This car was built in 1915 up in Northern Michigan. It has a Fronty Model T block in it with an overhead rocker arm conversion. Its' builder raced it for a few years and then turned it into his own hot rod of its time.
The car was built from scratch from galvanized sheet metal. The car was so light that is was easily lifted.
Sheet metal disks have been screwed to the car's wood spoked wheels, likely more for aesthetics than for function.
“Speedy” Bill credits squirrels for the car surviving in its current condition. When the farmer builder stopped driving the little Speedster in 1929, he stored it in a barn, where it sat untouched (by humans) until 1980. A fellow named Buck Budeman had learned of the car and was able to acquire it. When they finally pulled the Speedster out from its long resting place, the interior and all other internal spaces were found to be chock full of walnut shells.
Thanks to industrious local squirrels, the leather upholstery and seat padding materials were mostly gone, but the wood and metal components were surprisingly well preserved. The natural oils from the tightly packed walnut shells must have helped preserve many of the car's hard materials.
Bill traded a wrecked NOVI race car (less engine) to Budeman for the little galvanized Speedster. The race car had crashed at Bonneville during a practice run attempting to capture some speed records.
Mondays & Fridays: 12pm-4:30pm