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This Ardun Ford Flathead Needs a Home

Ardun Flathead Ford

While perusing the local Craigslist ads I came across this masterpiece – an Ardun Ford flathead. The owner/builder, Rick Schnell, admits it's not even identifiable as a flathead anymore. What is identifiable is an engine gearheads will lust after.

Schnell started with a '51 Mercury block and used mostly period-correct parts from the bottom up. The polished Ardun heads and six Stromberg carbs give this V8 a nostalgic look, yet the blower and red paint let you know it's not your father's Mercury. I see this engine right at home in a '32 Ford or just as happy poking out of a '51 F1 pickup. Rick advertises the engine at 533 hp at 6,000 rpm running pump gas. He even has a YouTube video to support those numbers.

The crown jewel of the flathead is, without a doubt, the Ardun heads, which are said to be genuine, original examples. In flathead Ford culture, there is no higher level than the Ardun cylinder head, even though they were designed by bowtie-idol Zora Arkus-Duntov. The Ardun cylinder head is one of the most sought-after performance parts, as only 200 to 250 original sets were ever made; so it’s safe to say they factor into this engine’s “lofty” price tag.

The list of custom parts is extensive, and Schnell admits the price isn't for the budget-conscious at $49,000. Schnell has an interesting history of getting big power out of old flatheads. His claim to fame is the world-record quarter mile time for a supercharged flathead. Curious? How about 7.64 at 176 miles per hour. It's worth a few minutes of your time to visit his YouTube channel.

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Flathead Ford