One Fast Flathead

One Fast Flathead

People build hot rods for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s for looks, other times it’s for the challenge. But in its purest form, hot rodding is about going fast. And for traditional hot rodding, that means going fast with equipment that, to the rest of the world, may be considered outdated.

I didn’t choose a flathead V8 for my car because it’s the fastest choice. I didn’t pick it because it was the lightest, either. Instead, I picked it for its overall essence. It has the sound. It has the feel. The fact that it pairs well with a ’39 transmission and a quickchange doesn’t hurt either. I’m a flathead fan, through and through, and I’m always interested to see how people make them work for their projects.

While scrolling around on the internet a few weeks ago, I saw a headline about “The World’s Quickest (7.695) and Fastest Single Engine (174.96mph) Flathead.” Sounds like clickbait to me. “Let’s see,” I said to myself. “In ’64, the Greer-Black-Prudhomme car was running high sevens with a blown Chrysler.”

Nonetheless, I opened up the video, turned on the sound and was immediately impressed. Owned by Rick Schnell and driven by Joel Schnell, the car itself is far more traditional than I would have expected. Talking points include a late-’60s chassis, a blown’49 Ford flathead topped by a 4-71 blower and a two-port Hilborn, and, of course, nitro. The title doesn’t lie. This is one fast flathead that you have to see for yourself.

Joey Ukrop

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