Norden Machine Works - Culver City, CA

When you’re a gearhead the thought of making that rare find is omnipresent. Every barn you drive by is a potential treasure trove of parts, and every trailer that you pass on the freeway is a time capsule with just what you’re looking for.


Ten years ago my grandfather passed away. He was the ultimate gearhead having spent time racing and building cars, including one that is in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame. When I was young I could remember that he was tough, but I didn’t know why I thought that, and that he loved beer and Mexican food. I can also remember that he had two of everything and that the Noah’s Ark of car parts was organized and documented as though it would be audited by the racing gods. For each part a hanger and for each nut a drawer.

My Dad and I made the trip from Oregon to California to pick up some of his belongings which my Grandmother had decided to part with. Tools and toolboxes, small boxes of miscellaneous, and finally this small box with two carburetors.

There’s not much information about Norden Machine Works available online, but from what I can surmise they were one of Southern California’s speed equipment manufacturers in the late 1940’s and specialized in flat head equipment. They manufactured crankshafts as well as carburetors, and some other misc go fast equipment.

According to my Grandpa they bolted one of these carburetors to a Triumph drag bike, but it proved to be a little too much fuel. He said that when you ran the carb at wide open throttle the fuel inside looked like a golf ball. The carbs are unique in that the fuel is delivered from the center of the throttle plate.

I couldn’t assign a value to these carburetors, but I can tell you that in terms of “cool factor” they are a ten. If you have any information on the carbs or Norden Machine Works shoot me an email or leave a comment.