Ken Austin grew up on a farm in Newberg, Oregon where his interest in cars started when he got his permit to drive to school. He started The Hot Rod Shop in 1945 where he fixed and customized cars. With his knowledge of welding, painting and engine work it kept him busy until he attended Oregon State College in 1949. While attending college he gained interest in making parts for himself and started making some speed equipment and honed his pattern making skills.In 1964, Ken built an improved air-powered vacuum system known as the Air-Vacuum System which helped found his dental equipment company A-dec. Ken and Joan have grown the company to become the leading manufacture of dental equipment in the world offering a com-plete line of dental equipment.Throughout the years he has been a classic car collector and enthusiast. Around 1998 Ken began making Ardun intake manifolds for a friend. This grew into 6 different Ardun, V8 60 intakes, Lincoln 337 heads and intakes, Lincoln V12 intakes and heads and ford flathead intakes. His passion for Hot Rods and to create new products has helped the after-market industry continue to grow
DIXON heads relocate the exhaust valve out of the block and into the head reducing overheating and allowing for vastly improved exhaust gas flow. And, of course, they also give you four rather than three exhaust ports for a more contemporary, balanced look.”
Cast in Los Angeles from the highest quality tempered A356 aluminum and CNC machined, the DIXON heads are designed to fit the desirable 1938-1953 59A and 8BA 24-stud flatheads. The heads come complete with Isky valve springs, 1.5-inch diameter stainless steel valves, adjustable push rods, lifters, custom head gaskets and a pair of exhaust flanges. It’s everything you need to make the conversion.
Barney Navarro started machining Weiand speed equipment right before he started making his own in 1947. He was a pioneer in the evolution of the flathead. He improved everything he touched. From help designing the runners of his manifold to enter the block at a 45 degree angle to act as an extension of the ports to making his manifold have a 180 degree pattern to distribute the fuel equally. He also made many improvements to his cylinder heads as well.
His greatest impact was at the salt lakes where he is a legend. He was the first to run a roots style 371 blower on a destroked 24 stud motor 176c.i. and ran 146.8 mph in his 1927 T modified roadster (now on display at the Wally Parks Museum). He also tried his knowledge at Indy in the late 60’s building the fastest Rambler motor ever built
Al Sharp was a innovator, businessman, WWII vet, machinist, pattern maker and a man who loved to make things go faster. Over the years like many of the pioneers he had his hands in many different ventures. Al moved to So Cal with his family from Oklahoma in the 30’s and started working in shops and garages. He apprenticed as a pattern makers helper when the war broke out. He joined the Navy and went to the South Pacific as a Foundryman’s Assistant. Al got out of the Navy in 1945 and went back to work as a pattern maker in L.A. where he ran into Gordon Pilkington and they decided to go into business together, SP Products. They did a lot of work for different companies around L.A., including some of the early speed equipment makers. Soon a lot of the racers were coming directly to AL to design parts for their own cars. Chrisman, Rathman and others had Al build custom parts for their cars. Most of these parts became the foundation for the Sharp Speed and Power Equipment company.
Aside from his flathead speed equipment, he built parts for almost every engine that ran down the strip. His manifolds and valve covers graced the of the famous Hurst Hairy Olds twin engine car and he helped Craig Breedlove with the Spirirt of America record setting run. He and Gene Mooneyham built and sold some of the first aluminum heads for the Chrysler Hemi. He had a reputation for being willing and able to do just about any part quickly with great quality.
About H&H Flatheads: Founded in 2003 by Mike Herman, H&H Flatheads is celebrating its 15th anniversary. They specialize in building flathead Ford V8s and Lincoln V12s and the production of Navarro Racing Equipment, Sharp Speed & Power Equipment, Austin Speed Equipment and, most recently, Wilson & Woods 8BA heads and Dixon sohv heads. Besides the Ford flathead, H&H also specializes in Ardun conversions as well as rebuilding other vintage engines including Y-Block Ford, Nailhead Buicks and Chrysler Hemis.
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