Peak Inside a Running Flathead Engine [VIDEO]
Vintage hot rodders are well acqainted with the Ford Flathead V8 engine and the dynamic shift it created in automotive history - those who aren't classic car enthusiasts... well, chances are you might not even know what "flathead" means. Also known as an L-head engine, a flathead engine includes both the intake and exhaust valves within the block, solving a problem manufacturers ran into in the early 1900s of casting V8 blocks in a single piece. The Ford Flathead V8 wasn't the first of it's kind, but it certainly had the biggest effect on our automotive history. Prior to Ford's release of the Flathead V8 in 1932, only high-end cars utilized a V8 design. The flathead solved that with Ford rolling it out in their accessible, low-cost cars - finally providing a performance advantage that Average Joe could afford. The Ford Flathead V8 continued production in various iterations until 1953 when over-head valve (OHV) engines took over. For those looking to recreate a car true to hot roddings roots, the flathead is about as good as you can get. The above video of a flathead engine running without it's valve cover was snagged at the 2015 Hot Rod Hill Climb, here's a few other awesome vintage engines we drooled over during the event. Once you're done looking at those, click over to read our full Hot Rod Hill Climb coverage. Like learning about engines? This article on the Ford Flathead V8 has a ton more historical information and Old Machine Press will amaze you with the historical coverage it has of automobile, marine, and aircraft engines.