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Unidentified Racecar, probably prewar.


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Ok, since i seemed to have stirred a bit of a hornets nest this morning since joining the forums, i think ill do it once more. This time though, i need help identifying a car i own. and i will provide what few photos of it my computer has and what information i do know about it.

 

Firstly the story of how i acquired said car.

I found it on an add near my family's cabin in Heber Springs Arkansas. I contacted the individual who at the time owned a shop and had several other antique cars like the 20's model Buick pictured near in the background of one of the photos i will post. He said he got it from a local house that had recently been bought by a new couple, they discovered the car in a barn on the property that they were about to tear down due to it falling apart. From what we could both gather, the car had been in the barn for at least 45 years if not greater. The original engine is long gone and could not be found on the property. The car is approximately 10ish feet long or maybe a bit short. its small. When i bought it from him he told me he had offers of about 10k for the car unidentified as it is, but he sold it to me instead for 1,500 because he did not want to see it leave the state. Say what you may about this, but he was sincere and i agree, i do not want this car to leave this state either. But what is interesting is there is no way this car was whipped up in some random local garage. It has a lot of craft work put into building it. It even had a water cooled engine, whether it be a 2 or a 4 cylinder only the past knows for now.

 

It does still have the original rear end and gas take

original spare tire cover

The bumpers are probably not original as can be seen in the photos i will post.

It has a patent date on one of the control arms that dates it to 1927 in France and with the car being right hand drive i have no doubt this is where it originated. I will get a photo of this in the coming days

It has all four wheels and the wheels have 3 lugs each

Believe it or not the mechanical brake in the front and rear still work, but the frayed cable to the rear speaks otherwise to those unknowing.

It is such a strange little car and i had to have it. Iva had the car for 2 years now hiding it in a storage unit far from the nearest rain. It unfortunately will need a new frame, the box frame rotted out on it from being left in the barn for years unattended.

 

I do apologize if this is not the correct forum to be posting something like this in, and if that is the case i will remove the post entirely. I just figured there would be a good knowledge base here to help me identify it?

 

Photos will follow, please don't reply until i have posted all of the photos and leave a mark on the final photo indicating so.

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To TTR, no i assure this whole car is solid metal. And maybe it is home built, but it being what it is it doesn't come across being as such, but if i am wrong regardless its super cool!

 

To Asancle and dustycrusty-- Holy crap!!! I haven't even gotten that far in the 2 years Ive had it, that's an exact match!!!!! But it still begs the question of what is it? Austin wheels and a Cord dash? This thing is getting weird! Aren't Cords super rare? maybe not but who just has a cord dash laying around? Or maybe in my case with this car, who had? What do you guys think, a Renault/Austin/Cord mystery car? I'm excited just knowing what the dash is from, its awesome y'all recognized those parts! I've been lost for 2 years now! 

 

But then the question begs to be asked, the control arms patent dates to France in 1927, the wheels are from(correct me here if wrong) an Austin, and the Dash is from a Cord??? This is some awesome information, I've been stuck on this thing for so long!

Edited by Rusty_1999 (see edit history)
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Nicely made , but almost certainly home built. There were many nicely made , home built cars 80 years ago. Nearly all the non - professional level race cars were in essence " home built " back in the 1920's , 30's , 40's. And many " racing car " style road cars.  Needs a ton of work, but at least its a very small car.

 

Greg

 

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It looks like the casting behind this lever arm reads "Luvax", which was a popular Post War (WW II) damper or shock absorber used on Post War MGs and Jaguars, to name a few.  I'm not sure if the Luvax damper was produced prior to WW II, but the lever arm, piston-type of damper was apparently not invented until 1935, making such dampers relatively "new technology" prior to the war.  I speculate that such dampers were not in common use prior to the war, but my knowledge of these things is somewhat limited.  Others with more knowledge, please let us know.

