Rare flathead stuff. Big Boy Heads!

Bob Denton sent us a cool picture of his flathead motors – one with Stromberg carbs. “Here is my flathead with three Stromberg 97’s on an Evans manifold. The heads are custom by Big Boys”, he said. Ok, I thought. Got me there. Never heard of ’em! I better find out more..

“Big Boy heads were made in Bakersfield, California”, says Bob, “by a company called CMC Engineering. I do not believe there are more than a dozen sets of these heads around. As you can see, they are quite thick due to the increased cooling capacity and they have a Ford V8 60 type water manifold on them. The company is gone. I bought these in the early nineties along with a new French block, pistons, 4” crank, and everything I needed to assemble a mean flathead. I never got around to it. And I still haven’t. However,  I’ve decided to use the heads on the Mercury because I wanted to use the Evans intake with the Strombergs and Evans didn’t run a fan/generator bracket on the front of the manifold. As with all 8BA heads, the water port precludes the use of a side/head mounted generator. I am still debating this intake. I may wind up, if I stay with Evans, putting the generator low right and running a a separate belt off the crank for it.

The 8BA in my roadster is my prized engine, but it runs two DCOE Webers. The engine itself is an “overbuilt” flathead. Chevy valve seats, big valves reinforced bottom end, etc. The blower is by Jerry Magnuson. It was designed by him to go on a SBC. Jerry’s friend Tom Roberts made the pieces to put his regular (conventional) blowers on flatheads. The many pieces needed to put this blower on my flathead were made for me by Roberts. Again, this is probably a one-off. Quite honestly, I’m terrified to start it for fear I’ll blow it up. I have that much money invested in it. And I’m getting close to it being ready. Clive, I love flatheads. Always have. My first flathead was in a 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe I bought in 1956 for $24.00 and drove it home. My mother had a fit. How could I waste my money?”

Black & Chrome Stromberg 97. Limited Edition!

We’ve been thinking lately about how we can extend the Stromberg 97 choice a little. If we wore suits here, I guess we’d call it thinking outside the box. Imagineering. You get the idea. Anyway, somewhat predictably for a bunch of hot rodders, we got as far as black and chrome. You can tell we missed the 60’s. Flushed with success we’re now talking about pushing the boat out a little further. Maybe Dove Grey and chrome?  Who knows. One of our number, clearly not singing from the same old fart hymn sheet, called for metalflake. Seems we’ve started something here.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. For now, we’ve made a short run of Limited Edition black & chrome carbs.  And very handsome they look too. The black is the same catalysed 2-pack we’ve used with good effect on Stromberg 97 bases for many years. You can see which parts are chromed. And everything else is pretty much standard Stromberg 97. Let’s call them 9510A-BLK. The price will be $475.00 a piece. They’re on our website, now, so click here for the full story.

If you’d like some, please ask your local Stromberg dealer. And if you’ve a wild and crazy ideas for a different colour, please add a comment below!

Hayriding. And Tripping Out.

We sponsored a couple of UK events this summer, and both were way cool gigs, where everyone had a great time. Now in its 8th year, the Hot Rod Hayride is well known all over the world as one of the best traditional hot rod/rockin’ music parties around. The ‘Trip Out’ was a new event, aimed at a slightly different crowd, but with the same laid back vibe.

Rather than the circle track or the drags, this year, the Hayride tried something new in the shape of a Hillclimb event through a nearby forest, managed by the Detonators Car Club. Hillclimbing has been a key part of British motorsport since the dawn of motoring, so it’s not surprising the old style hot rods and hot rodders had at it like their lives depended on it. Check our buddy Keith Harman’s blog for some good action pics. The Stromberg-sponsored Soapboxes went the other way, of course. Downhill, but with equal conviction

With a little more of a modern edge to the music, a slant towards two wheels over four, and endless things to keep us occupied over the weekend, the Trip Out is sure to become another must-add to the UK event calendar. DICE magazine launched their September issue on the Friday night. The bands and DJs were awesome. There was a small, but perfectly formed, indoor (in-tent) show for the show bikes, and a full-on custom prize draw give-away bike, won by the perfect recipient. I mean this geezer didn’t just look like he stepped off a Dave Mann picture, he was wearing an original tie-dye T-shirt, for Chissake…by choice…And talk about overwhelmed. Found riding his Boneshaker Choppers-built prize around the venue late on Sunday night, he said it was his ‘victory lap’. Priceless. The Stromberg draw prizes – two new 97s – luckily went to a hot rodder.

Ok, I admit it, this old feller hasn’t had so much fun in quite a while. And to top it off, we found another dude with a proper Stromberg 97 tattoo, albeit work in progress. Can’t wait to see the finished thing next year. Mark your diary for 2013.