Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

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JimT
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Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by JimT »

I loved the posts about the pickups .. I like those old vehicles. They are what I grew up with. Here are a couple pictures of my first hotrod, built when I was 15 years old. It took me a year to earn the money and put the old jalopy together.

ENGINE
1953 Ford V8
Bore 3 5/16"
Stroke 4"
276 cubic inches

The engine was bored 1/4" and a Mecury cranshaft was installed. The cam was ground to "3/4 Race" configuration. Adjustable lifters were installed. The block was ported and relieved. The heads were milled 1/16" and Mallory dual-point ignition was installed. The flywheel was lightened and ran a 10 inche truck clutch and pressure plate. The Edmunds intake manifold held 2 Stromberg 48 carbureators. Fenton headers were used for the exhaust. I used an 8 volt battery to crank it, the compression being too high to crank with 6 volts. I had the regulator adjusted to charge 8 volts and it worked fine. The lights on the car were nice and bright .. though some did not last too long.
IMG_2221.JPG
THE CAR
1947 Mercury Coupe
Featured a dropped front axle, lower the front end.
Transmission and rear end were stock
IMG_2222.JPG
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Ray »

Cool.....quite an improvement over the A & T models. Our late neighbour restored those and would take us for test drives before delivery to the owners. Every once and a awhile there would be a hill on a road or driveway that they would not pull without a running-go. Had to back-up a few of them as the reverse would pull when low would not.....
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by M. M. Wright »

Jim T.; I have a '41 Mercury coupe on the rotisserie right now. Actually it's been there for going on to 10 years. Wish I still had a flathead to go in it but it will get a 5.0 Lincoln drivetrain. That is if I live long enough to finish it.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Larkbill »

Ray wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 2:13 pm
Cool.....quite an improvement over the A & T models. Our late neighbour restored those and would take us for test drives before delivery to the owners. Every once and a awhile there would be a hill on a road or driveway that they would not pull without a running-go. Had to back-up a few of them as the reverse would pull when low would not.....
Haha. My Dad's first car was a Model T Express wagon. He had been warned not to run it hard as the rod babbits were badly worn, that was only part of the problem as it wouldn't begin to climb his steep gravel driveway. He had to back up it. He and his brother cut and shaved some harness leather to tighten up the rods but that only lasted 50-60 miles so he got pretty good at dropping the pan and fitting new leathers.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by piller »

Once, my Grandparents were going someplace in a Model A, one of wooden bearings went out. They had a cuted ham in the vehicle. My Grandfather cut a piece of the rind and stuffed it in where the wooden bearing was supposed to be. It lasted until they got home. I do not know how far.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Sixgun »

Oooooo...I like this thread....makes me feel so young listening to you old heads talk those old cars.....that stuff was the generation before me.....my first car was a '62 Corvair convertible that I bought for $10 from my BIL. Had it two months and the engine fell out in a parking lot from a broken mount.

JIM....I'll give ya credit. You sure know the details of building engines....for someone to do and know that was very uppity back in the day.

Wooden bearings??!!...Babbitt bearings?...fixed with leather??!! that stuff is all over my head.....
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by JimT »

Sixgun wrote:
Sat May 01, 2021 11:15 pm
JIM....I'll give ya credit. You sure know the details of building engines....for someone to do and know that was very uppity back in the day.
The guys I hung around with were into hotrods. We were working on engines and transmissions etc. by the time we were13 or 14. This is my "desert buggy" I built when I was 13/14 years old. My Mom dared ride with me ... once.
1960_me_Mom.JPG
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by marlinman93 »

That 276 c.i. Flathead was a pretty hot item back in earlier days! Bet even in a fairly heavy Ford coupe it ran well!
I have a friend who owns an old drag car with a really hot 286 Flathead in it. an old Ford Anglia that was raced locally under the Homemeyer's Cleaners banner. The owner also had a '39 Willy coupe he previously used the same flathead in, but moved to the lighter Anglia when they were allowed by NHRA to run legally.

