Building an engine with off-the-shelf parts is not easy to ask, but creating a miniature engine from scratch is an entirely different situation. Ron Bennet, machinist, engineer and overall badass, decided to do the latter, deciding to avoid the couch by staying busy building miniature engines. What we see here is his masterpiece: a tiny, 1/3-scale engine patterned almost exactly after the Zora Arkus-Duntov‘s Ardun OHV conversion for the flathead V8.
Those unfamiliar with Mr. Duntov should note that the man is widely known as the father of the Chevy Corvette. Though he didn’t create the first generation Vette, he was instrumental in taking the vehicle to the heights it currently enjoys. But before joining GM, he was part of Ardun (derived from Arkus Duntov) — a company he started with his brother that supplied parts to the military and manufactured aluminum overhead valve, hemispherical combustion chamber heads for the Ford Flathead V8 engine.
Now, back to Bennet’s creation: nearly every piece in the motor has been machined from scratch, except for the the spark plugs and plug wires. Bennet even managed to find a genuine Ford 59AB bar-block and spent an astounding four months measuring it and inputting his findings into a computer program. The specially-made valve covers, for example, took 130 hours to turn out on the CNC. The only significant differences between the full-scale “Ardun” and Bennet’s miniature is the addition of fuel injection and the fact the engine runs anti-freeze.
In total, Bennet spent a mind-boggling 5,000 hours on his miniature Ardun V8 masterpiece, which can rev to 10,000 RPM. Crank up the sound and prepare to be amazed, ‘cuz this is easily the best sound you’ll hear all day.