Category: Flathead Ford




Having exhausted the alphabet for their different models, and after flirting with model numbers for a few years, Ford in the USA began referring to their cars simply by the model year of the initial design, starting with the 1937 Ford.

They produced the car in a range of different body styles; sedan, coupe, convertible, station wagon, pick-up and so on and also in two different trim levels; Standard and DeLuxe. Although each year it had a styling refresh and a few tweaks to keep things new, the ‘37 stayed in production through to 1940 after which, you guessed it, came the 1941 Ford.

Power came from a choice of an entry level 136 (2.23-litre) flathead V8, which generated 60 hp – or a 221 (3.62-litre) flathead V8 delivering 85 hp.

By 1940, the coupe had gained sealed-beam headlamps fitted further outboard and given bigger bezels. The bonnet was given a high, flat top and in DeLuxe spec the front grille was widened out with additional louvres to reach the fenders.

The combination of the legendary 221 flathead V8 engine and a fabulous body shape has made Ford Coupes of the ‘37-’40 era the go-to base metal for automotive alchemists looking to fettle, tweak and hammer their way to the ultimate custom car or hot-rod.

The example we have with us today was painstakingly built to be competitive in vintage and classic endurance rallies such as the legendry Peking to Paris event but largely due to Covid never taking part. As such it represents the opportunity to acquire an “out of the box” endurance rally car ready to compete in the post Covid 2023 vintage and classic rally calendar.

The Vehicle

Built for the 1940 model year, this left-hand-drive Ford Coupe DeLuxe was imported to the UK and registered with the DVLA in December 2014.

Handed over to Royal Kustoms of Poole in Dorset, at a cost of over £100,000, the Coupe was eventually rebuilt, with a 296 (4.8-litre) flathead V8 and prepared for endurance rallying organised by ERA and HERO ( in time for the 2020 season. Sadly, we all know what happened in 2020. Although the car has undergone shake-down runs totalling less than 3,000 miles, it has yet to turn a wheel in competition.

With plans changing, the owner decided to sell the car and returned it to Royal Kustoms in September for a full service and check over.

Royal Kustoms estimate that the build today, excluding base car purchase, would exceed £200,000.

Royal Kustoms are highly regarded for the quality and ingenuity of their race and rally preparation. This car has been obsessively over-engineered – outside, inside and underneath – to the most exacting standards of build quality and craftsmanship.

Should they wish to do so – the new owners will just need some paperwork for the car, then they’ll be all set to compete in the pre-war class for notable endurance rallies like the Alaska to Mexico Marathon at the end of September this year.

Fully fettled and ready to go, the car starts, goes and stops as you would hope. The handling and balance are impressive, as is the power on tap from the stroked and bored, 4.8-litre ‘Flathead’ V8 offering around 170 bhp and excellent amounts of torque.

And it goes about its business to a barking, thunderous, roaring soundtrack of Wagnerian proportions that will have people diving for cover at 200 yards.

No expense has been spared, no corners cut, no compromises tolerated.

Every structural, mechanical, electrical or cosmetic component is the best that it could be.

The car has spent most of its life in the dry Southern States of America was sourced in New Mexico and brought to the UK in 2014.

The body, panels and wings are original as is most of the chrome work. That’s where it started now brace yourself.

Here’s the spec sheet…..


Original 1940 Ford Chassis converted with a custom centre section to accommodate 5-speed gearbox.

Fully step boxed the entire length of the chassis rails with added strength gussets.

Rear chassis crossmember converted to take 1939 pickup Parallel leaf-spring kit with custom rear crossmember.

Hydraulic bump stop brackets fitted onto chassis.

All chassis areas with either roll cage or suspension hoops fitted have crush tubes fitted into the chassis.

Front and rear tow hitches installed.

Suspension and Steering

Front: Original style transverse spring front suspension with custom-made front spring with new spring shackles fitted with poly bushes.

Royal Kustoms designed and made front shock hoops with removable strut brace.

