Another day at lunch and another Curbside Classic, but of a different sort. The other day I saw what looked like a hot rodded old pickup drive into the parking lot of my lunch spot. Yawn–another old pickup re-powered by Chevy. But this one looked oddly different. Clearly, those were vintage wheels. Upon closer inspection (and a chat with the owner) I discovered . . . .
A Gen-U-Wine Ford flathead V8. A better view of a Ford flathead you will not find out in the wild. The lack of a hood can’t hurt with the flathead’s well-known cooling deficiencies, either. Note the dual water pumps.
It turns out there are quite a few cars here. The owner, an active collector of cars and parts, built this one mostly from spare parts. The body is from a 1938; the engine, from a ’51 and mated to a ’49 or ’50 transmission. The bed came from a ’36, and the wheels from a ’35. The Model A radiator shell appears to be covering a slightly more modern (and much larger) Ford radiator. As for the rest of the running gear, there’s a 1959 Ranchero rear end and a front axle whose source the owner has forgotten.
The owner drives this one quite a bit, something on the order of 4,000 miles a year. He reports that it is quite fast and has no trouble keeping up with highway traffic at 75 m.p.h. I’d imagine this lightweight little truck has a pretty stout power-to-weight ratio.
I’m too young to have spent any time around the legendary Ford flathead V8. By the time I was old enough to pay attention to such things, Chevrolet power had become the coin of the hot rodding realm, with an occasional Ford 289 thrown in for a little variety. But let me tell you, the sound of a lightly muffled Ford flathead V8 is an aural delight. Had I known I would get such a sweet (sounding) dessert, I’d have skipped the scoop of ice cream.