1937 Midget Racer: Almost Across The Finish


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This race car, #78 is in Hereford Pennsylvania and listed here on eBay. It started life in New Hampshire where it was constructed in 1937. It was campaigned there until 1942 when it passed to Ferris Rand of San Diego, California and was registered with the United Midget Association. Its original plaque is still installed on the car’s dash.

The car was campaigned throughout California in the 1940’s and early 1950’s as per the seller. From that point the car sat dormant. In the early 2000’s a collector started a total restoration.

The seller states it is powered by a rebuilt ’37 Ford V8 paired to a 3-speed transmission w/ reverse, a cut Model T frame, a Model A cut front axle, ’32 Ford spindles, a locked and narrowed Model A rear with ’27 Model T wheel centers, live rear hubs, Model T front hubs and pressure plates, Model T rear axle plates and axle, ’23 Franklin center steering, ’35 Ford Pickup grill shell (sectioned and narrowed), a Model T brake lever, an early Henderson Motorcycle Generator, a Model A front, and a handmade steel body.

The seller states that this is a totally restored example only requiring the finishing touches of paint and chrome.  At the time of this writing bid was at $3,749.95 with the reserve not meet. Here’s a project where most/much of the work has been completed. Are you up to taking this Midget Racer to the finish line?


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  1. Matt Tritt

    The car is great! The seller doesn’t need to explain automotive history but feels compelled to do so. Another flipper trying to score.

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  2. RayT

    I agree with Matt. Anyone who’d be seriously interested in this would likely know much more about it than the flipper does.

    Of course a serious buyer would have to figure on much more than paint or chrome. All the “restoration” work done so far would have to be checked thoroughly before one could figure on hitting the dirt (even vintage-style) with it. Lots of time (and money) ahead for disassembling, crack-testing, reassembly, and so on.

    Not saying it’s not worth the current bid; for the right guy, I think it is. But it isn’t — and won’t be — Dirt Cheap.

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  3. DREW V.

    $4,850 now Reserve not met…

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  4. Jim Norman

    I think this car is great too. And I love seeing it here. But what I’m getting a little weary of is the constant negativity of several types that I’m increasingly seeing in comments. First, there are those who seem to relish the opportunity to point out the obvious, the stuff than anyone could see, just to take a knock at what is being posted. You know, like “The wheels look grungy.” Some of this stuff seems to me to be sour grapes, based on the fact that the commenter isn’t the person who found the car. And then there’s the folks who disparage what they see by applying the “flipper” label. I think people who “flip” cars do a very real service to those of us who appreciate the cars they find. They get out there and look for, find and acquire the precious metals they are trying to sell. Without them, these cars would continue to rust away in barns, garages and fields. So if you like what they find, but you don’t like what they do, get out there and find the iron first. As for “trying to score,” there’s nothing wrong with making money from the effort you make. If you don’t like the price, simple — don’t buy.

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    • KO

      Amen, Jim Norman. Amen.

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    • JoshStaff

      Well said Jim!
      Everyone is free and welcome to express their opinion here on Barn Finds, we even enjoy helpful criticism, but we want the site to be a positive place to find cars in need of saving, to learn, share stories, and most importantly – connect with other barn finders! We will do our best to keep things upbeat, but we need everyone’s help to keep the site a fun place to visit. Truth be told, this site isn’t about us or the work we put into it, it’s about you guys, your stories, experiences, and knowledge. So let’s try to keep it a place we all can enjoy! Thanks Jim!

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    • DolphinMember

      I agree especially about the ‘flipper’ criticism that we see so much of and that seems to be extreme for not much of a reason a lot of the time. It takes time, effort, and money to locate, pay for, and move cars that are often very dirty and in bad shape, but might have value to people.

      This midget is a good example of the really interesting finds that it’s good to see made available to bidders on a major website that gets a lot of traffic. Given that, it’s likely to go to someone who will do the right thing with it.

      What I find annoying is not a guy buying and then reselling a car. It’s the hard sell that we see so much of that’s not based on facts or a good understanding of what’s being sold, and often includes errors or made up statements that seem intended to just create a ‘story’ and high bids. That often appears in ads with bad photos or no photos of important parts of the car like the underside and sometimes even the engine bay. When you combine hard sell with poor presentation it can be pretty hard to swallow.

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      • Jamie Palmer JamieStaff

        Very well put, Dolphin. I do wish folks selling a car would take it off the trailer before taking pictures, though :-)

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    • KO

      Have to admit, I used to get a little twinge about the whole flipping thing. Then I realized it was because I was jealous. Straight up. There’s people out there DOING what I think would be a blast to do and so interesting. They’re making a go of it and essentially living my dream because they have the gumption to do it. More power to them, they really are providing a valuable service.

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  5. Dan

    Bet that lil thing will scoot with that flathead in it….and probably doesn’t weigh 1200 pounds tops…

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  6. JW

    That is a pretty cool race car, my problem with it is me, I would be racing it up and down my street until the law showed up.

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  7. jim s

    it is an interesting race car and piece of history which i hope gets saved. are they cable or juice brakes, and brakes on the back only? it is nice to look at but i am not sure that i would want to drive it or race it. great find.

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  8. Richard Lewis

    Looks good to me. If this sells under $10,000 it will be bargain.

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  9. Dougm

    kudos to Jim, Josh, weighing in on the bashing. I would think most of us subscribe because we’re in love with all things mechanical and hope to learn something more than the obvious.

    This one is more than a blip on my radar, been looking for a nice historic race car and I know this would be a blast, just not sure if SVRA would et me run it at the Glen, Lime Rock or Roebling Rd. Grew up in Cent Pa, there is a considerable growing group of circle track folks preserving these little beasties.

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  10. Mike

    Some years back I worked as a hobby on a dirt track modify that ran at a local dirt track, one of the class of cars was always sprints and midgets. these cars were fun to watch and to get to help work on. The only bad thing I ever saw that caused an injury other than flipping a sprint or midget racer, was one night the transmission housing broke on the midget racer, guess where the flying metal went right into the drivers backside and private area, you see most of these cars only had a piece of sheet metal to covering over those bottom areas. But today sprint or midget have a safety plate in there now plus the drive shaft goes through a protective tunnel to help protect the drivers bottom region.

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  11. Matt Tritt

    I hope that someone from this group buys it. You NEVER see them for sale to the general public and this is a very rare opportunity.

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  12. Joe Daliessio

    Whom ever gets this lucky car if the flathead is opted to remove please contact me at menahonie@yahoo.com thanks

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