These days many people take for granted the innovation and engineering that goes into even the most commonplace, underpowered engine. But back in the dawn of the automobile, when even 50 horsepower seemed unfathomable, automotive pioneers like Henry Ford were working hard to bring America the latest, greatest engine technology in the pursuit of more power. And no one can deny the influence of Ford’s famous Flathead V8, a design that has all but disappeared from modern cars, but remains a mainstay of hot rodders.

If you’ve ever wondered how a Flathead Ford works, watch this video, which shows how a Flathead runs without its famed flat head.

The Flathead V8 design is famous as it incorporates the valvetrain into the engine block, doing away with complicated cylinder heads. To cover the valves and pistons, Ford developed a flathead that merely topped off the combustion chambers. The result is an integrated engine system that remains popular with hot rodders to this day.

We always found the operation of an internal combustion engine fascinating, and taking off one of the two flatheads on an old Ford V8 reveals the whole operation at work. It really is a cool video, one we felt we had to share with you, as we’ve never seen a Flathead Ford presented like this before.