It didn’t take long for Americans to discover that cars could be raced, and within months the first speed competitions were taking place across American cities. By the 1920’s auto racing was becoming a popular (and dangerous) family event, and not even the Great Depression could slow down the hot rodders on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
But you won’t find a lot of these old racers in museums or private collection. You’re more likely to come across them on eBay, where we found what the ad claims is a1937 midget race car powered by a Flathead Ford V8-60. Crazy, awesome, or both?
These days we’re almost used to the idea of V8-powered go karts. Hell, LS1-swapped Mazda RX-7 sport coupes are commonplace, and we’ve even seen ATV’s powered by 454 Chevy V8’s. But this is an old school racer in every sense of the word. The eBay ad claims this car dates back to 1937, and the engine is a Flathead Ford V8-60 from either a ‘39 or ‘40 Ford sedan. The front end is also supposedly from a Model A, which was not uncommon in midget racecars at that time.
However, according to our resident expert Bobby Kimbrough, there are numerous parts on this that are not of a ’37 vintage, including the cowl and tail, which he says are of Kurtis Kraft design post-World War II. Another give-away is the rear radius rods. They appear to be the Kurtis style hairpin radius rods, but the picture is not clear enough to tell with 100% accuracy. So this could actually be a mid-to-late 40′s midget racer, and not a ’37 as the ad claims. The exhaust appears to be of earlier vintage but back in the day racers used whatever was available.
Whatever vintage it is, this is a project car, as the engine isn’t hooked up and hasn’t been started in about six years. There are a few odds and ends that need fixing up before its streetworthy too, like the steering rod and exhaust. But once it’s been fixed up and cleaned up, this ‘37 midget racer would be a hell of a lot cooler than that golf kart you were considering. Faster too, we betcha.