Really useful Ford Flathead V8 specification reference page from VanPelt Sales
The Flathead V8 engines produced by Ford Motor Company included basically three versions. The most popular being the 85-125hp that was first produced in 1932, and continued until 1953 (except for Canadian and Australian production which ended in 1954). Ford also designed and produced a smaller 60hp flathead V8 engine from 1937 until 1940. Lastly, the big 337 cubic inch flathead V8 engine, which was produced mainly for truck use and for Lincoln cars from 1948 to 1951. Ford’s flathead V8 engines when introduced in 1932 were the first mass-production V8’s where the block and cylinder assembly were poured as one single casting.
Click on the links below for general descriptions, general specifications, and tune-up specifications on each series engine. Horsepower and torque curves are available on some
While we had the Schroll 32 Coupe at the Wheels of Time Jamboree there was an open space in the shop. The 1939 Mercury has been sitting in storage until we had some free time and space, but starting to free up the engine should be an easy job. Boy did we under estimate how stuck this engine is
Officially, the F-Series kicked off its legendary adventure starting with the 1948 model year. But the original generation is also known as the Bonus-Built series. Meanwhile, previous trucks were largely unchanged since the start of WWII for America, that dreadful 1941.
So, do we hold it against the good folks over at PC Classic Cars in Sherman, Texas for potentially confusing the F-1 name with a truck that was created before the age of the F-Series? Purists might, but we are going to be as reconciliatory as possible, considering the very nice Coca-Cola-like paintjob. True, we might have a soft spot for crimson and creamy white combinations…
Now that everyone has finished ogling at the pristine exterior details, let’s get down to the classic pickup truck business. This 1946 Ford was probably restored sometimes during previous ownership – there isn’t much background to go along with as far as its historic whereabouts are concerned. We did catch the dealer’s reference that “extensive records and photos from restoration” are also available.
And this time around, we paid more attention than ever to what the consigner has to say, considering the laugh we had after reading the proud statement that we are dealing with a “truck (that) will cruise at 55 mph.” That’s just 89 kph for the Old Continent fans. But, then again, even after a full restoration, it’s still a very old truck – and well within pension rights at 75 years of age
While visiting Ronnie Roadster Matt filmed a ton of footage while talking with Ron. We wanted to put together a video showing exactly how an Ardun OHV Conversion works for a Ford Flathead engine. Ron is a wealth of knowledge and has over 100k miles on his blue 32 Ford Roadster that’s powered by a blown Ardun. Ron shows us the inner workings of an Ardun valvetrain and some of the tricks that are needed to get them running correctly. A huge thank you to Ron and his wife Laura for letting us visit and film!!
As we learned in our flathead Ford V8 story here: www.torqtalk.com/home/ford-flathead-the-first-performance-v-8, the Ford V8 was not initially a performer. Out of the crate in 1932 the 221 ci produced only 65 bhp and even by the end of its life in 1953 the 239 ci ‘flattie’ only produced 110. Note: The ’53 255 ci Mercury did make 125 bhp—still no big deal.
To make the Model A/B four bangers go faster several outfits had produced overhead valve (ohv) conversions it seemed obvious therefore to build something similar for the V-8. Enter brothers Zora and Yura Arkus-Duntov and the Ardun Mechanical Corp., New York. By 1945, their mainstay military contracts were dwindling and Zora approached Ford about an ohv conversion for the V-8 that over heated and was under powered. Ford showed no interest and so Zora went ahead anyway buying a couple of V-8s and designing his own heads with the help of engineer George Kudasch.
Rather than have the middle pair of exhaust ports asthmatically ‘siamesed’ into one, the Ardun, a contraction of ARkus-DUNtov, breathed better through four equally spaced ports. It was also compatible with the Ford block and valvetrain, used the stock cam, and had hemispherical combustion chambers and large intake valves for improved performance. Interestingly, the Ardun had short intake rockers and long exhaust rockers and was similar to the 1951 Chrysler Hemi but preceded it by four years when it was introduced in 1947.
The downside was trifold: The assembly was 12-inches wider than stock, it weighed an additional 60 lb and it wasn’t cheap being cast from heat-treated, 355-T6 Alcoa aluminum alloy. However, the heads produced between 25- and 60-percent more power depending on tuning—the original had but a single carb. According to Zora, “I had about 230 hp on gasoline by 1949.”
Zora might have been a tad optimistic with his figures. After almost two years and more than 1,000 hours of testing on his own GE dyno, the Ardun-headed engine put out only 160 bhp. ‘Build it and they will come’ was Zora’s philosophy and he attempted to market complete engines and conversions. A ‘racing’ version was said to produce 200 bhp at 5,500 rpm. The conversion sold for a hefty $500 and installation took six skilled hours. Two thousand inquiries resulted from a feature in Popular Mechanics but few sales materialized.
The time has finally come to take the engine for the 1933 Ford 3 Window Coupe up to Ronnie “Roadster” San Giovanni, the master of the Ardun OHV conversion.