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/1939-wi ... 48-anglia/
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Grizz »

wow. good times. Dad told me that the custom of down hill traffic yielding to up hill traffic was because some grades could not be restarted, even in reverse. i had to explain this to a teenage driver in the tight bend she wanted to share with my van. so i could stay outa the ravine. sheesh
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Old Savage »

First car was a 6 cyl. 51 Ford. Next was 56 Plymouth with a small V8.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Sixgun »

Hey Jim....I like the "Buddy Holly glasses."......you look older than 14 there...I'd say 22....and Mom looks to be your older sister, just a few years older......you got good genes.....

My second car was a '64 Nova and I'm still drivin it today....has 2 million miles on it and same tires and brakes.....those Winchesters and Colts were more important. :D ----006
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by JimT »

Sixgun wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 1:09 pm
My second car was a '64 Nova and I'm still drivin it today....has 2 million miles on it and same tires and brakes.....those Winchesters and Colts were more important. :D ----006

Your car reminds me of the ax we have in the family. Our family has had this same ax for over 120 years. It's had at least 7 new handles and 4 or 5 new heads during that time.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by piller »

The Nova was made of compressed rust. They usually lasted until the day after you paid them off. First car I ever saw that looked like it had termites.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Sixgun »

JimT wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 2:03 pm

Your car reminds me of the ax we have in the family. Our family has had this same ax for over 120 years. It's had at least 7 new handles and 4 or 5 new heads during that time.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
Well, to be truthful I had it about a year and a junkyard engine later. (Those were the days...two engine mounts, 8 bolts on the transmission, muffler, a few hoses and wires and you were driving down the road in a day.....and that's you doing the work yourself at 17 years old in dad's driveway and a come-a-long on a tree branch.....

Dang...I keep getting off track on what I wanted to tell you...Oh!....using tools or anything in our life meant buying the best you could afford and maintaining it and getting a lifetime of use out of it. And when it did break beyond repair, I'd strip it of bolts, washers or anything that could be of use for something else later on. I still have that mindset.

A good Winchester, Colt, Smith, O.M. Ruger and sometimes a Marlin is better than money in the bank.

I never made much money, always turning down OT and weekends but my work associates didn't. I retired at 62 and some of those guys are still working pushing 70...or more.

The way people pee away money today is beyond comprehension but, that's their business.....yea, I'll put a new handle on that ax.....and I don't buy handles...I make em...Osage orange makes the best hammer/hatchet handles..-006
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by marlinman93 »

Grizz wrote:
Sun May 02, 2021 10:09 am
wow. good times. Dad told me that the custom of down hill traffic yielding to up hill traffic was because some grades could not be restarted, even in reverse. i had to explain this to a teenage driver in the tight bend she wanted to share with my van. so i could stay outa the ravine. sheesh
This is still in effect most places where the roads are narrow. I didn't know it until a couple decades ago when we were doing remote microwave sites for Bonneville Power Admin. and the BPA engineer met a log truck coming downhill at him. He said he got over to the right and stopped, but log truck was hauling fast, and at the last minute Don said he slid across to the passenger side as the log truck drove right over the driver's side of his SUV!
When it got turned over to insurance Don said he figured he was in the right since he was stopped on the side. But insurance said he had to yield to downhill traffic, and the fact he couldn't get further over didn't matter.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by JimT »

Hey Sixgun! I am using a 4 pound sledge hammer that my Dad made an Osage Orange handle for about 18 years ago! Yessir. Tough handles indeed.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Griff »

At 15 I bought my first car, a '50 Ford Woody my neighbor had... $25 because I figured on using Dad's spare battery from on old boat! Dad made me take it back... said, "... it stand for 'fix or repair daily'! Then sold me his old '59 Apache p/u with the 354" Desoto hemi in it! I'd put new tires on it... and had to keep extra rims so I could replace them easier!
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by piller »

The Dodge brothers used to work for Ford. That is where they learned about Hemi combustion chambers. As far as what some folks prefer, well, it is often just what happened to them with one vehicle.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Larkbill »

Lest we start thinking how modern we are, remember that in 1913 Peugot fielded a racing car with 4 valves per cylinder, hemispherical combustion chambers, dual overhead cams, and modest valve overlap to encourage scavenging. Of course the engine was the brainchild of a Swiss engineer known for boat racing engines (and he probably stole the ideas from some German but that's another discussion) so the French can't really claim the ideas. The war to end all wars moved many of those ideas into the air.

