a short biography of our team
It all starts with an idea --- a vision --- usually a bit cloudy at first, then it starts to take hold. At first, nothing seems even remotely possible, then things start to take shape. This is true of FlatCad racing.
Speed enthusiast Buddy Walker had a vision of building a blown Flathead Cadillac powered hotrod --- even creating some unobtainium parts. The dream started to take hold once he assembled most of the go-fast stuff necessary to build a unique hotrod. He had a '38 Lasalle coupe, nearly all the engine parts and was ready to get started.
Then, somewhere along the way, he caught a bad case of ‘Salt Flats Fever,' where the idea of building a record setting 500 horsepower,175 MPH, flathead V8 Cadillac (“FlatCad”) powered race car started to take shape. He then started looking through the various postings on the HAMB and talking to guys on the Land Speed Racing forums to learn a bit more.
Like all large endevors, help was required, and he began to solicit others to be interested or maybe even participate. The fever was strong in Buddy. Once he caught it, all other hotrod pursuits evaporated. What about the cool '38 Lasalle and all the cool blown FlatCad parts? Down the road they went.
After some initial research, it seemed that nobody knew of any Bonneville records that belonged to flathead Cadillac’s.
Heck, hardly anybody was alive that can even remember one running on the salt.
That is when the “Well what If??” ideas started to percolate. Buddy reached out to the broader internet hotrod community and started shopping his thoughts. The pundits lined up: “Isn’t that a weird ‘tank motor’ with the exhaust pipes coming out the top?” Or maybe: “Why would you do that – hardly and speed parts were ever made for that ancient relic!” Or how about: “That thing has 3 mains and maxes out at about 3600 rpm – not a chance using that heavy pig of a motor!”
Still, the FlatCad Bonneville dream was alive, but now what? Buddy reached out to others --- as he knew he needed to build a team of like minded individuals. He knew full well it would be a group of ‘stray dogs and cats,' guys that would be inspired by building something unique, having some fun, and maybe, just maybe setting a Bonneville record in the XXO class (or at least give it a damn good try!). Also, they’d have to be about ¾ nuts to even attempt this feat. I mean really --- a flathead Cadillac?
Dale Hays was one of the first members of the team, joining in the fall of 2010.
Buddy contacted him about porting the flathead Cadillac block after seeing some of the Dale's HAMB posts. At first, Hays had more than some misgivings. He had never worked on a flathead Cadillac, and typically only worked on his own hotrods. He was enticed, however, by the allure of Bonneville, which he called the "Mecca for us hot rodders," and the promise that Buddy would let team members drive. Buddy made it known that he planned on chasing personal records and "building the most bad-ass flathead Cadillac possible."
The engine had somewhere between very little and no history in racing. It was used to power military vehicles and tanks in World War II, and, therefore, most of the speed modifications would have to be custom designed and fabricated. But the power was there.
If you look at the Cadillac, you'll never look at Fords the same again. These things have FAR more potential horsepower than a Ford.
The block was sent to Dale in Ohio (Buddy lives in Colorado). Dale discovered the power Buddy had hinted at. It could be bored and stroked to 375 cubes, and work could be done to improve air flow. Buddy, Dale and Jeff Fowler of Fowler Engines began dissecting the project's scope.
"We all believed it had merit," Dale said. "But one thing was for sure: the only part we'd leave in this engine would be the block. Every single other part was custom designed for the specific purpose of making a strong, powerful and competitive Bonneville engine."
"What happened next shows the beauty of the internet," Buddy said. "Talented people in the hotrod community can create. Guys and girls from all over the world could collaborate, participate and collectively we could form a team to chase this vision."
Buddy started calling his friends, and those friends started doing the same.
"What started out as just a few 'imagineering' conversations soon morphed into a core group of folks that wanted to get on board," Buddy said. "Each one had the capabilities and skills that we needed with experience that can't be bought, with machines to make parts, and, most importantly, were all willing to donate their time, materials, equipment and knowledge to make this happen."
Most team members, including Chris Daniels, Ohio, Kevin Perrault, California, Don Binkley, California, Pete Samuelson, Washington, Mark Kerecz, Ohio, and Randy Jackson, Missouri, had never met in person. Buddy referred to them as a "virtual race team.
A wide range of valuable sponsors soon took root. People bought T-shirts, manufactured products, and guided the team though the Bonneville tech-inspection. The online racing community at the HAMB, and LandRacing.com also provided invaluable encouragement and ideas.
"This has truly been an amazing collaborative effort," Buddy said. "Folks from all over the globe have contributed, and we're just getting started! You see, what this is really about is a passionate team of people, the majority of which had never set foot on the salt flats, all rallying around a simple vision: Lets go set some Bonneville records with a Cadillac Flathead."
You can see the FlatCad racing team this summer at Bonneville Speedweek with a bored and stroked,blown, injected, loud, obnoxious and snaked headed beast of an engine. 366 cubes of awesome FlatCad power.
If you would like to be part of FlatCad Racing, please feel to contact us!