Dean Robertson, from Deadwood, South Dakota, built this quite unusual Flathead V8 engine for a 1928 Ford pickup he was planning. The water pump, distributor and alternator are driven by a handmade front-drive gear system and housing. Front motor mounts incorporate water passages from the water pump directing water from the engine to a radiator mounted in the pickup box. The rationale for the radiator’s remote location was that this engine and the vehicle’s two headlights were to be the only components located ahead of the firewall.
Dean purchased a set of KONG head patterns for this 1946 engine, along with a pair of raw head castings, in the late 1990s. He did his own machine work to prepare them as you see today. Tony “KONG” Jackson, an experienced dry lakes racer, made both single-plug and twin-plug KONG competition heads for Bonneville Flathead V8s burning special fuels like alcohol and custom mixes. He also was known for his ignitions and manifolds for flathead V-8s. The turbocharged induction system incorporates a state-of-the-art Garrett variable vane turbocharger (no waste gate required) with twin Harley Davidson carburetors. Exhaust gas flows through stainless steel headers built by Dean.
When Robertson’s other plans for the Model “A” truck didn’t materialize as he had hoped, he offered the engine to our museum. It is not quite complete, but certainly is a one-of-a-kind setup.
Dean has worked on hot 4-bangers, racing snowmobiles, state-of-the-art racing go-karts and Flathead V8s since he was 16 years old. He has created “out of the box” and unusual engines, along with different racing and street-driven vehicles for customers and for himself.