Fox front shocks custom made and setup for exact weight of car. Fox adjustable hydraulic bump stops.

Front suspension wishbone has additional reinforcement.

Front anti-roll fitted.

Rear: 1939 Parallel leaf-spring kit fitted.

Fox rear shocks custom-made and setup for exact weight of car, fully adjustable for height.

Fox fully adjustable hydraulic bump stops.

Royal Kustoms top A-arm made with hi-acute off-road Land Rover centre ball joint.

Steering: Fully adjustable electric power steering unit connect to a GM525 heavy duty quick steering manual steering box via Borguson steering U/Js with added tilt adjustment.

Fully refurbished spindles with new kingpins fitted.


Ford Tremec T5Z Motorsport 5-speed transmission.

MDL dual-friction clutch disc and diaphragm clutch plate.

Wilwood external hydraulic clutch slave cylinder.

Mustang racing mechanical clutch release bearing.

Custom-made propshaft fully balanced with heavy duty U/Js fitted.

Ford heavy duty 9” rear axle assembly with Strange heavy duty half-shafts and 3.55 crown and pinion. Custom-made by Hauser racing.


Lincoln Bendix 12” Front drum brakes with re-lined road/race shoes and added air scoops on backing.

Ford 11” Bendix self-adjusting rear drum brakes with road/race linings.

Wilwood adjustable pedal box running Wilwood front and rear master cylinders.

Remote brake servo installed onto front brakes only, running a vacuum hold tank.

Brake proportioning valve and residual valves fitted. Braided flexy lines installed, front and rear.

Hard brake lines are Kniefer with a stainless outer spiral sleeving fitted through out.


296 cubic inch Ford ‘Flathead’ V8.

Ex-military block. Fully ported and polished. Heavy duty main caps. Engine block converted for oil filter system.

New Scat 4 ¼ inch stroke forged crank shaft.

Scat H-beam rods with 2.0 inch bearing size for modern rod bearings.

Ross Racing 3 5/16” forged pistons with Molly rings.

Custom Cam shaft with adjustable lifters, Isky racing springs correctly weighted, 1.6 Manley stainless intake and exhaust valves, 1 piece valve guides.

Mellings oil pump with baffled oil pan.

Edelbrock 75cc finned ally heads. Cosmetic head gaskets installed. ARP head bolts and complete stainless bolt set.

Twin Stromberg’s correctly jetted for engine.

Modern seal/bearing water pumps. K&N air filters.

Custom-made lightened flywheel. Engine fully balanced. Custom-made harmonic balanced front crank pulley fitted.

MSD electronic distributor with switchable on-the-fly twin MSD off-road epoxy racing coils with rev limiter.

Fuel System

Pro-Alloy 175-ltr custom-made fully baffled ally fuel tank.

Twin Facet Red Top electric fuel pumps. Twin Malpassi Competition fuel filter/regulators.

Sytec large metal pre-filter element fuel filter. Sytec anti drain back valves.

Cohline 2240 100% ethanol fuel lines fitted.

Electrical system

Complete new custom-made wiring loom fitted with reset trip-able fuses and heavy-duty relays converted to 12 volts.

120 amp alternator. Varley Red Top Racing gel pack battery. 12-volt power sockets installed under hood, inside car and also fitted in boot. Master cut-off key connected onto neg side of battery.

16” high CFM electric fan running with twin auto fan controllers set at different operating temps, also with a fan override switch and a river crossing switch.

New Classic instruments – fully electric gauge cluster.

O2 Lambda sensor and gauge fitted for AFR ratios. On-the-fly switchable fuel and ignition systems.

New electric wiper motor fitted with wash wipes.

Nav systems (GPS and wheel speed sensors) doubled up.

Ignition coils doubled up.

Body and Roll-Cage

Full restoration of body shell.

Original front sheet metal work. Custom-made hood with louvres and side panels. Custom-made floor with drop down boot area and removable trans cover panels enabling transmission removal from the inside if required.

