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Technical when did the flathead stop being king?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by chappys4life, Nov 23, 2011.

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  1. Disagree on that I ran a flattie in the early 60's in fact still do so don't say no one...........
     
  2. Straightpipes
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,086

    Straightpipes
    Member

    I take my flathead jalopy to a car show and watch the crowd walk past a row of boring 350/350s to get to mine where a crowd gathers.........And it ain't even shiney :D

    Nosir, never stopped being king.
     
  3. chappys4life
    Joined: Sep 10, 2008
    Posts: 460

    chappys4life
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    I think the early hemi would be the real beginning of the demise right? Garlits was setting records with a 331 in 56 with his rail dragster but it had been out since 51 with advertised hp of 180.
     
  4. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    Vandy
    Member
    from L.A. Ca

    I had a 56 Plymouth 2 dr Plaza,that I bought as my first car. After high school I bought a 56 Imperal 354 Hemi and installed it in the 56. For a fact there wasn't a SBC powered car in my hometown that wanted to race me. I didn't know anyone with a Ford who wanted a SBC motor in there car. I see it all the time now and think it's stupid. I call them just, Chevy guys who have to drive a Ford to try to be cool. The fastest street 55-57 Chevys I saw had a 421 Pontaic & another had a 440 Chrysler. I guess the 265's went in the scrap.
     
  5. hombres ruin
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,301

    hombres ruin
    Member

    Never been calmer...
     
  6. buckd
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 335

    buckd
    Member

    In nineteen sixty two sbc's were running rampant where I grew up. so in highschool auto shop I put built a 55 chevy street gasser with a mild 392 chrysler out of a 57 New Yorker, dual quads, Clay smith regrind cam, 11.5:1 Jahnes pistons. 11.55 @ 120MPH. approx. 500 HP No SBC could touch me!:p BUCKD
     
  7. old soul
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,094

    old soul
    Member
    from oswego NY

    Didnt the chevy straight 6 ohv spank the ford flat head v8s?? Imagine when the small block came out. Id have to say the olds motor was a ripper thoe.
     
  8. Vandy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 368

    Vandy
    Member
    from L.A. Ca


    No the Chevy six wasn't even close. The guys with early Chevy's (pre 55) were stuffing big 270 & 301 GMC sixes in to run with the Ford flatties and yes that made it = Even Steven.
     
  9. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca

    The king died in 1955 (flathead), long live the king (Mouse Motor).
     
    33sporttruck likes this.
  10. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950

    moefuzz
    Member

    Never



    .
     
  11. nexxussian
    Joined: Mar 14, 2007
    Posts: 3,251

    nexxussian
    Member

    Spank?

    No.

    But there are an awful lot of articles of the Jimmy beating the flatty, when there weren't rules in place to put OHV engines at a disadvantage (weight penalty).

    Side note, in the mid 70s a fella ran a Jimmy at one of the circle tracks against the finest the local GM, Ford and Mopar dealers could supply or support (something about torque off the corner, and a short track ;) ).

    Of course it didn't take the other racers long to get him outlawed ("no more truck motors"). ;)

    Oh, and the flatty is definitely the crown prince of cool points. :)
     
  12. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,865

    Truckedup
    Member

    Bill Fisher and Frank McGurk are most known for fast GMC inline 6's. But both of then reworked Chevy 6's and wrote books about tuning them. Bill Fisher described in detail making modifications to the old Chevy splash oil 235 street engine that in his words " will make more power than a full race stroked Flathead Ford V-8 at less cost.Fisher went on to make make the special heads for Chevy and GMC 6's.
    I graduated HS in 65. This was NE NJ and I never saw any traditional Flathead V-8 hot rods,50's cars were the norm.Besides the usual SBC Chevys and early Olds 2 doors in the school lot,a 50's Stude coupe with a Caddy engine was probably the older baddest car.But the attention by this time was swinging onto the Muscle cars.
     
  13. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,057

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    I was going to ask about new long block prices back in the 50's as I recall reading in back issue articles where a Hot Rod builder "installed a new from dealer SBC". Seems very reasonable for a new SBC upgrade. Wonder what a junkyard SBC went for?

    As for the original question "when did the flathead stop being king"?
    The O/P is referring to king of performance, not populariy.

    Flatheads forever will always be in style and popular in our world, but for performance, the Flatty for the most part took a back seat to the OHV's by the mid 50's.

    What's ironic, is that we've come full circle; plenty of old Hot Rods that had Flattys "upgraded" to OHV's in the late 50's, early 60's. Then in the early 70's, guys were pulling "boat anchor early Cad's, Buicks, etc. in favor of a "modern" SBC or SBF. Now those are getting yanked by the HAMB crowd in favor of a more "correct" Flatty, Early Hemi, Nailhead, etc!
     