Ron built his first Ardun back in the early 1980’s and has been hooked ever since. His blue 1932 Ford Roadster with a blown Ardun has been cross country twice and around 100k miles.
Ron is a wealth of knowledge about hot rods, local Connecticut racing history and of course flatheads. Matt spent the better part of the day talking with Ron about his set of heads, and his large Italmeccanica blower that Ron has surprisingly never seen before!
We could have put together a 4 hour video with Ron and wife talking about every amazing piece of history they have in their shop and all the amazing engines Ron has built. We can’t wait to return to pick up the engine and spend more time with Ron!!
Restoration expenses once again far outstrip the value of the finished product
If there’s anything that owning a “project vehicle” has taught anyone, it’s that restoration work almost always ends up being much-more expensive than originally anticipated. And while it’s rewarding to be part of an extreme makeover, sometimes it means taking a loss when it comes time to part ways and offer that vehicle up to the collector marketplace.
Many classified listings these days include some variation of the phrase, “You can’t build it for what I’m asking.” And that statement rings painfully true in many cases
A private seller on ClassicCars.com in Longview, Texas, is offering an 80-year-old custom Ford at a fraction of the investment that it took to restore. The Pick of the Day is a red 1941 Ford Super Deluxe two-door coupe complete with receipts totaling $100,000 and a selling price that is significantly lower.
“The price to build was right at $100k,” the listing states. “Invoices are available which will list all of the individual components plus the shop labor hours.”
The rebuilt Jasper flathead engine alone, now having accrued only a few hundred miles since installation, reflected an expenditure in excess of $10,000, according to the ad.
Sisters Olivia Gentry, 20, and Genna Gentry, 18, of Newnan, Georgia, became the youngest winners of The Great Race, winning the 9-day, 2,300-mile cross-country competition for vintage vehicles. The 2021 time-distance rally, which began in San Antonio, Texas, ended June 27 in Greenville, South Carolina.
The sisters, competing for the fourth time, earned $50,000 for their performance in a 1932 Ford 5-window coupe. Olivia drove and Genna navigated. They had finished seventh overall in 2019.
The competition drew 120 entries in the time-distance rally that precludes the use of modern navigation or electronic devices while competing in various stages at precise time and speed averages. Teams can use only a map, stopwatches and “old-fashioned reckoning,” event organizers note.
“We are thrilled that the Gentry sisters won the race after several impressive showings over the past few years,” Wade Kawasaki, president and chief executive of event owner Legendary Companies, was quoted in the post-event news release.
“These young ladies and their beautiful ‘32 Ford have shown that the spirit of competition, a drive to compete and excellent math and navigational skills live on in the youngest generation.
Spring may have just arrived, but at least one vehicle going up for auction at Bonhams’s next sale may have you longing for winter’s return.
Impossible, you say. Wait until you check out the 80-year-old Bombardier B-7snowmobile. Set to hit the block late next month at the auction house’s Amelia Island auction, the restored snow cruiser will have even the most cold-averse among us wishing for a thick snow fall so they can take it out for a spin.
Although the B-7 was born out of a family tragedy—inventor Joseph-Armand Bombardier’s young son died during the winter because no vehicle could safely transport him through the snow—it’s also a dazzling creation. The vehicle, which was referred to at the time as a “snow coach,” looks like an old-fashion family wagon with skis and tank treads in place of its wheels, so that it can “float over the snow.” After being introduced in 1935, the vehicle proved to be a hit, and by the end of the decade, the Canadian company had built more than 100 examples.
There is no way we can count all the weird machines we’ve seen cooked up by more or less prominent garages across America over the years. Yet we’re pretty certain we’re going to remember this thing here, going forward.
What you’re looking at is officially titled 1938 Indian V8-60 Flathead, and it’s an yet unfinished project that could have just as well been named Ford, or Porsche, or Harley-Davidson. That’s because each of these companies contributed in one way or another to this thing coming together.
Indian is responsible for the frame, with a 1938 Indian Chief as a starting point. It was bred and welded with 1.25- and 1-inch tubing and paired with a Chief front end. The thusly-modified frame was needed because it had to accommodate the Ford V8 engine its builder saw fit to gift the bike with.
The V8 is of the flathead variety the Blue Oval had in its portfolio for a couple of decades between 1932 and 1953, which came with a power rating of 60 horsepower—this bike’s name is beginning to make sense now, right?
The engine used on this two-wheeler is a 1937 model year, packs a Stromberg carburetor, and is tied to a Harley-Davidson transmission and a clutch from the same bike maker.
Two fuel tanks, made to resemble pre-war Indian pieces, are located left and right of the frame, and we’re told they never got the taste of fuel in them. An Indian solo seat dangles precariously over the massive engine, there are 1946 controls on the handlebars, and even a Porsche 12-volt generator in there (not hooked up to anything yet).
To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: