Sat Jun 15 2013 14:49:01 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
For years the Bonneville Salt Flats was the home to land speed record attempts but these were for elite drivers like Sir Malcolm Campbell. After World War Two, hot rodders wanted to test their metal on the salt but officials balked at allowing these people they saw as juvenille delinquents defile their salt flats.
Eventually, the powers that be relented and let the scrappy racers have some time but there was one hitch, they offered them a week in August. Not the prime time to spending in the desert. Nevertheless the hot rodders snapped it up and their Southern Californa Timing Association organized what's become an annual event.
Tue Jun 04 2013 00:20:03 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Born in 1934 into the world of Southern California hot rodding and desert racing, Bob Stewart shares stories of the '40s and '50s hot rod scene, including his first run in the Stewart Roadster at El Mirage at age 11 and his days with the Prowlers Car Club in San Diego. His father, Ed "Axle" Stewart was a machinist and heat treat specialist who became a committed hot rod builder and desert lakes racer at Muroc (now Edwards Air Force Base) and El Mirage. Ed developed and manufactured a signature part: the Dago dropped axle for lowering the stance of Ford hot rods. He and his son Bob ran the Stewart Speed Automotive shop in San Diego, selling and installing street and racing performance parts.
Bob Stewart and the Stewart Roadster were featured in the October 1997 issue of American Rodder magazine.
At the invitation of Mark Ricketts (who sports an original Dago Axle on his own hot rod), Bob Li'l Axle Stewart appeared at the Detroit Autorama in February 2012 to share stories of his life in hot rods and car building.
See more of Bob Stewart and his '50 Merc in Bob Stewart Fills up his 1950 Mercury at Mel Toarmino's Texaco:
Video by Randy Johnson, Johnson ArtWorks
Soundtrack: Narration by Randy Johnson and the sounds of Bob's '50 Merc
Wed May 29 2013 01:29:13 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
SUPER 402 cu. in. FLATHEAD!
Built with modern technology and all new parts to be POWERFUL - RELIABLE - and ORIGINAL LOOKING!
NOSTALGIC APPEARING, Original size and shape, makes this engine a practical, contemporary version of the Popular FORD FLATHEAD. The Super 402 has been improved over the original by using modern parts and materials to make it an excellent performing, reliable power plant for your machine!
The Super 402 Flathead
BLOCK: The Super 404 uses a five main bearing Windsor block with a standard 4” bore and a 4” stroker crank to give 402 c.i. displacement.
DECK PLATE adapter makes the conversion to a Flathead. The 1 ½” plate is cast and CNC machined, attached to the block and has integral ports, valve seats, and guides. The valves run directly on the lifters, just like the original flathead. The over-bored and sleeved block makes a joint-less standard size cylinder. Studs from the deck plate hold the heads down.
CAM SHAFT by Crane, is a custom billet grind to fit the Windsor block, the standard Flathead layout and accommodates the roller lifters.
LIFTERS are OEM Hydraulic roller type to make valve operation quiet and efficient. No adjustment is necessary. Slight modification allows them to contact directly on the large valves.
VALVES and PORTS are much larger than original to supply adequate airflow to the 50 cube cylinders. Intake valves are 2” and exhausts
are 1 5/8”.
HEADS are designed with several objectives. Good water-flow from the Windsor block and a raised combustion chamber to accept pop-up pistons for high compression. The combustion chamber is iron to assure heat is transformed to crankshaft energy. The finned aluminum covers also direct the water to keep the spark plugs cool.
RODS are custom made steel billet to position the high compression pistons correctly in the raised deck cylinders. Cranking compression can be as high as 180 lbs.
INDUCTION timing is computer controlled with a knock sensor to retard spark in the event of detonation. This allows the engine to have a high compression for power and mileage. Distributor is mounted on the front of the engine.
COMPUTER controls fuel injection, ignition, and air fuel ratio. An OEM OBD 1 #7730 computer is reprogrammed to match the needs of the 402 FLATHEAD.
WATER PUMPS sit in shrouded housings, to increase the water flow beyond original when they ran in an open chamber. The water pumps are original truck style with modern seals to allow high pressures and RPM without leaking.
FRONT COVER serves as a timing chain cover, distributor mount and water pump mounts. It directs the water from the pumps to the original Windsor block water inlets.
EXHAUST from the center ports is routed through the valve lifter valley to join the end ports to exit on the sides of the block.
AUTOMATIC OR STANDARD Ford transmissions are easily bolted right up to the 351 Windsor Block to complete the power train assembly.
O.E.M. PARTS are used wherever possible: Block, bearings, pistons and rings, oil pump, crankshaft, timing gears and chain, vibration dampener, flywheel, oil pan and gaskets etc.
FINALLY an original looking, original size and shape engine makes the Super 402 a practical contemporary version of the popular Ford Flathead. It has been improved by using modern parts and materials to make it an excellent performing, reliable power plant for your Hot Rod or Machine.
PRICE is $30,000 for a Dyno-proven 402 Flathead with computer, wiring, pumps and accessories. Just install and go! Add $1,000 for 16 main bolt NASCAR block.
A $12,000.do-it-yourself kit is available that supplies everything that is custom made.
Call for Details: DICK BEITH, RODMOTION, (209) 329-2251
RODMOTION LLC, PO Box 837, Victor, CA 95253
(209) 329-2251 Email:
Don Orosco's Monterey Speed & Sport has carved out a niche for high quality authentic early speed equipment. I built a flattie 59A with one of Don's Eddie Meyer hi rise manifolds like this one. $875 and worth every penny.
Sat Mar 02 2013 02:33:07 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
Another gem from http://www.montereyspeedandsport.com, a pair of Elco twin-plug heads for the hot hodder who has everything. The catalog reads: Primarily designed for use on 1939 to 1948 Ford flathead V8 engines. May also be used on 1949 to 1953 Ford flathead V8 engines, subject to minor modification. One of the best flowing flathead V8 cylinder heads ever produced! ELCO cylinder heads require the use of a Vertex style angle drive to accommodate a 1929 to 1941 Nash Twin 8 Distributor for ignition purposes. Ford 8BA flathead front timing cover may also be used. Please inquire for details. Compression ratio: 8.25 to 1. $1,950 and stop whining, you know you want them just buy the damn things.
Sat Mar 02 2013 03:11:54 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
A Levi's® Vintage Clothing Film by Aaron Rose
Levi's® Vintage Clothing digs deep into the Levi's® Archives to reproduce iconic garments from bygone eras. For Spring 2013, Levi's® Vintage Clothing pays tribute to the golden era of the American Hot Rod, and the sharply dressed car owners and spectators who sported Levi's®.
In addition to releasing the collection of Hot Rod-inspired Levi's® jeans and Sportswear, the Brand teamed up with Los Angeles-based filmmaker and curator Aaron Rose (Beautiful Losers, Art in the Streets, Sister Corita etc.) to make a short film about the origins of Hot Rod culture in Southern California back in the early 1950s. Rose pulled from hundreds of hours of painstakingly researched archival footage ranging from old "juvenile delinquent" movies and Life Magazine drag-race films to home movies unearthed from personal collections. He also interviewed some of the surviving founders of the scene, including legends like world champion drag-racer "TV Tommy" Ivo and master painter, cartoonist and car enthusiast Robert Williams, whose name is almost synonymous with the culture. The result is a striking and fast-paced film that captures the style and attitude of the uniquely American post-war subculture, which continues to influence the worlds of fashion, music and mechanics to this day.
Visit to view the collection and find an authorized shop near you.
Thu Feb 28 2013 00:34:34 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
The perfect old school 1934 three-window Ford coupe by the Rolling Bones shop in New York. Front axle pushed out and frame altered to create a low and mean 1940s Lakester look without a dropped front axle.
Fri Jan 04 2013 18:24:17 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
What a trip down memory lane! From the back pages of every issue of Hot Rod magazine during the 1960s. How I dreamed of building my own version of the Kookie T from 77 Sunset Strip, or Monogram's Black Widow.
"The year is 1947, an ex-serviceman returns home to Southern California. His old '32 Ford Roadster is removed from the shed, and the guts of a wrecked '39 Mercury sedan are transplanted in, giving more power, braking and top speed, essential for the dry lakes racing career he will embark on. He outfits the motor with products from the growing speed equipment industries catalogues, and races his car against fellow car club members and the clock. The car also serves as daily transport for him in the mild So Cal climate, the loud twin exhausts upsetting the locals still not used to the returned soldiers need for peacetime thrills. The era immediately following WW2 in Southern California was the time frame and inspiration for me to build an accurate recreation of a stripped down, dry lakes racing, late forties street roadster. Something of a time machine, so that a drive down the street or across the state could become a journey back sixty years.
Rancho Deluxe is my full time business, building traditional hotrod classics and components, and assembling period correct cars. The Rancho Deluxe roadster is my expression of a true Hot-Rod, a time machine back to when innovation was hand built, and the true test of man and machine was flat out across the Lakes" -Ben Thomas
Owner of Rancho Deluxe
Often referred to as "Led Sleds," fifties customizers often resorted to sculpting body curves with pounds of lead filling to achieve that certain look. Here's a period shot of one mean and low ride with gas prices to match!