Engine designer, engineer
Known as the "King of the V8," Sully was vital to Ford's Indy, NASCAR and Le Mans success in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The man who Henry Ford called “my wild Irishman” started at Ford in 1928. A few years later, Sullivan was one of five engineers Henry personally picked to design the first mass-produced monoblock V8, the Ford Flathead, which became popular in all forms of motorsports. A project so secret, Ford had the men work in Thomas Edison’s former workshop in Greenfield Village. Sullivan played major roles in developing the V8-60 midget racing motor and stock-block Ford Miller-Tucker that raced in the 1935 Indianapolis 500. A wizard of NASCAR competition, he worked on the automaker’s 312, 352, 390, 406 and 427 CID powerplants. Sullivan was a key contributor to the 289 and 427 engines for inductee Carroll Shelby’s racing and street Cobras, Mustangs and GT-40s. Ford performance legend Bill Stroppe said, "If there was a gold medal for Ford performance, Sully would have it."