Custom-made seat framework with lockable under-seat drawers.

Custom-made fuel tank framework with removable ally bulk heads and panel work.

Front and rear fenders reworked for higher tyre clearance and to place tyres in the centre of the fender openings.

Read on

Liquidation Auction of Classic Cars, Trucks & Hot Rod Bodies (SF Flatheads)


It seems SF Flatheads is no more according to the auction listing below

100 + Flathead V-8 Motors & Spare Parts Inventory 

As a result of commercial
eviction notice filed by Liberty Park, LLC
Entire Classic Car & Parts Collection
Stored at 8110 Power Ridge Road
Sacramento, CA

50+ Vehicles for Restoration Enthusiasts   

  • Mid 50’s Buick 4 door hardtops & wagon
  • 59 Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible
  • 60 Cadillac Coupe Deville & 39 Lasalle rag top
  • 40 Ford woody; 38 Ford 5 window coupes
  • 30’s Ford roadsters, pickups & hot rod coupes

Important: As a result of a commercial eviction notice filed by Liberty Part, LLC, the entire collection referenced as SF Flatheads will be sold without reserve to the highest bidder at public auction.

Inspections by appointment only

Inspection windows are Fridays from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

  • March 17
  • March 24
  • March 31
  • April 7

Listing is here

AutoHunter Spotlight: 1936 Ford Deluxe Roadster -David P. Castro @Classic


Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by, is this 1936 Ford Deluxe Roadster.

The maroon lacquer with red pinstriping exterior was reportedly repainted several years ago. It features a 4-piece hood, chrome bumpers, a chrome grille, dual headlights with body-color buckets, and a tilting windshield.

It rides on black steel wheels with V8-logo center caps, trim rings, and whitewall bias-ply tires.

“The bench seat, interior trim, and door panels are upholstered in brown vinyl,” the listing states. “Features include a tan vinyl floor mat and a floor-mounted manual shifter. Additional features include a keyed steering wheel lock, an original AM radio with a speaker, a body-color steel dashboard with a simulated woodgrain fascia, and a brown 3-spoke banjo steering wheel. The seller notes that some seams on the base of the driver’s seat are coming apart.”

Read on

Flathead 101 From the Jalopy Journal


The Flathead Ford is still the engine of cool for traditionalists in the Hot Rod & Custom Car worlds. Here on the blog I always like to feature items and articles that spread the Flathead word & its storied history. This article from Ryan at the Jalopy Journal is from 2006, and is excellent!


Read more here…

What’s an ARDUN? The Ultimate OHV Conversion for the Ford Flathead V-8 – Mike Herman of H&H Flatheads @TorqTalk


As we learned in our flathead Ford V8 story here:, 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.

Read on

Pick of the Day: 1941 Ford 2-door coupe with classic car finance lesson – Tyson Hughie


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 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.

Read on

A Detailed Look Back At The Ford Model B – Jason Collins @HotCars


A classic, elegant cat that shows sophistication and yet has a mean streak underneath the hood of the car.

Ford is a car brand that has been around for a very long time. The Ford Model B range changed the look and feel over the years. We will be taking a look at the history behind this classic car as well as how it turned into the iconic 1932 Ford Model B which was not a good seller back in the day but nowadays, people cannot get enough of it.

The Ford Model B is a better version than the Model A. They took everything that was right with the Model A, removed all the problems, and thought it would be a good idea to add in a 4 cylinder engine which was a first for Ford.

Ford Motor Company produced two different models with the Model B name, Ford Model B 1904 and Ford Model B 1932.

In 1904, Ford introduced the upscale touring car. It had polished wood and brass trimming. It was built at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant. It was Ford’s first car to use the front-engine layout that had a large 24 horsepower 4-cylinder engine positioned at the front of the car behind a conventional radiator.

It was a 2-speed transmission and the engine was a 283.5CID.

