We’ve all got a first, right? Many moons ago, my first real custom was a 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Coupe, which was fixed up into a custom over many years and on a very limited budget. The car was equipped with the largest displacement flathead V8 motor that Ford ever created… The 337 c.i. behemoth known as the 8EL (in 1949 – 1951 Lincolns) and 8EQ (in Ford F-7 and F-8 trucks). For many years I kept this massive flathead alive and running in my car, largely because this young man was too broke to rebuild it, but also because it was an unusual motor for a custom. When I would pop the hood at the A&W in Paso, there were always a few ‘what the heck is that thing?!’ stares… Unfortunately cool aluminum heads and dual carb intakes for this engine were very rare and ungodly expensive, so she just ran dual glasspacks and chrome head bolt covers!
Eventually I scored a low mileage 351 Cleveland from a Mercury Cougar XR7 mated to an FMX transmission, so it was high time for the big, fat flattie to go. As we cherry-picked the tired old motor out of her bed, the entire front of the car rose at least 6 inches from the instantaneous weight loss of nearly 800 pounds. In went the Cleveland (a good 300 pounds lighter!), and down the road I went for many more years. The one thing I really missed about that ol Lincoln Flathead V8? The sound… She had a really unique purr. Hear it for yourself: