A Quick touch on Hot Rod History
Of all the parts for hot rods in the 40's-50's and 60's--the Stromberg is king. Almost every hotrod of this era had a pair, triples or up to six or eight with chrome scoops or bonnets. One of the core reasons for thier too use was the quick-ness to change the carb jets when swapping fuel during racing days. The great thing about thier popularity, there are alot of companies that make and carry parts for these carburator, keeping the love and thier use alive. Now, the 97 carburator has become so popular, they are being re-created and re-engineered new. Lets check out some of the other vintage Stromberg 2bbl "EE" models out there. All similar in looks to the popular "97" type carburator.
Stromberg Model "48"
The Model 48 had a 1-1/32" venturi and named for the jet size .048" I think. It was standard equipment on most 1934 and all 1935 Ford V-8 pass. cars and trucks. Most of these carbs are not marked 48, but some (not all) have the venturi size 1-1/32" stamped on the side of the bowl. This carb looks identical to the 97 and in fact uses the same base. The bases are marked EE-1. The top of the 48 will fit the 97 and many 97's out there have 48 tops, and 48's will have the 97 tops although the choke linkage ball detent is not found on the 48 top. The 48 makes a great hot rod carb because of increased cfm (approx. 170) over the 155 cfm of the "97". The actual flow bench checks show that in test the carb flow rates are not real consistent and a good flowing 97 will actually flow almost the same as some 48s. I think this is caused by the different casting molds used by Stromberg and sub-contractors over the years not being consistent. Die casting was a new thing to the industry back then and they had a few problems. I prefer the 48 carb for most overhead valve setups and hot flathead dual intakes. They are gaining in popularity fast today as guys find out just how good they perform with th extra 1/16" of venturi (31/32" vs 1-1/32"). The good cores are getting harder to find due to the growing demand for the "48" carbs today. Average cost is ranging between $150 - $250 per rebuildable core.
Stromberg Model "97"
The model "97" had a 31/32" or 97/100s" venturi and was standard equipment on the 1936, 1937 and a few early '38 Ford pass. cars and trucks with the V-8 flathead engine. This carb was made for many years as a replacement unit after it became obsolete on Ford cars and trucks. The Stromberg "97" is the most famous of all hot rod carbs. Some are marked with a large, raised "97" inside a circle on the side of the bowl. Some have a small raised "97". Others have a small stamped 97. Still others have no markings at all. Look for the 31/32" venturi size marked on the side of the bowl on some, but not all "97s". Stromberg 97 bases are usually marked EE-1 and are the same as the model 48. The later aftermarket bases were triangle shaped much like the holley 94. Some had vaccum ports for use on the later flatheads. The good cores that haven't been chromed, broken, polished, sanded, modified, stored outside, frozen, cut, ground on, and beaten on with large hard objects, are getting hard to find and costly with the popularity of nostalgia hot rods today. Average cost is ranging between $100 - $200 per rebuildable core. Average price for new rebuilds: $250. The NEW Stromberg 97 price average is: $450.
Stromberg Model "81"
The model 81 had a small 13/16" or 81/100s" venturi and was standard equipment on the 1937 and 1938 Fords with the small V-8-60 engine. This carb was very popular with the midget racers using the V-8 -60 in years past and even today.
It was not produced in large amounts and good cores are rare today. This little carb flowed about 125 cfm and make great hot rod carbs for small inch motors. Souped up Model A and B Ford and the little V-8-60 V-8 use these a lot.The body section and the base are much smaller inside on the 81 but the outside dimensions look the same. Most are marked with a large 81 on the side of the bowl, but all have the 13/16 venturi size stamped on the side of the bowl. The 81 uses a smaller base with tiny throttle plates and are marked marked EE-7/8. Average cost is ranging between $150 - $250 per rebuildable core.
If I missed anything, please add it in the comments; I'll post it.