Throughout this rich history, Ford has been innovative. Especially when it comes to their famous flathead V8. This engine alone would transform the definition of hot rod racing forever. However, if you ever find yourself in need of parts for any of your Ford projects, not just your flathead V8, take a gander at our Ford Parts Catalog.
The costumablity of the V8 made it a dream to work with. It was a blank slate just waiting for innovative minds and hands to tinker with. Just about everything was tried: supercharging, carburetors of varying numbers, fuel injection, etc.
Historically, there were three types of flathead V8 engines. The smallest was the V8-60. The 60 indicated the stock horsepower it produced using its 136 cu in of displacement. The two other types were made to displace 239.4 cu in with 85 hp and 255.4 cu in with 100 hp.
The V8-60 engine holds the title in history as the of midget racing. Initially, made with the intent of being a car engine, it was determined to be too small for the job. However, it was still a competitive force on the racetrack. And also, It was a perfect fit for the S Stock hydroplane and A Modified classes.
The V8-60 flathead engine had three main bearings and a 3.2 in stroke and a 2.6 in bore. Its twin water pumps placed in front of the block and it had a compression ratio of only 5.61. Introduced in 1937, in the United States, and would continue to be improved through its years of production. Included were a new combustion chamber shape, substitution of a Stromberg two-barrel carburetor, aluminum heads, and steel pistons.
The 221 V8, was the first of the flatheads to be produced. Produced between 1935-1941, it appeared to have all the modifiable qualities for high performance racing.
With stock iron heads, it had 94 horsepower and produced 155 lb*ft of torque. But there was no need for it in stock cars, which primarily were using the 136, 239, and 255 engines.
At the 1935 Indy 500, the 221 flathead engine was selected to power ten Indy cars. Each car carried four carburetors, but the results were pitiful. Of the ten cars that were entered, only four qualified and none of them made it across the finish line.
The largest displacement version of the flathead V8 engine was the at 5.5 L 337 cu in monster on an engine primarily designed for large trucks. It was introduced in 1948 two and a half ton and three-ton Ford trucks and the 1949 Lincoln passenger cars.
Ford's iconic history of big powerful engines is timeless. Even if you're not working on a Ford engine. Our Ford Spare Parts Catalog is there for you to peruse if you require any Ford parts.