Updated – “From standing start to 70 miles per hour in 600 feet” was quite a claim made by D.W. Mc Vean for this twin-engined Model “T” Ford. It is doubtful this early-1920s monster with Rajo o.h.v. cylinder heads was used for competition, but it was more likely built to increase garage work and parts sales.
The Rajo Motor Co. of Racine, Wisconsin built this head, its first 8-valve unit starting late in 1919. The add-on unit boosted the power a standard L-head Ford 20 h.p. engine to about 30 h.p. It was not an all-out racing head, as it was designed for use on standard Model “T” passenger cars and TT trucks.
As pictured in the advertisement (below) the “Valve In Head for Fords” used a one-piece intake and exhaust manifold that vaporized the incoming fuel and air mixture. The set up used a standard small Ford carburetor, which limited its power output. You can learn more about the Rajo head here in an earlier article Model T Ford Speed and Racing Equipment Part II – The Early Pioneers.
Update – Mark Herdman has found an advertisement (below) by McVean & McVean who were going out of business presumably in the early 1920s
- The first Rajo 8-valve cylinder head, the Model 30, introduced in late 1919.
The rough and ready Mc Vean speedster appears to have used a heavier and longer “TT” truck frame and it is equipped with: a Ford car rear axle, accessory wire wheels, Hassler front shocks, double front radius rods, a vacuum tank for fuel feed from a Ford gas tank, and a front seat cut off of some sort of a period body.
The earliest information found about Mc Vena was in an article in “The Automobile” July 2, 1914 issue, titled “Wiring Lights to a Ford Magneto.” In it D.W. Mc Vean is listed as selling a regulator to allow using the mag to power electric lamps without burning out the bulbs.
R.L. Polk & Co.’s 1916 Indianapolis City Directory lists a Sedam & Mc Vean Garage at 752 Mass. Ave. and Daniel W. Mc Vean living nearby at 762 Mass Ave. in a flat at “The Carter.” After the Rajo head went on the market the garage name changed to Mc Vean & Mc Vean and moved down the street to 812 Mass. Ave.
Rago did not offer a valve cover for its early heads, and Mark Herdman found the ad (above) describing the cast aluminum valve cover the Mc Vean’s were selling for use on them. The photo was found by Jay and is on the MTFCA Forum.
Update – Mark Herdman has found an advertisement (below) by McVean & McVean who, were going out of business presumably in the early 1920s and offering the valve cover patten for sale.