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29 Flathead

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If you want a flathead V8 in a '29 (to represent a hot rodded AV8), you are free to choose whichever early flathead color you like.

The flathead V8 made its debut in '32 and it would have been an inline 4 installed in the Model A originally by ol' Henry Ford. Early flathead V8s were various shades of green, with later ones red.


I'd probably narrow down which generation your chosen flathead represents and paint it a color appropriate to its approximate model year...or go custom on the engine paint. Flatheads can be identified by the type of distributor, shape of the heads and location of the water inlets as these varied over the different generations between 1932 and 1953 model years.

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The flathead 4 was either black or dark green depending on year.


Here is a list of paint colors of Flathead Engines 1932 to 1953:

Year Ford                    Mercury             Truck                    Commercial
1932  Dark Green              N/A                 Dark Green               Dark Green 
1933  Dark Green              N/A                 Dark Green               Dark Green 
1934  Dark Green              N/A                 Dark Green               Dark Green 
1935  Dark Green              N/A                 Dark Green               Dark Green 
1936  Dark Green              N/A                 Dark Green               Dark Green 
1937  Dark Green              N/A                 Dark Green               Dark Green 
1938  Dark Green              N/A                 Dark Green               Dark Green 
1939  Dark Green              Dark Green          Dark Green               Dark Green 
1940  Dark Green              Dark Green          Dark Green               Dark Green 
1941  Dark Green or Dark Blue Dark Blue           Dark Green               Dark Blue 
1942  Dark Green              Dark Blue           Dark Green or Dark Blue  Dark Blue 
1943  Unknown                 Unknown             Unknown                  Unknown 
1944  Unknown                 Unknown             Unknown                  Unknown 
1945  Unknown                 Unknown             Unknown                  Unknown 
1946  Dark Blue               Dark Blue           Dark Blue                Dark Blue 
1947  Dark Blue               Dark Blue           Dark Blue                Dark Blue 
1948  Dark Blue               Dark Blue           Dark Blue                Deep Red 
1949  Dark Blue               Green               Dark Blue or Green       Deep Red 
1949½ Bronze                  Green               Bronze or Green          Deep Red 
1950  Bronze                  Green               Bronze or Green          Deep Red 
1951  Bronze                  Green               Bronze or Green          Deep Red 
1952  Tangerine or Green      Tangerine or Green  Green                    Green 
1953  Tangerine or Green      Tangerine or Green  Green                    Green 

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1 hour ago, CaddyDaddy said:

What year V8 flathead heads had the water neck in the middle verses the front of the head?

In general, the 24-stud "59" series engines built from '46-'48 had the water outlets in the center of the heads.

Later 24-stud "8BA" engines built between '49 and '53 had them at the front.

The heads can be interchanged however, though water passages have to be modified.

Earlier 21-stud heads also had the water necks at the front of the heads, and can not be used on a later 24-stud block.

The 8BA is by far the most desirable, as it lacks the cast-on bellhousing of earlier engines, making it much easier to adapt a variety of transmissions. It also has internal improvements.

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The "proper" term with Pre-War, early Hot Roders was "A V-8" a short form of Model A with a V-8 stuffed between the frame rails for more power. I've read articles and passages from early Hot Roding books which refer to a body year A V-8, i.e. '28 A V-8...  With the resurgence of early and traditional Hot Rods the term A V-8 is still bandied about.

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I make my own green from craft paints. Really though, there are a few that are close enough from the bottle, especially if you add weathering. And unless you're building something off the showroom floor, it's going to be weathered. Not to mention the factory colors even varied some.

As far as the red goes, weathered red flatheads were pretty faded. I doubt most hot rodders kept that. Pictures I've seen of hot rod flatheads in red are pretty much fire engine red. Testors bright red is fine in that case.

Edited by Dave G.
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