A Mean 16

Updated: Feb 11

A Mean Sixteen.

Fred Warner Wagers Jr. who went by Don, from La Blanca Texas started building this 16 cylinder custom beauty in the late 50s.

He cut 6 inches out of the 1929 Ford roadster doors and welded them shut. Set the body back on the 10inch shortened frame rails, and replaced the Model A gauges with the instrument panel that came from the wrecked 1935 Cadillac 16 Sedan. The Transmission was a 1937 LaSalle 3 speed backed with 4.11 rear gear and hydraulic brakes from a 1940 Ford. Front Suspension was a Ford 1932 front axle dropped three inches and sitting atop that was a chromed 37 Ford picked radiator grille.

The heart of the Rod was a narrow 45° V angle 1935 452cid aluminum block and pan, iron heads and hydraulic lifer (first company to use hydraulic lifters in production vehicle) overhead valve Cadillac V-16.

The V-16 is essentially two straight 8s on a common crank.

A stock 16 pumped out 165hp-185hp, but Don worked his up to 250hp by boring and stroking to 471 cid. With a custom ground race camshaft, porting and fabricating some new intake manifolds that mounted 4 for street use and 6 Stromberg 97s for racing.

His best trap speed in the line 1/4 was a pretty quick 114mph!

It’s amazing what those old guys were doing and coming up with when they were just kids!

~Blanton Payne




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