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Technical French Flathead Blocks

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Speed Gems, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,530

    Speed Gems

    Question: How many french flathead blocks were made? I know they were being cast up until the 80's by the French millitary. I was just on the So. Cal speed shops eBay store page and they are selling one for $4,200:eek: I seem to remember a story in Street Rodder about these being discovered in the 90's by Hiderbrad and a lot were sold to Red's Headers but the So. Cal Speed shop has been selling the for years now so are the still casting them or what?
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,074

    dan c

    no. they were found in a french warehouse. i bought one from the original stash in '03. halibrand was in wellington, kan., and had all kinds of goodies. my block was $1,500 + 109.86 shipping, and i had to pick up at the yellow freight terminal in st. louis. i believe that halibrand had some financial difficulties, so his supply must have been bought out.
    Speed Gems likes this.
  3. CircleTrack-4
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 77


    If anyone would be interested in a complete running French Block engine with all the goodies including finned heads, dual carbs, 409 chev water pump, cast aluminum pan, and recent o/haul +more.
    This belongs to a friend of mine and it is for sale (it is not cheap). PM me for more info. Dave.
  4. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,530

    Speed Gems

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  5. ventilo
    Joined: Aug 25, 2009
    Posts: 246


    French flathead blocks were made until mid '80s, at least these are the last date stamps we came across. They were rebuilt for the French army 'til the mid '90s. Since there are still thousands of French army surplus vehicles around the supply of used blocks will last at least another century....
    Speed Gems likes this.
  6. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,030

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    I'm wondering if the casting patterns are still available and what the prospects are to place the blocks back into casting production in the years to come for Hot Roddings future?
    Seems that if they were commissioned to do a run of a couple thousand blocks, they could sell them at an affordable price point?
    The SoCal stage 1 block comes in at $3000;
    Stogy likes this.
  7. 55styleliner
    Joined: May 11, 2015
    Posts: 527


    I know of a complete engine for $3500 still in cosmolean.
    Stogy and mike in tucson like this.
  8. mikewiley079
    Joined: Jan 15, 2018
    Posts: 6


    Any chance you can help me identify a few extra holes on my block? When I blow air through the hole next to the head I feel it come out by the bottom holes on the side of the block. Would this be for water or oil?

    IMG_1559.JPG IMG_1560.JPG

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    OLDSMAN likes this.
  9. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,622


    Water, that plug by the head is like an 8ba needs to be plugged to run 59a heads , normal water jacket plug in the bottom
  10. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,757


    the French Flathead is an 8ba, thus needs 8ba heads.
    You can run earlier heads but with some modifications as per the post above.
  11. Deuce Lover
    Joined: Feb 15, 2009
    Posts: 635

    Deuce Lover

    Like this?

    Attached Files:

  12. mikewiley079
    Joined: Jan 15, 2018
    Posts: 6


    Thanks for the quick help. I will definitely plug them. I like the symmetrical look of the 59a heads.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  13. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,181

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I ran a French block and I think I found the information on which holes to plug with 59 AB heads in Frank Oddo's How To Build A Flathead book?

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