American Pride: 1937 Ingalls Special

1937-Ingalls-Special-rear

Update Dec 16, 2014 – This cool little racer is still for sale, but has taken a $25k price hit!

From Jan 24, 2013 – We know, we know, it is not a barn find! We think you need to take a look at this though. Ed Ingalls, the creator of this little hot rod, wanted to go racing in the late forties, but he wanted to drive something from home. American manufactures were not yet producing sports cars, so he had little choice than to build his own. He scoured local junkyards and constructed what became known as the 1937 Ingalls Special.

1937-Ingalls-Special-period

At first Ed wanted to try his luck on the Salt Flats, but he ended up going road racing instead. He needed something light, agile, and powerful. What he came up fit the bill and actually looked pretty good, if you ask us.

1937-Ingalls-Special-v8

The hodgepodge of parts includes a ’31 Ford body, Desoto frame, and a flathead V8. Brakes were from Dodge, grill from LaSalle, and the dash was from an Auburn Speedster. This guy knew how take a pile of parts, pick the best ones, and turn it all into something that worked.

1937-Ingalls-Special-cockpit

It may have been pieced together, but the end result is attractive and functional. It even did well on the track against more expensive machinery from Europe. The car normally placed in the top 5 at most events entered in Northern California. It was a true American hot rod and it was built so well that we are sure Ed stood tall when going up against Ferraris and Allards.

1937-Ingalls-Special-racing

You can look at more photos and get the history of the car in more detail here on Fantasy Junction. They are asking $149k. Guess it is no longer cheap to run a hot rod these days…

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Comments

  1. Bruce

    …and that’s why it’s called, “FANTASY JUNCTION”.

    • paul

      Yes it’s cool just not 150’g cool!

  2. paul

    Very cool has that Allard J2 look about it.

  3. Chris H.

    Fantasy Junction has impeccable taste when it comes to cars, but boy are you gonna pay one hell of an entrance fee to own anything they list. All pricing seems to be at or near top of the market.

  4. Mark E

    You’re right, Paul! It’s more like sitting-in-the-garage-for-forty-years-but-you-get-it-to-run-in-one-afternoon-and-drive-it-home-all-for-$2500 cool!! Sigh…

  5. Kman

    Rear end reminds me of my red ’59 TR3.

    • kman

      I’m the other kman on this site. and this is weird but I also had a red ’59 TR3. Weird!!

  6. Robert

    In one of the pictures it appears to have either VW or porshe axles-hubs and wheels.

    • Michael Rogers

      The wheels and hubs are from the 37-39 Fords, it looks like they changed them in the new picture
      Holiday cheers!

  7. Steve Coe

    well if I take my MGA frame and drop in the 2.0 Cosworth Vega motor and a mini front end and the Mga rear half then give to my grandsons in 45yrs will it be worth $100k.we call it the Steve-o special

    Like 1
    • paul

      more!

  8. Robert J

    What a sweet car. Think I’ll go have a look at it in person at lunch time… in Emeryville.

  9. Somer

    Kind of like Old Yeller, the T-model that was raced and successful in sports car racing.

  10. Rene

    Well, the rims has been replaced at some point in time. And as far I can see the fenders have also been modified.

  11. FRED

    NICE LOOKIN RIDE CONCIDERING WHEN IT WAS BUILT

  12. Dolphin Member

    The build of this car is fabulous—what used to be called ‘sanitary’ back then. Everything was the best available, put together with skill. One of the things that jumped out at me are the brakes. At first I thought they were Al-Fin (for aluminium fins), but according to the description they are Ford backing plates with Buick drums. The best builds back then would have put things together to create the best systems possible, and a definite improvement over most stock systems. The drums are finned and the backing plates are drilled for cooling and have a scoop, which would have made the braking on this car among the best possible back when it was built. Of course that was before disc brakes appeared on cars.

    The interior is terrific—minimal and elegant at the same time, with an array of gauges that rivals some of the best Euro sports cars of the day. And those win and participation plates on the dash are the car’s medals for valor in combat back all those decades ago.

    The car is expensive, yes, but what you are buying is among the best of its time and a real piece of museum-quality US car history, a car you can run in historic events because it is eligible for them based on the fact that it actually competed in similar events, with good success, more than half a century ago. This car’s history goes back to the 1940s. Most rods go back to the ’50s at best.

    When you think of the fact that Sports Car Market magazine has just made a list of the top 500 car auction sales and that the cheapest of them was more than a million $, this car actually looks cheap at a fraction of those high-end prices. The good news is that this car probably won’t ever be worth less than the asking price because it has a great build, it’s unique, and it has an important, documented history.

    BTW, for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, the best possible presentation of cars like this on the big screen is ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’. The Bonneville segments are fabulous for “period” feel, and show lots of cars like this.

    OK, I’ve got to go now….I’m going to throw my disk of the movie in the player and watch it again, for about the 8th time….this time to see if I can find this car in it.

  13. gm barnett

    Why is the hell does anyone post anything for sale at Fantasy Junction – Predatory pricing, unrealistic claims – they probably are politicians in the real life. BS Detector not needed to read their Grimm’s tales of woe! Support scrupulous firms please!

    • Somer

      They have been around for a long time. I asked a friend in the area about them and he said that the owner is one of the cleanest you can deal with. I don’t think anyone is putting a gun to folks heads and making them buy there.
      I called about a car they had and he was very forthcoming with details. It also sold in 24 hours….:-( .

      • Robert J.

        I have been there several times and they were welcoming and friendly despite my lack of a suit and tie. Their prices are generally in Lind with expectations considering the fact that they are a dealer selling low volume rarities in excellent condition.

  14. gunningbar

    More specials please!

  15. Tim Moore

    Beautiful

  16. wheel wonk

    I have known Bruce, the owner at Fantasy Junction since he worked out of a back street warehouse in the late seventys. I sold my XK 150 through him to Switzerland, a mind bender to me at the time. He is very knowledgable and a true enthusiast, having vintage raced historic cars for years, you could do much worse than to associate with the people and cars there.

  17. Tritone

    @gmbarrett – Pretty unlikely you will find any BS about their inventory, the sellers are generally pretty knowlegable and experienced people. I have been both a customer & a ‘looky lou’ since the ’70’s. Always have very high prices, always have the most interesting selection, and always a great attitude to tire-kickers and customers. (just wish I could shop there again….) This car would be high on my list!

  18. Mark E

    I’m thinking if they’d dropped 100k (instead of 25k) off the price, they would be able to finally sell it… Just sayin’

  19. Matt

    What a nice build !!
    This guy had a vision, and created a car from it. Many interesting details like the brake backing plates bent inward up front to catch a cooling breeze, and the vent holes at the back for the rear brakes. Thanks for posting this car to see.

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