NEW! Check out the donated Flathead Drag Racing pictures!
This page is dedicated to all the cool cars and trucks owned and
loved by the visitors to this site.
You HAVE to read Tom Brown's story! 8^)
Bobby from Salem, Oregon
1951 ford flathead. 2 twos(94s), mallory dual point, custom bed, lots of home made parts,
spray can motor rebuild (it was once used to power a saw mill). All low buck, just for fun kind of ride.
This is my 47 conv. I just spent 2 years redoing. It has a stock flathead in it,
but I just bought a 50 truck motot freshly redone. It has a 4 barrel Edelbrock
500cfm. An isky 3/4 cam, Edmond finned heads, adjustable tappets,headers,and A/C.
John Gottfried <email@example.com>
"Thankyou for the history page. Here is a little more. a) In 1952 I was in high school in Salinas, CA and did some wood work for an inventer friend of
my father. He was making a distrubuter with two sets of breaker points. Looked like a good idea in 1952. We but a proto type set on my fathers 1952 Merc. and we went fishing in Idaho. The inventer (I don't remember his name) had an attorney working on a patent. Delco came out with a two point breaker plate just like the one in the 1952 Merc. before a patent was granted to the inventer. That was my first expereance with attorneys and as
I remember, the last time I saw the inventer. I'd like to hear Delco's side of the story.
Ford must have made some aluminum heads and intake manifolds for the 21 stud flatheads as I built a "stock" engine for a 1937 with a Merc. crank
(1/4 stroke) 1/4 over bore, Eski. cam and a ported stock aluminum intake and milled and fly cut aluminum heads. They were hard to fine in the 50's.
Drag racing is a lot more fun when you win. That engine out lasted 27 transmissions.
Keep up the fine work as "flatheads" are coming back. If we had only known."
Tom Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"What is it about that car you had when you were in high school or drove all the time you were in college? If you let it go and it's gone forever,
you grieve for it constantly. If you keep it, it's a constant source of grief! There's no middle ground on this, no gray area that would let you say, "Yes, but...". It's one way or the other with that car you had in school, your first car probably. I chose to keep that car, for sentimental reasons certainly, but also out of pity. I knew if I let it go it would be flattened in three days or less! So, in 1966, when I bought my new Ford, the old '53 Ford Business Coupe, with the snarling v/8 engine that at least sounded impressive, went into the back barn where it sat in benevolent neglect for the next 19 years. Even so, the car was never far from my mind. In my dreams, I'd still be driving it. In my nightmares, when I was escaping from Martian invaders that looked like my high-school principal, it was the old '53 that got me out of harm's way. So, when the word came that the barn was going to be torn down, a call came through about the car. "Do you want to let the car go? The man is thinking about $50." "$50 for MY car? He's out of his mind."
"No, he wants $50 to haul it away." A logical, practical person would have taken the offer and been done with the relic. I was not, nor will I ever be, a logical, practical person. "No," I said, "I'll have it shipped up here on a flatbed truck. I'll build a garage for it and nurse it back to health in my spare time." With those two simple sentences, I had committed myself to an expenditure of $15,000! It was only the beginning and I knew it. When it arrived at its new home, I could tell the 19 years of storage had taken its toll on the car. My dad had found the trunk lid an ideal platform for the mixing of various wierd colored paints. One tire had stubbornly remained inflated. A quarter inch of filth covered the car. Windows weren't windows anymore. The inside was a nightmare of falling, foul-smelling upholstery. I sat at the wheel and tried to pretend it was still 1959. The key was still in the ignition. Whimsically, I turned it. Of course, nothing happened. But I swear as I did, I hear a tiny, indistinct voice coming from someplace
under the dashboard. It said something like, "I'll get you for this. So help me God." A mechanic with a sense of humor and a need for cold cash, hauled the engine out and rebuilt it. He rebuilt the brake system, cylinders, shoes, master cylinder, the works. New battery, new radiator, new gas tank, the list went on and on until it was virtually a new car underneath the old. The first day it was back, it slipped its handbrake and made an
excellent try at ramming the '66 Ford that had caused its retirement. (And would have succeeded but for the $600 lawnmower it ran over on the way!) It was then I knew I had the car from hell on my hands. I knew there was more to come someday. That day came in the fall of the year. I was driving the '53 just a few short blocks at the time when the engine began losing power. I kept driving, somehow hoping if it warmed up enough, everything would be OK. But it kept getting worse and, without my realizing it, I was farther from home than I prudently should have gone. The engine died and I was stuck, right in the middle of Seattle's most ritzy, trendiest neighborhood, a place where being a millionaire was a minimal entry requirement, the part of town where even the servants drive Mercedes! And there I was, in my dirtiest, torn, working-on-my-car clothes, stuck in a car that looked like it had been hauled up from the Titanic! I knocked on the door of the nearest house. A uniformed chauffeur answered the door. I asked to use the telephone. The master of the house, resplendent in evening wear, brought a cel-phone out to me in the street. (I guess I might have tracked in. It had begun to rain heavily.) I made some plaintive calls but the earliest any help could arrive would be 45 minutes or more. My clothes were getting soaked. "We'll have to get you out of the street," the master of the house observed. "And I guess I can steer!" His wife, also elegant in evening dress, jumped into the deteriorating front seat of the Ford and did her best to turn the oversize steering wheel. We pushed the car backwards, heading toward a parking place at the curb that was entirely too small. I closed my eyes, bracing myself for the crash. All I heard was the wheeze of the tires against the curb. She had parked it perfectly! She got out, dusting herself. "What a lovely car," she exclaimed. "It smells just like the old
Lincoln we had when I was a little girl!" Their ten year old son joined us then, holding an umbrella. He looked at my car quizzically, first the front and then the back. "Is this a Studebaker?" he asked. "Kid, don't kick a guy when he's down," I replied. "We'd let you wait in the house for the tow-truck," the master said with genuine sympathy for my plight, "but we're going to the opera now." And away they purred in their $70,000 chauffeured Mercedes! Later, after I'd blown $100 to get the car towed back to the garage that was worth 100 times more than the car it sheltered, the trouble was eventually located. The diaphragm in the vacuum advance mechanism on the distributor had ruptured, interrupting the manifold vacuum. An $18 part fixed the problem but even so, I remember that small voice from under the dashboard and know the
promise will yet be kept. Stephen King wrote of "Christine", a 1958 Plymouth that was devil possessed. I'd match the '53 against it any day. "Hey, Stephen! Wanna trade??"