If only they had thought to capitalize Hemi and trademark it.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

We were dirt poor, so we worked on our own cars all the time. Cars are a lot more reliable today though, but I cannot work on them like I used to.

I still do all of my own oil changes (cause I don't think I trust a minimum wage feller in the pit to get the plug in right or tell me if he screws it up) and all other fluids. But I miss the days of wrenching on cars with my boyhood friends. Thanks Jim for sharing.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by M. M. Wright »

My buddies brother went to the Navy and left his old flathead ford race car sitting in the weeds behind the house so me and buddy drug it out and got it running. This was about 1955. We drug it to the track and bought a can of Methanol to pour in it and signed in as the brother in the Navy. We took turns driving and had a blast even though we never won a race. The old flathead had a noise that made us tear it down and we found a chunk gone from one lobe on the camshaft so I brazed it up and filed it to match the contour of the rest of the lobes. Ran fine. It had the 3 5/16 Mercury pistons you were talking about Jim.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by marlinman93 »

Larkbill wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 7:57 am
Lest we start thinking how modern we are, remember that in 1913 Peugot fielded a racing car with 4 valves per cylinder, hemispherical combustion chambers, dual overhead cams, and modest valve overlap to encourage scavenging. Of course the engine was the brainchild of a Swiss engineer known for boat racing engines (and he probably stole the ideas from some German but that's another discussion) so the French can't really claim the ideas. The war to end all wars moved many of those ideas into the air.

If only they had thought to capitalize Hemi and trademark it.
And another first for American car builders was Chevrolet's V8 engine in 1917. A full 15 years before Ford's flathead V8 was considered a wonderful new innovation. Chevrolet dropped theirs a year later saying they didn't think it was needed for the average buyer.
And not just a V8, but an overhead valve V8 of 288 c.i., but only 36 hp. Same as the early VW 4 cylinders!
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by JimT »

marlinman93 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:03 am
And another first for American car builders was Chevrolet's V8 engine in 1917. A full 15 years before Ford's flathead V8 was considered a wonderful new innovation. Chevrolet dropped theirs a year later saying they didn't think it was needed for the average buyer.
And not just a V8, but an overhead valve V8 of 288 c.i., but only 36 hp. Same as the early VW 4 cylinders!
1917 Chevy V8
ab50b6ab29a087f9b5fee673461a4fd1.jpg
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Chevy%2520D%2520Series%2520-%25202.jpg
288 Cubic Inches
Overhead valves
55 horsepower at 2,700 rpm, running on 4.75:1 compression.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by marlinman93 »

Interesting Jim. Might I ask where you found the 55 hp rating? Info I found put it much lower, and I questioned the lower rating in my mind considering the engine size. This was my source:
https://www.autoweek.com/car-life/class ... vrolet-v8/

But every source I found listed the same 36 hp?
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by JimT »

marlinman93 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:18 am
Interesting Jim. Might I ask where you found the 55 hp rating? Info I found put it much lower, and I questioned the lower rating in my mind considering the engine size. This was my source:
https://www.autoweek.com/car-life/class ... vrolet-v8/

But every source I found listed the same 36 hp?
http://www.significantcars.com/cars/1917chevrolet/

I noticed that others says 36 HP also. Seems mighty weak to me, but what do I know? :?
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by piller »

Could that 36 hp be what is measured at the wheels versus measuring at the crankshaft? What rpm is the measurement taken? What rpm gives the peak torque? Peak HP?

We all know that the manufacturers can make things look better or worse based on how the measurements are taken. They didn't always post the total facts which would have given the true picture.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by octagon »

Griff I think the 58 and 59 chevys are the best looking trucks ever made. A fellow used to have one about 5 miles from my place and I stopped there 5 or 6 times to try and buy it, no one was ever there. Had dreams of a big block 59 for years, one day i went by and it was gone. Apparently, 4 trucks is not enough for me.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

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piller wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 11:00 am
Could that 36 hp be what is measured at the wheels versus measuring at the crankshaft? What rpm is the measurement taken? What rpm gives the peak torque? Peak HP?

