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A few weeks ago, we got a call from a buddy who was helping a well-known prop house with a project. “They need a motor for a display for Levi’s,” said he. “What kinda motor? What are they trying to do?” asked we. He told us that they needed something that said “Fifties and hot rods.” And to that, we said “Flathead.”

“How much will a flathead cost?” And the discussion went into the idea that Levi’s was all about authenticity and doing it all correctly and we said that nothing could replace a Ford flathead V8 for authentic, early Fifties hotrodding in America. And a flathead dressed with all the right speed parts was absolutely something we could help them with. Because, y’know, we’re all about authenticity and shit, too.

But when we said that a properly prepared flatty might cost at least $8,000.00 and we could deliver it, we never heard another word from them.

At least we now know what Levi’s was after: the Spring line from their Vintage concern is inspired, apparently, by hotrodding. And not just hotrodding, but 1953 hotrodding. Sure, they got a few things wrong in the video, if they’re going after authentic 1953 – Rich Guasco’s ‘Pure Hell’ and Fuel Altereds wouldn’t explode on the scene for another decade, for instance – but Robert and Suzanne Williams for the voice-overs was a good call, so we can live with that. Wonder if they ever found a flathead on their own…


  1. Levi’s pissed me off when they left America. I know they have a new American made line but it’s not the same. If they feel products produced in other countries are a better choice than the flathead’s not for them. If you want to cash in on Americana there’s a more sincere way of doing it.

  2. econobiker says:

    The Levi’s display will be as authentic as those gutted shells of Chevy pickup which used to grace Old Navy stores..

  3. El Hueso says:

    + a voice over by Tommy Ivo!!

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