Ardun heads for flatheads whats the story.
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    Ardun heads for flatheads whats the story.

    Ardun heads what is the English connection to them. Am i right to think they were used on commercial vehicles in England. Does any one know. History please.

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    Ardun heads were designed by Zora Arkus Duntov, from what I can remember for his own race car project. Zora escaped the nazis before WWII by going to Belgium or France first then offski to the USA. The Ardun head upped the power output of the Flathead V8 by sumat like 60%. I do remember sumat about them being used in trucks but can't be sure what it was, but I do know they were not what one could call reliable in the first incarnation and needed futher developement work (not by Duntov) to get what we have now. What he did though got him what he wanted, which was a design position with a major manufacturer. With GM he went on to design the Stingray, which he is probably most known for. I have a basic history of him at home someplace...He was "apparently" a well know womaniser and socialite as well..

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    I can fill in a little bit of history of here, back in the late seventies I was building what would now be described as a trad hot rod and managed to get hold of a flathead Ford complete with Ardun heads buried deep within the engine bay of a rusty old Allard...sold the engine with the car to a guy who lived near the Ace Cafe and never heard of pop or the engine since...so back on thread, I think Allard may have fitted them as an option.

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    Cheers keep the info coming really interesting. Just been reading a 1950 book Souping the stock engine published by Floyd Clymer from Los Angeles. Here is bi t of a paragragh in the book. Quote.The oldest of these, produced by Ardun Engineering of Great Britain, has been on the market for a couple of years and is handled in the U.S. by Bell Auto Parts of Bell,Calif. Unquote. This is 1950 remember. I am certain they were used on dustcarts etc for London Council. Any more info anyone.

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    You will have to pay a little bit more for one now!!!


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    Ardun heads were conceived by Zora Arkus Duntov and designed by George Kudash for Ardun Manufacturing in New York, which was the company run by Zora and his brother Yura. The company went bankrupt in 1949 but some prototype sets of heads were produced first. After the bankruptcy Zora came to England and worked with Sydney Allard, the tooling apparently coming with him and production resumed after 1950 and the made in England tags were added. Ardun heads were used in Allard J2's. By '53 Zora was back in the US and working for Chevrolet where he spent the rest of his career as Cheif Engineer and had something to do with the development of a tupperware sports car called the Corvette.
    All told somewhere around 400 sets of heads were made along with a very small quantity of V8 60 heads. As far as I know the American made heads (possibly cast by a company called Stevens after the bankruptcy?) have the words 'Ardun New York' cast into them.
    I believe you are right about the commercial vehicle application, I've heard the London dustcart story too but I'm not sure if that is just an urban myth.
    Allard reads are now being reproduced by Don Fergusson for a cool $14000 a pair.
    There was a long article in The Rodders' Journal, issue twenty something, about the history and development of the Ardun heads, I think Kudash's design was base on a pre war Talbot head. Some of what I've said might be a little inaccurate, I'm at work and my Rodders' Journal library isn't, but if I get time I'll check my facts tonight.

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    I'm a grown up member now ! Violent Veg's Avatar
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    Off the Xmas card list kapri's Avatar
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    British made hotrod parts in the 50's..that can't be right surely ?

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    I'm a grown up member now ! seth's Avatar
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    I knew Allard came into it somewhere
    "I might not have a real hot rod in my garage at the moment, but I do consider myself a real hot rodder. That's more important in the long run" Pat Ganahl, R&C, April '90

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