We all know that the manufacturers can make things look better or worse based on how the measurements are taken. They didn't always post the total facts which would have given the true picture.
It was a much simpler time back during WWI and they measured everything at the flywheel. In fact measuring at the rear wheels didn't begin until the 1970's when EPA and insurance companies got involved in the making of cars.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by marlinman93 »

JimT wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:43 am
marlinman93 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:18 am
Interesting Jim. Might I ask where you found the 55 hp rating? Info I found put it much lower, and I questioned the lower rating in my mind considering the engine size. This was my source:
https://www.autoweek.com/car-life/class ... vrolet-v8/

But every source I found listed the same 36 hp?
http://www.significantcars.com/cars/1917chevrolet/

I noticed that others says 36 HP also. Seems mighty weak to me, but what do I know? :?
I thought so too, but they all agree except the one source you found. Seems almost impossible to be that low. But then so does 4.75:1 compression! That's so low I wonder how it compressed a gas/air mixture enough to even get it to fire?
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by JimT »

marlinman93 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 5:37 pm
JimT wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:43 am
marlinman93 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:18 am
Interesting Jim. Might I ask where you found the 55 hp rating? Info I found put it much lower, and I questioned the lower rating in my mind considering the engine size. This was my source:
https://www.autoweek.com/car-life/class ... vrolet-v8/

But every source I found listed the same 36 hp?
http://www.significantcars.com/cars/1917chevrolet/

I noticed that others says 36 HP also. Seems mighty weak to me, but what do I know? :?
I thought so too, but they all agree except the one source you found. Seems almost impossible to be that low. But then so does 4.75:1 compression! That's so low I wonder how it compressed a gas/air mixture enough to even get it to fire?
I figured since they have the actual car, maybe they have the actual horsepower rating?
Quien sabe?

As to the low compression ratio, maybe the gasoline back then was more volatile?
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Larkbill »

JimT wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 5:46 pm
marlinman93 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 5:37 pm
JimT wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:43 am
marlinman93 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 10:18 am
Interesting Jim. Might I ask where you found the 55 hp rating? Info I found put it much lower, and I questioned the lower rating in my mind considering the engine size. This was my source:
https://www.autoweek.com/car-life/class ... vrolet-v8/

But every source I found listed the same 36 hp?
http://www.significantcars.com/cars/1917chevrolet/

I noticed that others says 36 HP also. Seems mighty weak to me, but what do I know? :?
I thought so too, but they all agree except the one source you found. Seems almost impossible to be that low. But then so does 4.75:1 compression! That's so low I wonder how it compressed a gas/air mixture enough to even get it to fire?
I figured since they have the actual car, maybe they have the actual horsepower rating?
Quien sabe?

As to the low compression ratio, maybe the gasoline back then was more volatile?
Gasoline that was sold to the public then was nothing like what we have today. It varied from one supplier/refinery to the next. Racing engines of the day were developed along with the fuel they were intended to run on. Often the fuel used was a bigger secret than anything inside the engines.

The Ford Flattie really wasn't intended to be a technological breakthrough. Rather it was intended to put the smoothness and power of the V8 in a "popular" priced car. Also it was very compact for it's power output and fit into smaller cars. Don Garlits has a couple of the ones used in Midgets in his engine collection and I was struck by how tiny they are even next to a SBC or Ford 289. The other surprising thing was that they were routinely spun close to 9000 rpm. I guess since valve float isn't destructive the other issues can be conquered.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by JimT »

Larkbill wrote:
Tue May 04, 2021 8:44 am
Don Garlits has a couple of the ones used in Midgets in his engine collection and I was struck by how tiny they are even next to a SBC or Ford 289. The other surprising thing was that they were routinely spun close to 9000 rpm. I guess since valve float isn't destructive the other issues can be conquered.
I had one of those Ford V8 60's ... they were small. I had the entire stock factory engine and all the racing parts .. heads, dual carb intake, cam and lifters, pistons, ignition ... everything. I traded it all for a 2nd Generation Colt Single Action .45 ... and was happy!
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by piller »