  14. sassaquinn
    Joined: May 3, 2006
    Posts: 303

    sassaquinn
    Member

    Flatheads Forever
     
  15. 36el
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 46

    36el
    Member
    from sweden

  16. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,499

    jimi'shemi291
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    CAL & Beaner are right that the competitive edge in rodding speed began to be eclipsed with the Olds 303 and '55 Chevy OHVs. But in terms of numbers employed in 'rods, the Ford V8 will always be king of the flatheads. An honorable mention goes to the Hudson 308 six and the Lincoln 12. But they weren't especially plentiful. The Fords and Mercs were affordable, available, so much easier to work with and just looked right in a rod. IMO, the Ford family of flatheads was, and will remain, far and away the King of the hill in the Flathead Realm and flatty lore.
     
  17. Lotek_Racing
    Joined: Sep 6, 2006
    Posts: 690

    Lotek_Racing
    Member

    Hate to burst your balloon but hemispherical chambers were around long before chrysler brought out their engines.

    Shawn
     
  18. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,499

    jimi'shemi291
    Member

    HotrodsTaHell, yours is a very succinct summation! :eek: Excellent! Ain't it funny how the world
    turns? :confused: What's conventional wisdom and method one season turns to blasphemy a decade
    later. :cool: Great historical note, brother.


    [​IMG]

    "What's ironic, is that we've come full circle; plenty of old Hot Rods that
    had Flattys "upgraded" to OHV's in the late 50's, early 60's. Then in the
    early 70's, guys were pulling "boat anchor early Cad's, Buicks, etc. in
    favor of a "modern" SBC or SBF. Now those are getting yanked by the
    HAMB crowd in favor of a more "correct" Flatty, Early Hemi, Nailhead, etc!"<!-- / message -->
     
  19. 52Poncho
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 256

    52Poncho
    Member

    Jimi how true it is! :cool:

    "History is always the distortion of the truth in the eyes of the beholder."
    Orson Wells
     
  20. hombres ruin
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 3,301

    hombres ruin
    Member

    H&H flatheads sure do make a killing out of a dead motor.
     
  21. Who said it was dead?

    The original post was "I was watching American Graffiti last night and when Milner asks the guy "what happened to his flathead" I was thinking when would have the flathead not been king or a motor you would run when it came to racing? I am not talking official sanctioned drag racing but more or less in the lines of American Graffiti king of the area."

    Unless it is just for the love of running the flathead, it has been a long time since that was the motor of choice for RACING!!

    No one said they weren't cool.
     
  22. jazzfidelity
    Joined: Sep 19, 2011
    Posts: 371

    jazzfidelity
    Member

    I also figure about 1955 when the Chevies and Ponchos introduced their V-8s, but then we're talking about 1962 culture.. the assumption being that Milner is being sarcastic about Zuto's recently blown flathead.. "Aw, your mother!" (Note that the edited TV versions of the movie have Zuto saying "your brother!")
     
  23. The only reason that I changed to a Chevy because
    when Crusing on the Highway 500 mi from
    your House & it broke Down you can go to any
    junk yard & get a Chevy Part, try that with a Flathead engine!
    most Yards probaly would Laugh at you

    just my 3.5 cents
     
  24. Back in the Late 50's I set a record with my 50 Merc/flathead
    the 1/4 mile N stock 16 seconds it took somebody 12 years to
    Break my Record, the Track sent me a Letter to see if I
    wanted to Chanlenge it & I figured if it took somebody that long
    to brake it, They could have it,
    besides I was Racing BBC at the Time & was doing Very Good
    even though I is a Ford Man

    Just my 3.5 cents

    Live Long and Die a Fool!
     
  25. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,499

    jimi'shemi291
    Member

    You guys with your recent posts keep stokin' the fire! Go vote the founder a five star at the top of the page, and let's keep this exchange goin'!

    Long live the HAMB!
     
  26. EnglishBob
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 1,029

    EnglishBob
    Member

    It stopped being King when all the Queens started racing cars.:D
     
  27. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,908

    40FordGuy
    Member

    A lot of them were still around, in early 60's, as I recall. By then SBC were getting plentiful in wrecking yards, and the prices came down to affordable.

    I still run a Henry Flatmotor,...and love it !

    4TTRUK
     
  28. buckd
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 335

    buckd
    Member

    First that made a name in this country and started a new era of performance, But you're correct most European cars had used hemispherical heads, often with overhead cams long before we caught on in the USA. Thanks for the input.:) BUCKD
     
  29. poprockcrusher
    Joined: May 17, 2009
    Posts: 124

    poprockcrusher
    Member

    Ed Cole killed the eff head in 1949 ..rocket 88
     
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