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1937 Ingalls Special

Road racing in America after World War II was almost exclusively the province of European sports cars such as Jaguar, Ferrari, Porsche and others. There were also hybrids (European cars powered by American V-8s) such as Allards. But in those postwar years, if you wanted to go road racing in an American sports car, you would have to build one of your own. Ed Ingalls, a hot-rod builder from Lafayette, California, did exactly that. He started with a 1937 DeSoto Airflow frame from a junkyard over which he placed a channeled ’31 Ford roadster body. Underneath was a combination of various components including a Model A Ford front suspension and a ’39 Ford rear. The original engine was a 1941 Chrysler six-cylinder with three Stromberg carburetors, but the car had several different engines over its lifetime, including, of course, an early flathead Ford V-8. By 1953, the car had become well known at California road-race venues. This was also the year Ed added new custom aluminum rear fenders because the radius of the car’s Model A fenders did not match the radius of the rear tires. Style matters.


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