FLATFIRE and RON MAIN - tops 300 mph
FORD FLATHEAD BLOCK ENGINE
The FlatFire project is the brainchild of Chatsworth, California based steel contractor turned record breaker, Ron Main. At 60 Ron considers himself to be a recycled teenager and his engine an antique - but hold on that cannot be so! Although, Ford ended its flathead engine production around 45 years ago, when the overhead valve became popular, it just goes to show what can be achieved with a rethink of an old design and some modern technology to boost performance.
The Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, provides the ideal proving ground for Ron's objective to one day break the 300 mile per hour barrier. On a beautiful day and ideal driving (salt surface) conditions, Ron recorded the best run of 302.203 mph in a long list of record achievements, raising the record for a Flathead engine to a 296 mph average. Even on this best run FlatFire was still accelerating past the timing lights.
The Flathead, introduced as Ford's first V8 in 1932, is considered an "old tech" relic at best in modern racing circles. A 50's rock-and-roll fanatic with a passion for period films, Main's 1946 cast-iron engine block produces a whopping 700 plus horsepower and runs in Blown Fuel Streamliner Class. The "overnight success" took only 14-years to realize in the hand crafted streamliner.
Ron says: "We broke 300, what I consider to be the sound barrier for the Ford flathead," remarked driver Main, "The car handled like a boulevard cruiser and it was still pulling hard when I shut it off. Most people may find it hard to believe that the payoff is nothing more than a tiny piece of paper with a few numbers printed on it, but for me it represents a lifetime achievement and without my dedicated crew it never would have happened." Nice one Ron and very many congratulations from Bluebird Marine Systems.
The Flatfire Racing Team:
Owner/Driver: Ron Main
Certified Land Speed Records:
301 cubic inch Vortech supercharged 1946 Ford flathead block
Jerico air shifted 5-speed transmission
Carbon Fiber body designed by Aerosmith Engineering
Autoracing speed records (http://dmoz.org/Sports/Motorsports/Auto_Racing/Speed_Records/)
Landspeed record history (http://phyvax.ir.miami.edu:8001/curtright/lsr_history.html)
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