Keith Duckworth (1933 - 2005 ), designer of the Ford Cosworth DFV (Double Four Valve) V8 engine poses for a portrait with the magnesium engine at Cosworth Engineering on 3rd January 1977 in Northampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Tech - News
Here’s What Made Ford’s Flathead V8 Engine So Special
There’s still a lingering debate in the car community over the better engine to use in a car: small-block V8s or big-block V8s. While the Small Block Chevy may be the most tunable and the Chrysler HEMI the most powerful, Ford’s Flathead V8 engine has been around for nearly a century and is the grandfather of every V8 known today.
Contrary to popular belief, the Ford Flathead V8 was not the first engine of this size mass-produced, as it wasn’t made until 1932, 18 years after the Cadillac L-Head V8. The Flathead might have only had around 80 horsepower, but it exploded in popularity in the 1930s, with Hot Rod Magazine crediting it for inventing the concept of modifying production cars for speed and power.
The Flathead had a growing effect on car culture, becoming a popular choice for bootleggers who modified their cars to outrun the police and race one another, leading to the creation of NASCAR. The engine became a staple in the hot rod community which started in the 1950s, and to this day remains a popular engine to modify.