like the HyFire or CT Pro.

Getting into total adjustability using Windows based software, the E-Fire 22 and Maxfire 12 Series distributors have a micro processor controlled digital capacitive discharge with multi-spark. These Hall effect distributors are ready to run, and because they are all electronic and include the capacitive discharge, they don’t require an ignition box. Both are vacuum based advance, and are a great fit for street performance or competition racing, with the built rev limiting and boost proportional retard.

Mallory’s FireStorm Dual Sync Sensors create two signals for those who want to convert to a coil per plug setup, with one signal for the crank and one for the cam. This allows for individual timing control when combined with the FireStorm ignition boxes available from Mallory.

The Series 61 and 95 distributors are designed to work with aftermarket fuel injection systems, like Edelbrock. These high performance distributors are perfect for those who convert their classic or musclecar from carburetor to EFI.

And finally, for the hardcore racers who demand that their timing be as accurate as can be, the Front Drive 20 and Crank Trigger 65 Series distributors won’t disappoint. They’re for the discerning competitor who expects dead-on timing, and they must be used with a crank trigger wheel and Mallory’s HyFire CD ignition box.

With hundreds different applications to choose from, Mallory is bound to have a distributor that suits your needs. Be sure to visit their website to learn more about what they have to offer, including ignition boxes, coils, fuel pumps, fuel lines and filters, distributor caps and rotors, tune up kits and components, and the list goes on. Hopefully this will help you to make an informed decision as to what distributor best fits your needs!