If you ever found yourself around the hot rod show circuit in the early 60s, you may remember an innovative ride from Oregon dubbed “Orange Crate.” While it’s been years since this iconic show car was in its prime, the citrus-colored Ford has appeared once again in the hot rod world, this time for sale. As we found out from Bangshift, the curiously unique Orange Crate hot rod is currently available on RacingJunk.com. But don’t whip out your check books just yet. The classic show car comes with a price tag north of $100k.
Back in 1959, a Portland Oregon man by the name of Bob Tindle set out to get himself a hot rod. He bought a ‘32 Ford Sedan that already had some traditional rodder touches, like a chopped roof and molded rear fenders, but the car was quickly changed into something a bit more unique.
After the hot flat-head engine was exchanged for a late-model Oldsmobile unit with six carburetors, originally built and run in a ’57 Corvette that belonged to Dave Bell, the ‘32 hot rod was raced. Though the car was tuned by Keith Randol, who later went to Indy with a RollaVollstedt-owned racecar, and the car gave quite a show on the track, Tindle decided he wanted to get into the show circuit.
A custom chassis was fabricated for the car out of hand-bent 3-inch Shelby tubing to start off the new build.
The hot rod also received an adjustable suspension in the front and a Halibrand Sprint Car quick-change setup in the rear, as well as wheels, from an old Sprint Car. The Olds engine was rebuilt by Dick Maris and enlarged to 417cui.
The new engine build also brought a Potvin blower and Hilborn injectors, as well as a new B&M Hydro transmission. The entire setup was good for 600+hp and made the car an incredible show car as well as fierce track competitor.
The new build got its fair share of chrome, which lead to the unique design used under the Orange Crate name. Wanting all that chrome to be shown off instead of hidden, Tindle asked that the entire body be built so it could tilt up for show displays. With the help of anti-flex support members, Randol created the unique tilt feature you see today. The body of the car was then finished in Naples Orange paint after it was completely smoothed by Von’s Body Shop, giving the car its well-known Orange Crate designation.
We don't need to count the trophies Orange Crate has won to see just how special this iconic hot rod is
In just two short years, the hot rod went from traditional to extraordinary and the show circuit took notice. In 1961, the car won the Best Competition Car award at the Winternationals and took home the America’s Best Competition Car award at the Oakland Roadster Show.
In 1962, the car made its way onto the cover of Hot Rod magazine in February and went on to once again win at the Winternationals. By the end of 1962, the car was widely known across the country, so much so that the Revell toy company created an Orange Crate 1/24-scale model car kit based on measurements taken from the actual hot rod.
Orange Crate once again took home the title of America’s Best Competition car at the 1963 Oakland Roadster Show, but the car was retired from the show circuit shortly there after.
Just like many iconic cars of the pre-muscle car era, Orange Crate then sat in storage and virtually disappeared for years. By 1965, Tindle had sold the car that was later picked up by drag racer Ted Gord in 1975. Although plans to restore the car were discussed the car remained with Gord virtually untouched until now, though the car has been shown by Gord several times.
Orange Crate is now up for sale on RacingJunk.com in its unrestored condition for $150,000. This seems a bit steep but we are talking about one of the most well-know and innovative hot rods of the early 60s, so Gord might just get his asking price. The ad for the car expires in June, so you’ve got at least a little time to mull the six-figure price tag over and convince your significant other that the memories the car brings back are worth the expense.