1946 FORD FLATHEAD ROADSTER
We are going to attempt to tell you how special this hotrod is, it's one of the most exciting vehicles we've had the opportunity to represent!
The owner of DBR1, took direct inspiration from the period when rods powered by the Ford V8 Flathead dominated competition on the High Southern California desert, the Salt Flats and the streets and highways of LA. To many. this is the golden age of hot rods. He wanted to build the best and went directly to the best builders he knew to help create the work of art.
WOODY GILMORE & LORRY AZEVEDO
Garwood 'Woody' Gilmore was famous for the the design and fabrication of some of the most significant dragsters in the 1960-70's. He built the chassis for the top fuel streamliner Hustler VI in 1965, he also built chassis for Don Prudhomme, Rance McDaniel (the Dan Olson Racing Products team), and Wynns Stormer streamliner wedge dragsters. Here is a link (Woody Gilmore) to some of the amazing machines he built in the drag world.
Lorry's first build to appear in a magazine, was way back in a 1959 issue of Rod & Custom. He founded HAT Racing Enterprises, in Marin County. It is the area's oldest speed and performance shop serving both the racing and hotrod community for over 50 years. Including engines for record setting machines on both land and water!
THE HOT ROD
Once the idea was born and the team formed, a 1946 Ford Tudor donor car was found. Originally, it was to supply both the flathead engine and the chassis. Upon inspection, it was decided by the team that they would shed both of those, with the ambition to build the lightest possible machine with weight considered down to the smallest parts, as long as quality wasn't affected. The goal was to build a pure, straightforward visceral machine and let the artistry reveal itself.
ENGINE & CHASSIS
Looking at the engine bay, it is a wonder of custom built parts, tight tolerances and yet easy accessibility. The foundation of this engine was an owner acquired French block, a virgin flathead. You can read more about them here. Many flatheads used today have been in service for decades and potentially have hidden cracks, weaknesses, etc... This was a brand new, never used block. It hosted such superb components as Baron Racing Equipment, Crower, Barney Navarro, Ross and the newest Stromberg 97 carburetors cast in the UK.
Metal fuel lines, stainless steel coolant pipes and the six tuned length exhaust manifolds were amongst the handmade parts. Even the large 12 quart oil pan was built from a sheet of stainless steel. The experience of these long time race builders would come into play. They decided on the largest possible displacement, without the need for excessive compression. The result, 305 cu in., 3.375 bore x 4.250 stroke and a compression of 8.24:1.
An new thin wall steel frame chassis was built, it was also lengthened over the original chassis dimensions, extending the wheelbase by more than a foot! Giving more space for cooling in the engine bay and better ride over modern roads. The final assembly resulted in a wet weight of just 1850lbs.
Buick cast aluminum finned brake covers adorn each wheel, but the front brakes reveal a surprise, Wilwood disc brakes can be found hidden within those brake covers! A Tremec 5-speed manual transmission was paired with a Winters quick change rear end, this allows for the and easy change of the helical gears, depending on the style of driving this car will be used for. Current final drive ratio is 4.1 to 1. A final chef's kiss are the cast wheels based upon the old Halibrands that were run on Indianapolis 500 roadsters in period. Compared to the original Ford wire wheels, these gorgeous platters save 8lbs of unsprung weight on each corner!
The closer you look at this hot rod, the more details are to be found. A true work of art that is a visceral machine, ready to be driven, free of flat spots, missing or throat clearing. This car was meant to drive and that is indeed what the owner has done, to the tune of just over 4500 miles during the past 18 years.
or call 415.730.5352 for more information.