This early exhaust manifold heater was cast from aluminum by the Central Specialty Company of Ypsilanti Michigan probably sometime in the early 1930's. That would have been before hot water heaters became popular and replaced exhaust heaters in all cars except for vehicles like the air cooled Volkswagen and Corvair models. As a mechanical engineer, I can't imagine how one could expect an aluminum exhaust manifold to last very long on an engine subjected to any kind of a load. Perhaps item this was actually a demonstrator used by salesmen marketing these manifolds to Ford dealers or after market parts supply houses. A part like this cast from aluminum rather than iron would be a lot easier to haul around and demonstrate to a potential distributor.
Perhaps this manifold was made specially for use at an automotive trade show. I believe that Pontiac built some cast aluminum exhaust headers for their V8's in the 1960's. They were used only on cars that were never driven on the street but run only for a couple of minutes or so at a time on a drag strip.If an aluminum exhaust manifold could work on a gasoline engine at all, it would have to be on the Ford flathead V8. That is because the exhaust gasses leaving that engine would be cooler than almost any other engine at that time. The Ford flathehead V8 exhaust gases were actually cooled somewhat inside the engine block before they reached the exhaust manifold. That was due to the fact that Henry Ford insisted on placing the exhaust manifolds on the outside of the engine block V rather than up near the intake and exhaust valves where they would normaly have been located.
The reason that flathead Ford V8's are harder to cool is that the radiator must ultimately dissipate part of the heat that is normally passed out in the exhaust gasses. That is because the Ford cylinder blocks have exhaust passages inside between the cylinders where cooling water is normally locayted.I will add more information soon. The item "Sum-R-Air Aluminum Exhaust Manifold Heater Ford Flathead V8 Street Hot Rat Rod" is in sale since Monday, December 7, 2015. This item is in the category "eBay Motors\Parts & Accessories\Vintage Car & Truck Parts\Interior\Window Parts". The seller is "toysanyone" and is located in Bozeman, Montana.
This item can be shipped worldwide.