Flathead and Nostalgia Drag Racing Links and Resources


My favorite places for flathead questions and discussion:

Flatheads on the Web

Sources for Flathead Parts and Services on the Web

(Disclaimer - listing here does not necessarily imply my endorsement.)

Nostalgia Drag Racing Organizations

Nostalgia Drag Racing and High Performance Web Sites

Other Drag Racing and High Performance

Land Speed Racing


Things in Print

Despite the online resources available these days, it is pretty hard to beat the published word as a source of information. What follows is a list of books, booklets, magazines and newsletters that might be of interest to flatheaders.


Flathead Facts

John Lawson

© 2008

Available from the author: John Lawson, 134 Flamingo Rd., Fitzgerald, GA 31750

John Lawson has been building high performance engines from Top Fuel to street rods for a lot of years. This is his comprehensive look at engine dynamics with fact-filled pages highlighting 400+ dyno tests. It features an in depth review of engines and components with what works, why it works, and how it works. If John wrote it, I believe it. No guesswork here. All tested.

Here is a link to the book’s electronic flyer.

Ford Flathead V-8 Builder's Handbook

Frank Oddo

© 1997

ISBN 1-55561-119-2

Published by Fisher Books, 4239 W. Ina Road, Suite 101, Tucson, AZ 85741

A comprehensive overview featuring stock and high-performance rebuilds. Includes much of a series of articles from a Street Rodder magazine series by the same author featuring Motor City Flathead. This is one of the few flathead books I regularly see in the automotive section of large chain bookstores.


The Complete Ford Flathead V8 Engine Manual

Ron Ceridono

© 1995

ISBN 1-884089-11-9

Co-published by CarTech, Inc., 11481 Kost Dam Rd., North Branch, MN 55056

and by Tex Smith Publishing, P.O. Box 726, Driggs, ID 83422

A comprehensive overview featuring stock and high-performance rebuilds. Several interviews with and articles by the greats of flathead high performance.


How to Build a Flathead Ford V-8

George McNicholl

© 2003

ISBN 0-7603-1493-4

MBI Publishing Company, 380 Jackson Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55101-3885

The author shows three basic styles of flathead engines and features Luke's Custom Machine & Design in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. This book has some information I haven't seen in other books, like how to build an Ardun, and has an interesting slant to it.

Flathead Fever

Mike Davidson

First Edition © 1995, Second Edition © 1996

ISBN 0 949398 96 9

Published by Graffiti Publications Pty. Lit., 69 Forest Street, Castlemain, Victoria, Australia

This book is about hot rodding the flathead, although it does have a certain amount of basic information. Contains reports of Mike's flow bench testing.


Street Flathead

Mike Davidson

© 1998

ISBN 0 949398 95 9

Published by Graffiti Publications Pty. Lit., 69 Forest Street, Castlemain, Victoria, Australia

Mike's second book about hot rodding the flathead. Don't let the title fool you - lots of information of interest to the competition oriented flatheader, too. Contains some very interesting flow measurements for various heads. Also features a number of aftermarket products.


Flathead Tuning Manual

Mike Davidson

© 2004

ISBN 0 949398 03 9

Mike’s third book featuring some of his newer parts and dyno tests. I like hard data.



Ron Holleran

© 1992

No ISBN number

Self published by the Author, Ron Holleran, RR2, Box 241, Chester VT 05143

Ron spent a lot of years building flatheads for circle track racing. Then he built a flow bench and discovered lots of interesting things. Loaded with hot rodding techniques and opinions for street and competition engines. Having reached out of print status, a recent reprint with some updates has been available through the MSN flathead message board. I don’t know if these are still available, but try here for info.


Blown Flathead

Joseph P. Abbin, P.E.

© 1998, 2nd Edition © 2000

ISBN 1-8800047-64-0, 2nd Edition ISBN 1-880047-81-0

Published by Creative Designs, Inc., 11024 Montgomery NE, Suite 311, Albuquerque, NM 87111

Roadrunner Engineering

Reports on flow work and other aspects of flathead performance make this book useful even if you never intend to add a blower. You can see Joe's car at the top of this linked page.


Rebuilding the Famous Ford Flathead

Ron Bishop

© 1981

ISBN 0-8306-2066-4 for the paperback version.

Published by TAB Books, a division of McGraw-Hill, Inc.

Primarily a stock rebuild guide, but with lots and lots of good "how to" information.


Thunder Road Flathead

Bill Sinclair

Original Edition © 1989, but revised several times since.

ISBN 09631350 2 3

Published by Thunder Road Motor Works Inc., P.O. Box 1242, Hudson, NY 12534

Besides the engine itself, this book goes a little further beyond with subjects like 12 volt conversion, PCV valves, electric windshield wiper conversion and the like. I don't have the latest revision (shame on me), but I understand it is expanded over the 1993 edition I have.


Thunder Road Electrical Guide

Bill Sinclair

I don't have this one (shame on me again), but it is by the author of Thunder Road Flathead. I understand it answers those nagging questions about converting from 6 Volt to 12 Volt systems and more.


How to Build a Traditional Ford Hot Rod

Mike Bishop & Vern Tardel

© 1998

ISBN (couldn't find one)

Published by Mike Bishop Communications, 921 Saracen Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

This book tells how the authors built a Model A-V8 street rod. There is a chapter on the flathead engine with some helpful suggestions.


Flathead Doctrine

Ray Seidel

No copyright notice, but I estimate it being assembled in about 1997 or 1998

No ISBN number

Published by the author as loose sheets in a binder. Ray Seidel, Vintage Motor Works, 7050 6th Street, White City, OR 97503

This is a thought provoking piece. Notions on coatings (which the author sells), porting, heads, spark plug location, rod ratios, and more. I don't agree with everything he puts forth, but I certainly haven't put the time in on my notions that he has on his. You can see his car at the bottom of this linked page.


Souping the Stock Engine

Roger Huntington

© 1950

How to Hop Up Ford and Mercury V8 Engines

Roger Huntington

© 1951

Ford Speed Manual

Fred W. "Bill" Fisher

© 1952

All three of the books listed above have been republished by Fisher Books, 4239 W. Ina Road, Suite 101, Tucson, AZ 85741

These are the classics of flathead speed. Although advances in technology have made some of the information presented obsolete, there is still a wealth of knowledge in them. If nothing else, they chronicle the reign of flatheads at their height of popularity. Bill Fisher's book is the only one I have ever seen that covers the Ford flathead six in any kind of detail. I recommend getting all three.


Full Race Flathead V8

Hot Ignition Tips


Jerry Hagens

© 1981

All three of the booklets are published by the author, produced and distributed through Midnight Graphics Advertising Agency which is a division of Speedway Motors, Inc., 300 Speedway Circle, P.O. Box 81906, Lincoln, NE 68501-9896. I have never seen them offered outside of the Speedway catalog.

These booklets contain some really good information, but you wouldn't want them as your only flathead guides. The Gear-Torque booklet deals with the '32-'48 rear ends and any of the transmissions with the early bolt pattern.


How To Build A Flathead Ford V-8

George McNicholl

© 2003

ISBN 0-7603-1493-4

Published by MBI Publishing Company, 380 Jackson Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55101-3885 USA

This book and another title by the same author that I have not seen are among the more recent flathead books written. It takes the reader through a rebuild of three styles of flatheads, including an Ardun overhead valve conversion. There is emphasis on Luke’s Custom Machine & Design in North Vancouver, BC, Canada.


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