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As I recall, not a few record holders in NHRA were inported sports cars with American drive-trains!  A rare Bandini used to be seen in ad in HRM, powered by Cad.  Almost as interesting were the fiberglass-bodied sports-class cars -- and there were a million, for a while.  Folks have been doing creative and sometimes suicidal swaps in sports cars since long before our time.  Also, building neato bodies on US chassis; like the Railton-Hudson I found in our Feather River Canyon in N CA about 1978; but it found a good home.  Looked like a giant MGTD! < Old Carroll didn't invent nothin'! >

My favorite conversion was when my bro in law showed  me a mid-sixties A-H Sprite (or might have been an MG Midget) sitting in the high desert sage brush with a Chevy W-motor wedged in it.  Somebody gave up and left it sans wheels in the wind-swept wastes!

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Engine swaps like these were fairly common in my youth. A guy with a welder, a big V8 and a little imagination could build an inexpensive high-performance car. In the early 70s my cousin had an Austin Healy 100-4 powered by a 327 Chevy.  I can't remember the rest of the power train but the rear tires stuck out past the fenders quite a bit.  Probably added 100 horse power and was plenty fast and squirrely. While pretty crudely put together it reliable enough for a wild eyed kid to be a daily driver. 

Another kid I knew had a 58 Corvette with a 389 tri-power Pontiac engine. How we survived in those things is a mystery. 

The car culture's fascination with this type of car is probably why the Cobra was and is so popular. 

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, lucky 130 said:

I guess no one remembers the Cadillac/ Allards that gave the sports car world fits. 

What makes you think no one remembers?

Most likely all the geezer hardcore guys remember, and anyone who knows much about the history of road racing in the US.

Max Balchowsky's "Old Yeller" homebuilt specials were another series of earlier hot-rod road-race cars that kicked Euro sports cars butts...built from junk, Buick nailhead powered.

https://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2010/08/max-balchowsky-creator-of-old-yaller.html

https://www.oldyeller2.com/

Just A Car Guy: Max Balchowsky, creator of the "Old Yeller" series of ...

 

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
TYPO
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4 hours ago, lucky 130 said:

I guess no one remembers the Cadillac/ Allards that gave the sports car world fits. The could be bought for about 3000.00 in 1970.

Allards were basically factory built British hot rods.  And of course Sydney Allard was the guy who brought drag racing to Britain.

Sport cars that are built with essentially hot rod tech are the interesting flip side of this, and there are more than a few "specials" that blur the line between the two.

INT200102-p2.jpg

 

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On 8/1/2022 at 9:53 AM, Daddyfink said:

Incredble history of the sports modified class and how many C1 & C2 Corvettes were run in that class.

 

Thanks for ths history lesson.

Edited by Len Woodruff
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The great thing about the old /MSP class was that it didn't have to start out as a real car. Just like on the road courses, you could hammer out a few garbage cans, throw some cycle fenders on it, and as long as it met the other class specs you could call it a sports car.

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This is the Ingalls Special. It was owned (for a time), restored and ran at historic events by friend and fellow Pasadena Roadster Club member, Ed Dwyer. Based on a ‘31 Ford Roadster body and a DeSoto frame with early Ford axles. Originally powered by a Chrysler Flathead 6 but was restored with a hopped up Ford Flathead V8.

3966E350-B493-4667-A6A3-BB5702C2B817.jpeg.1594571385fdb819ab2762ede65c077f.jpeg

A brief story at the link below and other articles and pictures can be found on The Web.

https://barnfinds.com/american-pride-1937-ingalls-special/

 

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My boss has one of these plastic fantastics, an Allied Swallow (or what's left of one):

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Geoff over at Forgotten Fiberglass told my boss it was a cut-down coupe rather than a real roadster. Is that an MGTD frame under it?

P1100414.JPG

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On 7/31/2022 at 7:27 PM, Ace-Garageguy said:

One of the most interesting threads I've come across in some time. Your mileage may vary.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/hot-rod-sports-cars.956823/

I could spend a lot of time in that thread. The 289 powered P1800s were very interesting. But sadly, my employer would rather I do some work. Break's over.

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On 7/31/2022 at 6:27 PM, Ace-Garageguy said:

One of the most interesting threads I've come across in some time. Your mileage may vary.

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/hot-rod-sports-cars.956823/

img_8698_zps82ca8d68-jpg.2802908

I'm gonna guess that the MGA is using something other than the stock 1500cc four banger. My niece's husband tried putting a very large Ford V-8 in an MGA. The frame needs a LOT of reinforcement to make that work right. 

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On 8/2/2022 at 11:50 PM, Dennis Lacy said:

This is the Ingalls Special. It was owned (for a time), restored and ran at historic events by friend and fellow Pasadena Roadster Club member, Ed Dwyer. Based on a ‘31 Ford Roadster body and a DeSoto frame with early Ford axles. Originally powered by a Chrysler Flathead 6 but was restored with a hopped up Ford Flathead V8.

 

I was at the Monterey Historics in 2003 when there was a separate class for specials. There were many that would make excellent car model projects including the Ingalls Special. I am currently working on a tribute model to Old Yeller II which was not at that event but I saw at a later Historics event. 

INGLISS.jpg.18356915da5152ad0a19a6cb08a20a22.jpg

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14 hours ago, Phildaupho said:

I was at the Monterey Historics in 2003 when there was a separate class for specials. There were many that would make excellent car model projects including the Ingalls Special. I am currently working on a tribute model to Old Yeller II which was not at that event but I saw at a later Historics event. 

So neat that you got to see the Ingalls in person. As Ed purchased the car it had been fit with a 283 Chevy small block mated to an early Ford 3-speed trans. After some maintenance he took it to Monterey and ran it in that configuration and said the Chevy performed excellent and temps stayed cool and solid. After restoring it and installing the Flathead the car was plagued with overheating issues that kept him from fully enjoying it because he would have to bail out of every race session. Out of frustration he quit running it and put it up for sale. 
 

Fun Fact: The 283 small block that was removed from the Ingalls now resides in my own ‘32 Pickup and to this day every time Ed is around my truck he shakes his head and says he never should have changed it! 😁

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1 hour ago, Dennis Lacy said:

So neat that you got to see the Ingalls in person. As Ed purchased the car it had been fit with a 283 Chevy small block mated to an early Ford 3-speed trans. After some maintenance he took it to Monterey and ran it in that configuration and said the Chevy performed excellent and temps stayed cool and solid. After restoring it and installing the Flathead the car was plagued with overheating issues that kept him from fully enjoying it because he would have to bail out of every race session. Out of frustration he quit running it and put it up for sale. 
 

Fun Fact: The 283 small block that was removed from the Ingalls now resides in my own ‘32 Pickup and to this day every time Ed is around my truck he shakes his head and says he never should have changed it! 😁

Great story - I looked back at my photos but do not have one of the engine. Speaking of SBCs - at that event by chance I helped out in the paddock for the HWM Stovebolt Special. It was one of the grand prix cars used in the Kurt Douglas movie The Racers. After the movie was made the cars were sold off. One of the first 265 Chevy V-8s was installed with a quick-change rearend. It was raced for many years from California to Canada. It has resided in the UK since the 1990's and still is raced in vintage events and hillclimbs.

 

 

Edited by Phildaupho
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