Two different takes…

Seen the same day… Both are 1931 Model As…

Restored to original…

And the ‘hot rod’ version… Chopped, channeled, and powered by a 327 Chevy V-8

I can’t imagine somebody doing this to something like a Prius in 90 years (assuming there are even any left)…

And the way .gov regulation is going, hot rodding ANYTHING will be harder to do, with all the new ‘requirements’ for computer controls, regulation of programming/programmers, and ‘auto reset’ built into the ECUs on cars so that even if somebody CAN get in, the car will revert to stock on the next start up.

Yes, these old beasts required leaded gasoline, which means a search for a substitute for the lead that can be added to the current unleaded (and lower octane stuff).

Chemists discovered in the 1920s that Tetraethyllead added to gasoline was a cost-effective solution to pre-ignition and helped engines run better.

Lead also emerged as an effective way to protect against valve-seat recession, which can occur under high-rpm, high-heat, high-load conditions.

As the intensely hot exhaust valve hammers against the valve seat thousands of times per minute, the two components can momentarily fuse together in a process called “microwelding.”

Once the valve opens, the microweld tears apart. Multiply this by thousands of times and the valve seat deteriorates until the valve no longer seats properly. This leads to compression and power loss, in addition to catastrophic failure if the valve breaks off.

And it’s even worse in California… 108 Octane Sunoco gas has been declared ‘race fuel only’, not allowed on the streets!!! sigh…


Two different takes… — 10 Comments

  1. rebuild the “old beasts” with hardened valve seats, and new carb floats and jets and they should take unleaded gas just fine.
    While aromatic hydrocarbons (such as benzene) and alcohols (such as ethanol) were also known octane providers at the time, lead was the preferred choice due to its lower production costs.
    ethanol was used for several years before lead was diveloped for gas additives, and did pretty much the same thing, knock suppression and octaine boosting.

  2. Interesting discussion of WWII aviation fuel (among other things)–

  3. When I was messing with Ford flatheads I learned that the valve seats were made with Stellite, which largely eliminated valve seat recission. I think Oldsmobile’s engineers further studied this issue when the 330 was in development in the early 60’s while endurance testing with unleaded/low lead gasoline as I’ve seen photos of cylinder heads cut apart to show how bad the issue was after 25,000 miles. Non-hardened seats were pulled loose or molten away leaving the seat legde bare to flame cutting to the point where the valves were pulled as much as a half inch beyond the casting due to the seat welding itself to the valve lip.

  4. One of the interesting things that turned up in the history of the air war in ww2 was that the Germans were well aware of the story on tetra-ethyl lead for octane. They refused to use it due to the health concerns. The US ignored the potential problem, but the NAZI’s were very much into controlling anything that threatened the people’s health. “you vill be healthy or else!”

    Goes to show that ideology can easily generate major problems for any group, since flexibility tends to be lacking when it comes to the group mindset.

  5. Interestingly, they have just approved an unleaded aviation fuel for use in all piston engines that need 100 octane. It’s due to hit the market next year.

    • Wonder how much this will cost per liter?
      Oh yes, Happy Thanksgiving everyone out there.

  6. Dennis- Thanks, I hadn’t see that one!!!

    RHT- Oh yeah. Good video!

    Rabbit- I saw some of that working with my grandpa on Model Ts and Model As… ugly…

    Will- THat I have never heard!

    Dr.M- True, but no help for the 115/145 folks… sigh

  7. NICE.

    But don’t worry, soon you won’t be able to drive anything that isn’t linked to a solar powered, carbon footprint, social credit chip.

    Unless you’re rich. Then you get a car, with a driver.