 

 

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Whatever that car is, it's certainly cool.  It would be interesting to track down its provenance.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Recently, I think it was theoldmotor had a short article about people building minicars out of whatever bits they had available during World War 2 in order to stretch their rationed gasoline. I have read of this before, and seen quite a number of photos of such cars over the years. I see pieces in this from American cars, European cars, probably British cars, and many parts altered to size or fit. All that along with some homebuilt framework and probably most of the body. The Cord dash is a nice touch, and in those days was likely available from a number of Cords that had become just old enough and too expensive to maintain. Quite a few of them went to the war effort metal drives. Things like dashes used to hang by the hundreds (for lots of cars!) in the rafters of auto salvage yard buildings (I remember seeing a few such buildings when I was little.

 

To me, it looks like an interesting side-note in the history of the automobile, and should be carefully restored and preserved as such. Cord dash and all.

 

Figuring out what engine it may have had may or may not be possible looking at the remnants of the mounting and connections. Austin/Bantam or Renault would be likely small car engines. It also may have had something along the lines of a Briggs and Stratton. What that could have used for a transmission could be a problem, Fit and connections in the car may offer clues. The drive shaft and rear end look awfully heavy for such a small car, suggests something bigger than a common B&S motor.

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1 hour ago, nzcarnerd said:

The transverse leaf front suspension got me thinking, and I knew I had seen those wheels before - different in style to those used by Austin.

 

I think some of it at least is pre or post WW2 Standard 8 (not to be confused with the large 1920s American car of the same name).

 

Standard Eight - Wikipedia

  I like those wheels much better- too bad I couldnt find out if theyre tri-lugged.  But look at the Standard 8's hood (especially that front latch location) and grille profile!

 

 

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Edited by dustycrusty (see edit history)
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Not sure about Luvax shocks but I have some Monroe single acting piston hydraulic shocks with patent date of 1926.  I think you nailed it with the Standard 8 being the basis for this.  Do you think it was ever finished and was actually on the road?

 

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Firstly, THANK YOU SO MUCH to those that have helped me come this far. I think i have a good idea of what this car is now or at least possibly.

 

I do in fact believe this car was on the road for at least some time, it just screams to me that it was for at least a year or two.

 

Here's how i think its story went.

The body, meaning mostly the front(hood, and what was the grille and the wheels all of the way around) resemble a Standard Eight way to closely. So I now believe that (especially looking at the body lines on my car where the fenders are missing and looking at the standard eights front fenders and hood) That someone somewhere, either in Europe or here stateside built this car off of a Standard Eight front end, put in a Cord 810/812 dash, and built this car.

 

What is an interesting thought is that MAYBE, Some soldier from WWII saw this car over in Europe and brought it stateside or someone who immigrated from Europe brought it with them either during or after the war. I like the idea that it was one of those little gas ration-er cars and that's why this may have been built, either that, or someone had what was left of a Standard and thought it would make a neat racer. Either way, i have no doubt it was originally constructed in Europe somewhere, probably Britain.

 

Once again i really appreciate everyone's comments and all of the information theory so far. I cant wait to see what we continue to uncover!

 

Also, does anyone have a photo of a Standard Eight's frame? I wonder if it was also used in the construction of this car or if the frame is completely home-brew? The whole frame was boxed and that's probably why it rusted so badly.

 

Also pictured below is a standard eight engine and the rear of another which gives us a god view of the wheel on the rear. She's definitely a standard eight cord thingy in disguise! But with how small the standards engine is and how small the engine bay is on my car i think we have a definite match. Now if or when i decide to attempt a restoration i may have an idea of what motor i need to acquire(i was thinking an MG engine if one cannot be found).

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"Also, does anyone have a photo of a Standard Eight's frame? I wonder if it was also used in the construction of this car or if the frame is completely home-brew? The whole frame was boxed and that's probably why it rusted so badly."

 

A rotted box frame? If that chassis was custom made, thats some serious attention to Anglo-Saxon detail! 

 

It looks like somebody in the late 1940's-early '50's either had a Standard 8 Triumph that was totalled, or decided the factory body wasnt jaunty enough for them and made their own homage to those classic early 1930's British roadsters of yore. Oh, yeah, and the local scrapyard still had a few Cords in the back row...

 

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I would bet that it's a compilation of parts, assembled to make some sort of home built car. The rear fenders look very much like '41 thru '48 Station wagon spare tire covers. The rear quarters look like something fabricated with flat steel, very non discript with no detail.

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