yes. is this pressurizing an air tank which in turn does the fuel tank, or the fuel tank directly?
Yes, when you see a Moon tank (surplus aircraft tanks of various sizes were also used in the post-war days) and a hand pump in the cockpit, the hand pump pressurizes the small (Moon, etc) tank directly, which then feeds directly to the engine. The small tank was manually filled with fuel sufficient for the run beforehand, and there would be no need for a stock tank.
Most of the Model T and A bodies that would have been run at the dry lakes or in early drag-racing had stock tanks in the cowl and these also were sometimes pressurized by an external hand pump. From '32 onward the Ford stock tanks were in the tail, had mechanical engine-driven pumps, and I've never seen one of these fitted with a hand-operated pressure pump though it's entirely possible they could have been.
Conventional electric fuel pumps were available as war surplus, and by 1949 as aftermarket equipment. The optimum location for any electric pump is close to the tank and below the fuel level, so it will self-prime and push fuel, which it is better at doing than pulling it.