Flathead Engine Breaks 300 mph Barrier
Recycled Teenager Shatters 300 mph Barrier;
Sets New Speed Record With "Antique" Ford Engine
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah -- Driving with ideal weather and surface
conditions, Ron Main, 60, a reinforced steel contractor from Chatsworth,
California, recorded an astonishing top speed of 302.203 mph during a
one-way run, solid proof that the car, was still accelerating past the
timing lights. At the controls of Flatfire, the handcrafted, supercharged
technologically advanced streamliner; he inked a new land speed record with
an unprecedented 296 miles per hour average.
Where each mile-per-hour achieved on the brutal salt flats is the result of
dogged determination and exhausting work, "Rebar Ron" qualified at 295.668
m.p.h. (terminal speed 301.173 m.p.h.) and backed up his speed bid with a
return run of 297.988 m.p.h., bumping up his own 2001 record by nine
miles-per-hour to 296.828 m.p.h. in the blown fuel streamliner class.
Already the world's fastest flathead, Flatfire flew across the five-mile
racecourse to establish the new land speed record on August 14, 2002, during
the 54th Annual Speedweek, conducted by the Bonneville Nationals, Inc., a
division of the Southern California Timing Association.
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.
"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."
Main is quick to cite that Flatfire's remarkable engine was "updated" with
the expertise of several high-performance notables including Dick and Mike
Landy, of Dick Landy Industries; Jim Middlebrook, of Vortech Engineering;
Bruce Crower, of Crower Motorsports.