Help Solve A Mystery: Find This Race Car!

Barn Finds reader Michael has written in and suggested that we help with the search for this one-off sports car. The “wanted” listing is here on craigslist and is suitably from Bridgehampton, New York. We don’t know a lot about the car, but apparently it was commonly seen at Bridgehampton Sports Car Club of America races in the early 1950’s.

While the car looks somewhat like a Jaguar, the person looking for it tells us that the car “was made up of a hodgepodge of parts, tubular chassis, fiberglass, German, British and American parts, hand made aluminum body and a lot of Bondo!”  We’re told that originally it had a Lea-Francis 1500 cc engine and was last seen in the early 1960’s in the Long Island area. Apparently it was in poor shape even then, but the seller is hoping it’s survived in a barn or garage somewhere. If you’ve seen it, visit the ad here and let them know, and be sure and tell us too. I’ll say it’s a gorgeous body, so I hope someone does know where it is!

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Comments

  1. Tim

    bmw 328mm-ish

  2. Karguy James

    That looks like a 1937 BMW Mille Miglia race car and possible a Veritas variant. It is NOT some patched together piece of crap as the searcher is claiming. Seems they want to locate a rare and VERY valuable car without letting anyone else in on the secret. If you find it, buy it yourself as a 1937 BMW Mille Miglia can easily be a multi-million dollar car if found.

    Like 1
    • Dirk

      You’re quite right James. Well spotted.

      Like 2
    • VwbussEd

      Give Karguy James a scooby snack! Mystery solved and the bad guys have been unmasked! My question now is, can you pick me up in the mystery machine for the next adventure? Well done sir. Very well done.

      Like 1
    • techwreck

      definitely looking for Karguy’s Mille Miglia – the email provided in the ad comes back to this –> The BMW 328 Vertias Farm is dedicated to the History of Veritas and BMW Pre/Post War History.

      Like 1
  3. jw454

    I have to say I agree with Karguy James. It sure looks like the same car as he has pictured. Giving the searcher the benefit of the doubt, maybe he just thought is was a hodge podge of parts. Who knows. It is a neat looking car either way.

    Like 1
    • Karguy James

      As soon as you say “hand made aluminum body” and it looks THAT good, there is no way someone with “Veritas” in their own email address does not know what this car is.

      It even has the correct (and VERY Valuable) BMW knock-off wheels on it just like the Mille Miglia car. If you look closely at the photo, it even has a BMW emblem on it. The front was probably wrecked at some point and that front end put on it slightly disguising the car. But it’s the same car. ALL details line up, gas cap location, door opening, windshield location, wheel openings, hood louvers, etc etc etc

      Like 1
  4. Karguy James

    Closer view showing the BMW Emblem. The reference to the Lea-Francis engine was also probably to throw people off of the scent.

    • Bridgehampton1955

      That was a car Larry drove it did have a 1.5L Lea Francis motor in it at one time, BMW knock wheels, it was fast, I believe it had several Motors’s in it over the years, rarely finsined a race but it was beautiful good luck to the guy searching for it

      Like 1
  5. george

    Karguy James. you are so right. even his contact has veritas in it. what a jerk.

    • Karguy James

      Well, you can’t really blame the guy for trying. LOL

  6. ccrvtt

    The rear fenders on the Veritas look to be more elongated than on the cream car. Were there variations on the Veritas bodies that would explain this? Otherwise everything Karguy says makes sense, especially the louvers on the hood.

    Like 1
    • Karguy James

      ALL of these bodies were hand made and each one has it’s own variances. When they made these handmade bodies, even if they made several of them, each panel would have the car’s serial number stamped in it because it would not fit any other car. The Mille Miglia car was built by BMW, not Veritas, but Veritas built several other cars and race cars on the BMW platform. The car could also have been hit in the back and slightly modified, but the small decklid and other features are dead on.

  7. Karguy James

    Here is another BMW based Veritas variant that was recently unearthed when the barn owner asked some guys to help him get an old junk car out of his way. Turns out the car may be a half million dollar collectors item when it is restored and perhaps worth over a hundred grand in its current condition. It isn’t even a very attractive car like the one the OP is searching for. Notice the same BMW knock-off wheels?

    This one also had a front end wreck and was modified.

  8. Edward Skakie

    Karguy James, you really have the correct nom de plume! A quick google search shows the telephone number info:

    Vern Eide Classics 3500 W 59th St Sioux Falls, South Dakota Heath 605-201-9563 Jeff 605-929-2909 hrodney@verneide.com

    Kudos to you! Thank you as well, you’ve done everyone here an eye-opening service.

