Calling Jay Leno: 1915 Van Blerck Special

1915 Van Blerck Special Front

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Here is another high dollar beast, but this one makes the Allard look tame. This monstrosity was built by Gary Wales and it has changed hands a few times since then. We think this one might be right up Jay Leno’s alley. You can find it here on eBay, but you had better have Jay’s pocketbook because this car has a BIN of $175,000.

1915 Van Blerck Special Side

This thing has some major presence because it is huge. It was built on a fire truck chassis so it measures almost eighteen feet long and seven feet tall. Yet there is only enough interior space to seat two. Most of the space was needed for that engine. Notice the double chains used to turn the rear wheels. We would hate to be around when one of those gives out! There are so many unique touches here that we could look at it all day and still find new details.

1915 Van Blerck Special 17 Litre Engine

Here is what took so much room up front. That is a 17 liter inline six. That’s right 17 liters! That is one huge engine. The engine was originally built by Joseph Van Blerck back in 1915, hence the name of the car. His business specialized in marine engines and many of his power plants powered record setting powerboats. We have all heard of twin spark engines, but this monster is a tri spark! It needs three sparks per cylinder to ignite all that fuel.

1915 Van Blerck Special Rear

The seller claims that 60 mph makes you feel “like a God riding a fire breathing dragon-like chariot!”. We think that may be an understatement. The price may seem high, but this one-off creation has changed hands a few times over the years for amounts not too far off the asking price. You can read more about it in the listing and here on Concept Carz. We would love to take a ride if anyone picks it up. Maybe Jay will chime in on this one?

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  1. A fool and his money........

    So this name-dropping “Pebble Beach” bum takes a junked American LaFrance fire truck chassis and engine for $500, gets it going and names it in honor of a Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang extra? LOL

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  2. rham.1

    Saw this a few times. When it’s running, even being NEAR it is like being near a fire-breathing dragon. It looks dangerous just standing still. And, therefore, it’s one of my favorite things!

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  3. His Royal Flatulence

    This is how steampunk should be done.

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  4. Scot

    Sorry I find the people that raced cars of that era brave and fool hardy while I find someone that would buy and drive this thing and the other cars that this guy builds clowns.There is not to much engineering in taking an old boat engine and putting it in an old style frame and then building something out of a 1960s comedy for a body. In 1915 they were building leading edge technology. This guy is building high priced clown cars that mock the past and calling them art.Normally I refrain from being negative about someone’s creativity. With this guy I will take exception.

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  5. Brick

    Well… This “Pebble Beach Bum” managed to sell this thing for $286,000.00! in 2007… Not too bad for a cobbled together impractical monster? I guess he’s laughing all the way to the bank?

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  6. CJ

    Hey, as long as he’s not misrepresenting the thing, what’s the harm? Looks like a blast, if perhaps a bit silly, but this is America and there’s an a$$ for every seat isn’t there?FWIW, This past weekend I saw the 1909 Alco “Black Beast” which won 2 Vanderbilt Cup races and participated in the first Indy 500 in 1911 and THAT was the school of cool. Also, the owner was giving rides & jumping mud puddles in a field with it. My 6 y/o son got a ride and was grinning ear to ear!

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  7. hall442

    Well, I wouldn’t buy it with that motor in it. lol!!! But if someone was making a copy of an older vehicle, with a normal size motor, at a reasonable price, I would probably buy it. I couldn’t afford the real thing. but sure, I’d like to drive an old classic. Now, to hit the lottery…lol!

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  8. gary wales

    I am the name dropping Pebble Beach bum described by a few losers , I am also the fellow who saves old tired,worn out lumps from going to the big junk yard in the sky.My question to the losers who snivel about what I do is to ask you ,what have you done in the car world ???? GET A LIFE LOSER. see what I have done . Google (gary wales cars)

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