http://www.ebay.com/itm/Frontenac-DO-over-head-Ford-Model-T-race-car-23-24-Indy- Sprint-32-flathead-chevy-/151337023838?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&ha sh=item233c63b95e&vxp=mtr
I believe I looked that over at the Bakersfield Meet in April - from talking with the younger couple, it sounded is though it was her father's stash and they had quite a bit of early speed parts.
Definitely a premier piece of T speed equipment. I think there may be some issues with associating the DO Fronty with the Indy 500. I was unaware any had run the race. That being said, I may be sadly mistaken, there are many who would know for certain and I would like to hear what they have to say. One thing I do know is that the Fronty T that ran Indy in 1923 was a pushrod engine, not overhead cam. It placed fifth, I think, piloted by L.L. Corum. The DO head is very complicated and the Chevrolet brothers opted to prepare the car with a head that they knew to be more reliable for a long distance race. The DO would prevail in a circle track sprint race but 500 miles is another thing altogether. No matter what, the DO Fronty is the stuff of dreams for any T speed enthusiast. I'd love to own one. The opening bid is way low, will be interesting to watch.
Like my Ricky Bobby voice: "I wanna go fast I wanna go fast I wanna go fast!!!!" WHEEEEEEE DOGGY! I'd like to own that sweet piece of gear even more than Marks Gemsa rocket engine. Some pop up pistons dished for the valves, 100 mph here we come!!
If my not so good memory is somewhat accurate, the asking price was in the 20 grand range. There was enough extras to almost complete another DO that went with the project.
I did not see any DO Fronty stuff at Bakersfield. You may be referring to the pair of DO Rajo/Gallivan heads in the back of the white pickup by the fence next to the food booth. 20K was the number I heard on them. They are much more rare than DO Frontys, if that's possible. I first saw these heads around 25 years ago when they were the property of mr. Chris Egsgaard, aka Billy Poohbah. Chris claimed he had bought them from Joe Jagersberger himself. They have never been assembled and run, and are probably the only T speed head not in the museum of American speed, as Jagersberger made only these two. There are DO Gallivans, but no other DO Rajo/Gallivans I have ever heard of. Sadly, I did not have 20K in my pocket at Bakersfield. Fun to look at, anyway.
Your memory is obviously better that mine Erik and yes, they were in the back of a white p/u.
That is a rare piece but I hope the buyer understands what he is getting. If you look at the right side view the bottom of the casting has been milled off bad and made so thin it has broken away. It should be about 1/4" right there. The casting is probably broken in all 16 valve seats and will most likely require major repair if it is even possible. The head has been modified with pipe plugs on top for a water manifold and the front water passage is blocked off.
That is the problem with the Fronty DO head, they had intakes all on one side and exhaust on the other. This structure then ran hard and wide open made them super heat and break. The Galavin (or Rajo) DO head was more robust and only 8 valves not 16 so they stood a better chance.
Yes I do know that at least one DO head ran Indy and it actually ran up to about 1930 where it was installed backwards in a front wheel drive car (Hamlin SPL). Yes there is a Galavin at the Smith museum also and the only one I have ever seen in person.
I am speaking from experience and years of study here regarding the Fronty DO. Mine was also milled away and had 16 smashed valve seats. You can't tell now and the casting looks brand new. I do need the front chain drive as all I have is one cam gear if anyone has any ideas....haven't worked on it in a long time but have a 5 main block all done with full pressure, just need the chain drive to put the thing together.
Oh, also the DO was first offered in 1925 and that one looks early to me based on the cam stands, some were later changed to a cup rack system like the single cam Fronty's ran.
I have seen several DO heads but never heard one run.
Hey Tim, get with Dan McEachern, he does the new timing and crank-shaft gears that the vendors sell. He can probably work with you on making the gears you need. email@example.com (510) 532-8228
Here is Jan Voboril's DO Fronty in action.
I had hoped you would post your input. I remember seeing the photos of the FWD drive DO Fronty racer. Did not realize it had run at Indy. Looked like a wicked machine, for sure. Thanks for the info.
Yes Seth I did speak with Dan regarding the drive train and he has done one before for a GAR car. He said it was a big job and during the race the motor threw the chain. Throwing the chain on a DO or SOHC is a bad thing as it is encased in all that aluminum.
The accepted numbers are that of all Fronty heads made of all types there were probably about 10,000 units and the DO numbers are probably about 100. I can think of at least a dozen I know about right now. They claimed that each DO head was personally inspected by Louis Cheverolet.
Well, the auction ended with someone with $14,655.00 who wants to go fast.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Frontenac-DO-over-head-Ford-Model-T-race-car-23-24-Indy- Sprint-32-flathead-chevy-/151337023838?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p20 47675.l2557&nma=true&si=hlh18CrfYupNA5AWDmcaIqN1RT4%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc
I hope the buyer puts a Scat crank with it.
This head was for sale at the LA Roadster Swap Meet a couple of weeks ago. The asking price at the swap meet was right around 14K from memory. The photo shown in the Ebay listing was taken at the swap meet.
Anybody know who bought it? I would like to get some measurements of the gears. The valve seats look better than I expected with less cracks but it still has a long way to go. I would really want a good welder that was willing to buy it back if he ruined it! I do my share of hot work but am no expert--yesterday I was doing a braze job, laying on my side and the torch popped sending something into my ear, I reacted with a swat of hot rod and poked it right into my bald head! Now I have a burn hole in my perfect scalp. Oh well, just turned 54 today and have never been a movie star anyway.
The block and bottom end are going to be expensive as they all are if done right. HP and speed cost money and there is no limit on how far to go. That head will probably break any 3 main crank if hammered on, a T crank for sure...also an A crank and probably a Scat crank torqued enough. Mine is on a 5 main Laurel with full pressure and counter balanced but it could probably also be broken. Really a broken crank would not be as bad as throwing the chain off and winding up everything in front then getting cam shafts loose and tearing parts out of the head or a valve breaking and falling onto a piston and going skyward...hopefully it punches the piston and not the combustion chamber.
I hope it gets rebuilt and not just on a shelf or stand. Overall the buyer is probably into it about where I am at for just the top end based on when I found mine adjusted over time but now am x2 and not done yet for the entire motor. Really close now and just need time and the gears and chain to finish. If I had those parts maybe a weekend to finish but still a low priority.
I wonder if it would be possible to convert something like this to run a modern Gilmer type timing belt. I'm sure it could be done, but the trick would be to conceal it in the original front cover and seal up the front end so the belt runs dry. I bet it be way more reliable than those complicated chain drives. Lighter, too, and less likely to cause mayhem from timing failure. I have seen a single stick SR running a belt, and some model A conversions. Something to think about.