Back in the 1950s if you wanted a sleek roadster that was as fast as it looked you bought a Corvette or a European sports car, or you made one yourself. This hand-built roadster is an example of the latter: a one-off special with an American drivetrain and a unique body likely inspired by the Allard J2 or one of the open-wheel race cars of the day. Find it here on eBay in Lake Mills, Wisconsin with bidding already over $50,000 and the reserve not met.
This roadster was the creation of Wally Troy, who was the first Jaguar dealer in Illinois, and also a speed shop owner. The car was completed in 1959 and appeared in an issue of Hot Rod Magazine the following year. After that the trail runs cold until 1975, when the current owner purchased the car. He oversaw a complete restoration in the 1990s, and the car was subsequently displayed at Amelia Island and other events.
By the time the car was discovered in 1975 the original Chevrolet V8 was missing, so a 350 Chevy was installed, along with a Corvette manifold and dual quads. The front axle is Ford with a transverse leaf spring and radius rods, and the rear axle is a 1950s Ford 9-inch with leaf springs and radius rods. Brakes are Chevrolet disc in front and Ford drum at the rear.
The body shows small differences from the one pictured in the 1960 Hot Rod Magazine article, especially in the shape of the radiator cowl and the rear of the body, suggesting that this body was newly fabricated based loosely on the 1960 photos. The nerf bar at the rear also shows minor differences from the one in the period photos. A fabricated tube frame supports it all, with a belly-pan underneath.
The interior contains a plain dash with a wonderful engine-turned panel housing a half-dozen vintage instruments. The steering wheel is a classic 4-spoke design, and there are small curved Plexiglas screens for the driver and passenger. The stick shift and knob suggest that a Chevy 4-speed takes care of transmitting all that power to the Ford differential.
The red piped black leather seats look great with vintage seat belts. It looks snug in there, but we are sure you forget all that once you get behind the wheel and hear that V8 roar to life. Low powered convertibles can provide plenty of thrills, so we can only imagine how exciting this beast is to drive.
We are not sure how closely the car was restored to original form, but either way it looks like a lot of fun. The car is described as being “extremely fast”, and we have no doubt about that!