It was priced at $ 2 000 which is equivalent to about $ 57 000.00 today. It was a high-end car that was produced for three years. The sales of the car were slow due to the price of the car and it was replaced by the derivative model K in 1906 which was cheaper for the consumer.

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All the Oddities of Ford’s Famous Flathead V8 (Full Engine Build) – The Horsepower Monster @YouTube


Ford’s Flathead V8 is iconic in the hot rodding world because it was the first V8 that was affordable for the average Joe.

And for the time it was very innovative. We’re taking a deep dive into the Ford Flathead on this build by Keith Dorton of Automotive Specialists (​) who is putting together a period-correct Flathead with extra stroke and compression to bump up the horsepower.

PLEASE NOTE: In the video when the engine is on the dyno the valve ticking is pretty noticeable. In person in the dyno room you could barely hear it. I suspect this is an artifact of the shotgun mic I use on my camera.

It really seems to accentuate sharp sounds like that. Thank you. Some links that may help your build: Engine Builder — Automotive Specialists

▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Contents of this video ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

  • 0:00​ – Introducing the Ford Flathead
  • 2:59​ – Scat Flathead Stroker Crankshaft
  • 3:27​ – Rope Seal
  • 5:45​ – Flathead Oiling Modifications
  • 7:22​ – Scat Rods/Mahle Pistons for Flatheads
  • 10:23​ – Isky Flathead Camshaft
  • 15:07​ – Isky Flathead lifters/valves/springs
  • 18:48​ – How to Set Flathead Valve Lash
  • 20:29​ – Cylinder Heads
  • 21:42​ – Repop Offenhouser Intake & Super 97 Carbs
  •  22:19​ – Dyno Testing

How to spot a Ford pushrod V-8, from flathead to 460 – Brandan Gillogly @Hagerty


How to spot a Ford pushrod V-8, from flathead to 460

Let’s say it’s your lucky day, and you’ve found an engine laying around in the back of a garage with an unknown history. Or maybe you’re trying to discern which engine was swapped into a car, and all of the aftermarket parts between the fenders are muddying the waters. In any case, the first step is always to identify the engine

Determining precisely which engine you’re looking at under the hood can be difficult. Heck, sometimes a brand produced more engine families in the same decade than you can count on both hands. If you’re pretty sure you’re looking at a Ford V-8, the following guide will help you make the proper ID of your engine so that you can dive deeper into the ID.

This article, focusing on Ford passenger car V-8s, isn’t a full history on engine tech or applications. It’s intended as a primer to help you narrow things down and, in turn, enrich your gearhead knowledge. We’ll focus on the biggest visual keys to look for when you come face-to-valve-cover with eight cylinders of Detroit metal.

Ford flathead V-8: 1932–53

Read on

Ford Factory Assembly Line in 1949 – The Flat Spot @YouTube


After sticking with its well-received previous model through model year 1948, Ford completely redesigned its namesake car for 1949. Save for its drive train, this was an all-new car in every way, with a modern ladder frame now supporting a coil spring suspension in front and longitudinal semi-elliptical springs in back.

The engine was moved forward to make more room in the passenger compartment and the antiquated torque tube was replaced by a modern drive shaft. Ford’s popular 226 CID (3.7 L) L-head straight-6 and 239 CID (3.9 L) Flathead V8 remained, now rated at 90 hp (67 kW) and 100 hp (75 kW), respectively.

The 1949 models debuted at a gala at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City in June 1948, with a carousel of the new Fords complemented by a revolving demonstration of the new chassis. The new integrated steel structure was advertised as a “lifeguard body”, and even the woody wagon was steel at heart.

The convertible frame had an “X member” for structural rigidity. From a customer’s perspective, the old Custom, De Luxe, and Super De Luxe lines were replaced by new Standard and Custom trims and the cars gained a modern look with completely integrated rear fenders and just a hint of a fender in front.

The new styling approach was also evident in the 1949 Mercury Eight and the all-new Lincoln Cosmopolitan.

The Flat Spot is here