It is all a matter of priorities.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by marlinman93 »

Very few Ford flatheads can wind 9,000 rpm's and stay together! Even those used in racing scenarios are lucky to survive past 6,000 rpm's without a ton of specialized parts, and a very knowledgeable builder putting the flathead together. Some used in old roundy round circle track cars got to 7,000 rpm's, but a huge number came apart before then. In stock form they're a 3000-3500 rpm engine fairly reliably.
Here's what the experts at the "Ford Barn" have to say about flatheads:

"A stock engine in good shape will run 3000-3500 all day.
A slightly modified engine, will stand an occasional blast to 5500 for a long time.
An all out drag engine with 100% nitro will make maximum power between 6500 and 6800 and will usually be turning a little over 7000 through the lights.
An all out circle track engine will turn 7000 twice a lap for many race programs."

The first year (1932) the flathead had big issues with poor oiling, and they were dropping like flies to bug spray. Ford replaced a lot of flathead engines, and scrambled to fix the oiling issues. Once fixed they went on a massive damage control campaign to help quell the feigning interest from customers avoiding their V8. Eventually they did restore confidence and the sales began to go back up. But it was a close call that could have caused the V8 to fail if Ford hadn't discovered and fixed the issue.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by JimT »

The "street" flathead Ford's we built were mostly with the 4" stroke Mercury crankshaft. Not a lot of rpm's but they did have a lot of torque. We usually ran high gears ... around 3 to 1 rear ends and they would pull 'em just fine. Add an overdrive transmission and your top end was faster than those old cars should be going. :lol:
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

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I had one Ford PU with a flathead V8 for a short time. someone wanted it for a lot more than I paid, so-long Ford... :lol:
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

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"Very few Ford flatheads can wind 9,000 rpm's and stay together! Even those used in racing scenarios are lucky to survive past 6,000 rpm's without a ton of specialized parts, and a very knowledgeable builder putting the flathead together. Some used in old roundy round circle track cars got to 7,000 rpm's, but a huge number came apart before then."

No doubt about it. The ones that were run in the Midgets were kind of like the Hemis run in Pro Drag Racing. None of the parts inside ever saw the inside of the original manufacturer's buildings. They must have been pretty expensive to build because eventually they were replaced by the Offy and what did those cost?
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by M. M. Wright »

I remember that the Ford 60s ran a separate class from the Offies. I've driven a midget with a Ford 60 in it but never got to "put on" an Offie. Yeah, getting in a midget was like putting on a tight boot. And you go to the far end of the straight, it comes to you. There was a Farmall overhead valve 4 that ran the same class as the 60s too.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Griff »

octagon wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 2:55 pm
Griff I think the 58 and 59 chevys are the best looking trucks ever made. A fellow used to have one about 5 miles from my place and I stopped there 5 or 6 times to try and buy it, no one was ever there. Had dreams of a big block 59 for years, one day i went by and it was gone. Apparently, 4 trucks is not enough for me.
I think the 55-½ - '57 Chevy p/us are the best looking, with their single headlights. The duals on the '58 & '59 give the fenders a more square look. But, the cabs, beds are the same. In fact I think the step-side beds are the same thru '72, but I could be wrong. Dad had a '58 short bed Fleetside later in life and I thought that was the best looking of the bunch.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

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I think that 40-45-ish Dodge vehicles are best looking. I like the grill, the real bumper, the windshield shapes, the fender mounted lights, the running boards, the fold up engine covers, the stake beds, real tail gates, and setting valve clearances with the engine idling.


I think that all pickups hit the skids once the tailgate was no longer chained up.
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Re: Car Stuff from Long Ago and Far Away in Another Time

Post by Griff »

Grizz wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 12:54 pm
I think that all pickups hit the skids once the tailgate was no longer chained up.
:lol: :lol: :lol:
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