It's good to know that Ray's cylinder head patterns have survived. I have used two of Ray's aluminium sandwich heads over the years including one which was a prototype casting which he sent over to me to see whether I could use it.
I first met Ray when he came to Western Australia in 1992 to compete with his 1929 Chrysler 75. He won that event and when I had my own Chrysler to restore three years later, I went to Ray to ask his advice. He'd put a four speed 'box and a Ford diff into his 75 (which he later removed).
I race a 1927 (1928 model) Chrysler 72 Sports Roadster with a Chrysler 77 motor built as a basic replica of a car called Silverwings. I most recently raced it at the Red Dust Revival 2019 at Lake Perkolilli in Western Australia (www.motoringpast.com.au). The car was completed in 1997 and in about 2005 I put my first Ray Jones head on it. The greatest challenge was not having to regularly replace head gaskets. When Ray went to Mille Miglia and the Le Mans Classic he always took spare heads and gaskets. For reliability, I'm now back to a standard, shaved head but another hotter engine I am building will have one of Ray's heads on it.
I guess this is a bit of background to indicate that I've spent a lot of time over the years trying to make my Chrysler go faster. At the moment I am running a set of tuned extractors Ray gave me to see whether I could get some power improvements with them. He had them made for a set of SU carbs he put on his car. The pipes had to come out and up and over the SUs. They look weird but it's all just about having fun anyway. Extractors like this definitely provide more power over the standard manifold. On a right hand drive car like mine, the steering column and the fact that the intakes are under the exhaust ports makes it very tight to get that hot exhaust gas efficiently out of the engine bay.
Yes, Ray's found that at over about 8 or 8.5:1 compression there wasn't any point in lifting the compression any higher. Also, he experimented, and so have we with what to do with the two intakes which limit the "air pump". He tried all sorts of carb combos. I am running with a couple if English Zenith updrafts which were sold in Australia as a replacement carb for Buicks. They've always been good but it gets down to how much air can you get into the engine and not have it migrate between the cylinders. Our latest engine has baffles inside the block to see whether this, along with the overlap, can work better. That then led to the obvious solution which is supercharging. I have Ray's bitsnpieces in my shed from his work on using Wade superchargers from a Commer "Knocker" engine. I've never got around to finishing off this side of things but it seems like obvious way of getting more horsepower from the Chrysler engine which is too constricted on the intake side.
There are other ways to make the engines a bet more spirited. The counterbalanced crank is heavy and some weight can be taken off the flywheel. The oil pump can also be swapped for one with Ford V8 gears. On the engine we've been building for many years, it has a new oil pump made by Ray to give more volume and reliable pressure.
Ray really was the master of making the 1920s chrysler engines reach their full potential. He once gave me his 75 to drive through Sydney while he had something to do in his garage. The cars was sensational. I couldn't believe how free-revving it was compared to my car.
Ray's passing was a great loss. He had experimented with just abut everything to do with a vintage Chrysler engine.
Congratulations on making Ray's heads available again.
All the best