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Old 09-18-2013, 08:58 PM   #1
rheltzel
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Default Flathead Builder in California

Who is regarded as the best flathead rebuilder shop in Northern or Southern California? My poor little 21 stud motor has turned its last "r" and it's time to build the ultimate touring motor. Sounds like a French block is the best starting point. Ideas?
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

I personally recommend you ship it Jerry Livingston at United Engine Specialists in Wichita KS. He did a wonderful job on my 276ci 59AB at a reasonable cost. He has done hundreds of flatheads. Here's his website.
http://www.unitedengine.biz/united_004.htm
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #3
wga
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Contact Mike at H&H. They are in La Crescenta, off the 210. From Sac, you should be able to make it to their door in about 5 hours.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

John Johnson, Johnson Machine, Yucaipa Ca
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:09 PM   #5
banjoQ
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Gotelli Speed Shop, So. San Francisco Ca. Ask For Ted or Bruno. These guys have history.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

WGA: I do believe they better have a Radar Detector & a co-pilot keeping an eye out Sac To L,A. 5 hours I dont think so!~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:44 PM   #7
rheltzel
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions. Now comes the tough decision!
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

You're in Scramento? Dd you know So Cal Speed Shop-Sacramento has the new French flathead blocks, and works with the legendary Vern Tardel in Santa Rosa? Vern is the best in my opinion and is a lot closer to you than H & H in southern Calif. Go talk to the guys at So Cal before you make your decision.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:05 AM   #9
296 V8
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Call Dennis in granite bay dont know if hes the best but hes close

Will do it right
Been doing it forever
Farms out nothing but the cleaning
Small home shop = good price
Hes built stockers - hot street motors - and even record breaking land speed flatheads

916 791 7452
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Give me a call 818-248-2371 or email me handhflatheads@hotmail.com I can give you a detailed quote.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:44 AM   #11
rheltzel
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Hotrodsteve,

Yes, I am aware of SoCal and their supply of French blocks. My plan is use one of them as the starting point for building the ultimate touring motor...appearing as a A or 59AB on the outside, mild cam, and a 4" Merc crank on the inside (although I've heard there may be an issue with the crank pulley lining up properly...will have to research that).

Vern Tardel might be a great option. Thanks very much for the suggestion.

Also, thanks to 296 V8...I'll check out Dennis. Haven't heard of him, but I like the sound of his operation.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Another vote for Dennis. Specially if you are in the Sac area....
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:43 AM   #13
TJ
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Red Hamilton in Ft. Bragg, Ca. is still doing motors
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Go to John Beck in Chico, CA. He runs/owns Pro Machine, located inside Vintage Hot Rod.
He builds many flatheads. Many to run @ Bonneville, also has a very nice dyno facility
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:28 PM   #15
rheltzel
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Thanks, TJ and Kahuna. I didn't realize Red was still building engines. He built several for me back in the '70's and 80's when he had a shop in Carmichael, CA.

One was a 29A in my '37 pickup that still had 55lbs oil pressure at 1,500+rpm after 75,000 miles and didn't burn a drop of oil in 2,000 miles. It could climb Baxter Grade on I-80 in 95 degree summer heat with 1,000 lbs of parts heading for the Reno Swap Meet and never get over 180 degrees! It was a magical flathead. Anyone have a number for Red?
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Jeff Jones in Fresno is one of the best 559 313-1454 or hotvega73@yahoo.com
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:10 AM   #17
TJ
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Red is at 707-964-7733
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

You'd be hard pressed to find a better flathead builder than Vern Tardel. If you're interested in getting an honest cost and scheduling quote, FAX him at 707-838-6065 telling him what you need. Include your 'phone number and a convenient evening call-back time.

Mike Bishop
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:38 PM   #19
rheltzel
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Thanks, TJ. Vern is on my list to check with, Mike.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: Flathead Builder in California

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebishop View Post
You'd be hard pressed to find a better flathead builder than Vern Tardel. If you're interested in getting an honest cost and scheduling quote, FAX him at 707-838-6065 telling him what you need. Include your 'phone number and a convenient evening call-back time.

Mike Bishop
Make note that Mike said to FAX Vern, as he usually doesn't answer the phone. DD
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