Stromberg powered Specials have been around since the 1930’s, and here’s a real cool example. Graeme Raper’s ‘Monoskate’ Ford V8 special was first raced at Bathurst, Australia back in 1939. It’s got Grand Prix history and it’s still breaking records today.
A typical Australian Special built on Ford Model A chassis rails, the car boasts a split front beam axle with a brass Fiat tractor steering box, a 180 horse flathead V8 with Offenhauser heads, twin Stromberg 97 carburetors, Scintilla Vertex magneto, 3-speed close ratio Ford trans, a locked Ford differential, and early Ford juice brake. The aluminum body is hand formed.
In its first Iteration as “The Ben Tarr Rajo Ford Special”, the car was raced at Bathurst, Mt Panorama at the Easter 1939 meeting. The Second Iteration – as the “Alec Mildren Ford V8 Special” – raced at the NSW Grand Prix, at Bathurst 1946, 1947 and more. And then finally, the car became the “George Reed Special”, built in 1948 and raced successfully at Bathurst and Mt Druitt against the imported European cars of the time – Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Alta, Bugatti and Lago Talbot. Discovered by Mal Reid back in 1977, it was restored and raced successfully as a Historic Racer for over 20 years whilst holding many lap records at various circuits around Australia.
Impressive Competition Record
Its winning record goes back a long way. Hawkesbury Hill Climb May 1949…Foley’s Hill, Record June 1949…Won 50 Mile Handicap Mt Panorama October 1950…Australian Grand Prix Narrogin WA 1951 ( Monoskate led into last lap when the Magneto failed and the “Red Car” won the Race, which is a G Reed Ford Special Sister Car)…Won “Redex 100” at Mt Panorama Easter 1951…Australian Record SS kilometer- 27.26 sec, June 1951…
Stromberg powered !
Only this week (end Nov 2017) “Mona” raced at the Rob Roy Hill Climb, where partly thanks to the hot weather, clean track and Graeme’s driving, she won the Fastest Flathead award and set a new class record, 1.75 seconds in front of the nearest competitor.
Incidentally, Graeme now runs 18 new Genuine 97s on his various cars, flying the flag on road and track for Stromberg’s winning reliability!
Multiple 97s on your hot rod motor? Sounds good, doesn’t it? Check out this great Stromberg feature on the HOT ROD website! Written by Barry Kluczyk, we follow Bill Jagenow, at Detroit-area Brothers Custom Automotive, as he installs and tunes four new Genuine 97s on a DeSoto 291 Hemi under the hood of a 1940 Ford.
As Bill says, “It’s very easy to overdo it with a multi-carb setup. The 291 Hemi is not a large-displacement engine for four carburetors, so we’re backing off the fuel supply a little. We’ll start with the ‘41s’ and see how it goes after the engine is running again. We’ll check the plugs and make adjustments as necessary, but experience suggests they’ll be the right jets.” Just one thing. Bill recommends fuel pressure at 3.5psi. We prefer 2.5psi.
According to HOT ROD, “With the air horns back in place, the soldier-like formation of the quartet of Stromberg 97s looks strong. Because there are so many connections on a multi-carb setup, it’s important to check for fuel leaks and the tightness of carb mounts after the first few drives, but with the synced carbs all performing strongly, the driving experience of the Hemified 1940 has never been more fun or responsive.
Click here to read the whole feature.
Wondering about a Stromberg 4×2 set-up? There’s a great feature on the HOT ROD magazine website (written by Rob Fortier) about the build of Mike Blackburn’s cool ’32 Sedan with its Stromberg equipped 390 inch Cadillac motor. As Rob says, “The 390 used to power the sedan was freshened up by Billy (Roach) Cockrell, and does so with a quartet of Stromberg 97s on an Edelbrock CD-694 intake, Sanderson tube headers feeding a stainless exhaust through Porter mufflers of the same material, and a Phoenix Transmissions 700-R4 mated with a Wilcap adapter.” Thanks to Stromberg dealer Austin Speed Shop for representing! Click here to check out the whole feature. We saw the Sedan at Lone Star Round Up 2017 and it’s a killer car.
Over the years we have had a few enquiries about making a new Stromberg 81, mainly for Ford flathead 4-banger lovers. So we tried a little project recently to replicate 81 style cfm flow and performance by sleeving down a 97. It worked pretty good with a strong signal and correct flow, so we are moving the idea to CAD next. We’re not sure a new bowl casting is a certainty, but we can make special size venturi inserts, coupled with a new base.