A Cool Collection of Parts: 1925 Dodge Speedster

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The one thing we all need more of is time.  All of us have dreams about taking road trips, restoring or making a hot rod out of that favorite car, and, occasionally, spending time with family.  Yet imagine if you had the time, money, and expertise to make an automotive dream happen.  That must have been the scenario behind this 1925 Dodge speedster.  Whoever built this car must have fallen in love with old-time Indy race cars and decided to build a personal example using parts from multiple models and years of vehicles.  The result is a very interesting yet useable speedster that is capable of long runs at breakneck speeds.  Is this the kind of vehicle you would be interested in taking over the stewardship of?  Do you recognize any of the parts seen in the pictures?

So, what exactly is a speedster?  People back in the day were just like us.  They wanted to go fast.  Ricky Bobby’s grandaddy fast.  While you could make a speedster out of anything, the Model T Ford was the most popular choice for obvious reasons.  The first thing you did was find a roadster of some sort because they were usually the lightest body style.  Or you stripped the original body off the frame and built your own or ordered a speedster body when it became commercially available.  Then you started to remove everything that was not needed, such as the fenders, the tall windshield, the bumpers, and whatever else.  It was then that these budding speed demons noticed that the car sat taller because there was less weight on the springs.  Time to take a few spring leaves out and maybe look for ways to lower the body.  That was for the home-based speed demon.

For the folks that wanted to become a part of organized racing, you started with a frame of some sort, either home-built or a factory frame from a production vehicle.  Then you narrowed it as much as possible, with the major determining factors being if you wanted it to be a two-place car or a single seat and the width of the engine and the transmission.  From there you narrowed the rear end, narrowed and dropped the front axle, played with springs until you got the handling and height that you were looking for, and then built a body resembling what your racing heroes at Indianapolis drove.  Why no factory offered a speedster-like vehicle that you could buy off the showroom floor at that time is a mystery.  There were a few cars that were fast for their day, but nothing purpose-built unless you went straight to a race shop.

The car you see here is a combination of all of the above approaches with a small drop of later technology and modern aftermarket thrown in.  It is advertised as a 1925 Dodge speedster, but the ad does not say exactly what part of this car started as a Dodge.  The frame is from a 1932 Ford, and the Pete and Jake dropped front end is surely a hot rod unit for Fords of that era.  The engine, believe it or not, is a 194 cubic inch Chevrolet inline six with a Powerglide automatic transmission behind it.  The rear end is a new 9-inch unit.  Once again, the maker of the rear end is not mentioned, but most 9-inch rear ends in performance applications are Ford units or aftermarket products based on the Ford design.

How does it run?  The seller claims to have driven it from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Central City, Colorado, and back.  That is a distance of 272 miles and roughly 4 hours on the road.  A similar distance and time trip from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Julesburg, Colorado was also undertaken.  While riding atop the distressed leather interior was certainly plush, the windburn must have been fierce.  The seller states that they are reducing their collection and starting with the ones that run and drive.  This one most certainly would be a fun driver, and the build costs if you include labor were certainly substantial.

If you fancy yourself a gentleman racer with a need for vintage speed, then this 1925 Dodge speedster for sale here on Craigslist in Cheyenne, Wyoming may be the fix for you.  This interesting collection of parts could be yours if you are willing to meet the seller’s asking price of $19,500.  Thanks go to T.J. for this custom car find!

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Comments

  1. dave phillips

    I like this a lot. It looks like a very fun driver. The only thing that kills it for me is the automatic tranny. It’s an ideological clash, a speedster with an auto???? The car wants to take us back in time but there were no automatics in those days – makes it some kind of weird ‘back to the future’ ride. I would love it with a proper gear box, I just don’t have room/time for another project.

    Like 6
  2. Anthony H. Tellier

    Craigslist listed!

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      Why is that a negative? The ad got featured here, it’s not likely the only “specialty” website to do so either. The ad has probably been shared and passed around among enthusiasts.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  3. Anthony H. Tellier

    a “250” should be a “drop-in” …with headers and another carb … 28% c.i.d. gain …

    Like 3
    • Karlos

      A 292 6 cylinder with a three pedal set up would surely perk it up and with some good dual pipes, make it really sing.

      Like 9
  4. Steve

    How street legal are cars like this?

    Like 2
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevada1/2rackMember

      It really depends on where you are, i.e., here in Nevada it used to be you could easily license this as a homebuilt if you didn’t have a title. They’d assign and attach a “blue sticker” with an assigned NV DMV VIN and call it good.
      Last time I checked it was still the current attitude but who knows how long that will remain the norm..

      Like 2
  5. Todd J. Todd J.Member

    As far as what is Dodge on this car, maybe the radiator shell? Regarding the auto trans, some older guys like me don’t have the flexibility in the knee joints anymore and not having to push a clutch is a bonus.

    Like 7
    • Steve R

      It might be titled as a 25 Dodge.

      You are right about the automatic, it’s an example of the real world vs. keyboard world.

      Steve R

      Like 2
  6. Tom Bell

    Powerglide in that?? Someone’s more interested in appearance rather than driving. Too much effort to push that stick.

    Like 3
  7. bobhess bobhessMember

    Regardless of what folks think about the parts to build this car you have to admit to it being well put together and unique. My favorite parts are the two ’39 Chevy taillights.

    Like 6
  8. Kenn

    Probably not legal here in Michigan without fenders. However, motorcycle fenders in the front, trailer fenders on the rear and you’re good to go. Neat car.

    Like 3
  9. Ron

    Please do not insult the dodge brothers by using their name ever again!!!!!!!

    Like 1
  10. Joe Haska

    Jeff, to answer your first two questions YES & YES! I have nothing to criticize this car for, it is a work of art and the vision of its builder. If you like it or not, it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t built for your approval. It’s like a painting you bought for your home, you did it because you like it and you wanted it!

    Like 0
  11. John Spottswood

    I am thinking remove the Chevy 6 cyl., remove the slip&slide. Let’s replace the motor with a 225 slant 6 cyl. And a 904 or even a 727. Lets pull the 9 inch ( even though these are excellent rear gears ) replace it with a Dodge rear end with 392 gears.
    I am kind of a purist Chevy’s get Chevy pier, Fords get Ford power and Doge gets Dodge( Direct connection, Desoto, Plymouth, AMC or even early Jeep power)

    Like 0

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