    • Karguy James

      BEEEEEEP…. “I am sorry, Karguy James cannot be reached at this moment as he is out searching the Long Island New York area for a “hodge podge” type car. Please leave a message at the tone” BEEEEEEP

  9. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    Kudos to Karguy! Nice detective work!

    Like 1
  10. Cattoo

    How is it the seller does not know where “his” car is? How is he the selling something he doesn’t even have?

  11. Martin Sparkes

    There is a possiilty a locally raced sports car might be languishing in a local barn. And a craigslist ad would reach many people who do not know cars at all, but may remember seeing an old sporty looking car collecting dust somewhere. Craigslist ads are free. Certainly worth a shot. There is an original 289 Cobra half a mile from my house. Hasn’t moved for 20 years. The owner knows what it is but noone else does. I only know because I quoted a job for him and peeked in the shop window.

    Like 1
    • Steve65

      The advertiser is a craigslist litterbug. “Free” does not mean “anything goes”.

  12. Steve A.

    Dirtbags everywhere. I feel like contacting the guy and tell him it’s in my uncle’s barn. See what he says.

  13. Beatnik Bedouin

    I’m with Karguy James – it’s most likely a Veritas. Hopefully, it wasn’t sent to the junk yard, as many tired old sports cars were, back then. Fingers crossed that it still exists.

  14. Bridgehampton1955

    I just spoke to an old racing friend he is 91 years young, we both remember this car it was so beautiful! It was raced and built by a Larry klock ans Pauly ? They built this car to look like a Frazer Nash Roadster it had Frazer Nash knock wheels that looked like chrome, the car had several motors and it did run a spunky little 1500cc Lea Francis motor Pauly ? Had imported several and they were popular on in the specials however they weren’t for longevity.

    My friend Bob remembers the car being owned by a ford dealer in the late 60’s and that he had put a 289 mustang motor in it but it was way to heavy in the front the car was sold off as a project.

    Good luck to the guy or gal searching for it hope they find it! Probaly not much value but great history hope it gets found and raced again

    Like 2
  15. Jeff

    Great looking car, looks like a old Jaguar xk 120, Hope they find it

  16. secret location

    Its in my backyard under the ground with a door on the roof used as a root cellar .

    I’d dig it up but I have no place for
    rudibakers and taters👀😉😜

  17. Kerry Stagmer

    I’m pretty sure this is a mixed up story. I’ve heard it a couple of times while researching the James Pauley Leaf engine car rebodied by Gertler at Race way Garage (Bronx then later moved to Long Island). The 1.5 leaf engine (known as a ‘speedway’ was a rare and fragile option in the few years they were imported. The Gertler car is now in a chassis shop in PA being refitted.

    • Karguy James

      Joe Gertler owned a 1937 Adler Rennlimosine, one of only three remaining. These were amazing streamliners and some of the very first streamlined cars produced anywhere. His was a road going version of the Lemans race cars. I owned the ACTUAL Lemans race car that ran in 1937 and 1938 winning it’s class in 1938 and coming in 7th overall.

      Here is a photo of Joe Gertler’s Adler.

      While Joe was a good hotrodder and owned several cool cars, his shop was never capable of building a completely hand formed body that well designed.

      • Karguy James

        Here is a photo of MY 1937 Adler Lemans race car as-found in Michigan in 1989.

        What a thrill to walk into the backyard and see this sitting there!

        I bought the car and owned it for several years and eventually sold it. It was restored and shown at Pebble Beach around 1993.

        Like 2
      • BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

        That megaphone !

      • VadGTI

        James, if you’re the same “karguy” from Florida on Pelican Parts, please check your PMs on that site.

      • P Adams

        there was an Adler in marietta ga, back story the guy bought it out of a barn, the car had swastika’s on engine block and I think a few other places, the car was in need of restoration but was a complete car, font wheel drive, supercharger I think.
        Funny little blocks of plastic/glass in windshield that could open to let in fresh air.

  18. Martin Horrocks

    Interesting post. I don´t see the advertiser on Craiglist as a dirtbag. They are trying to find out if the car still exists, whatever it is. Any profit would be well down the line. When dealing with rare and unusual cars, keeping a low profile tends to be a good idea.

    The picture of the 1937 BMW Mille Miglia car posted above is from when that car was auctioned in Monaco in 2010 as “unique”. These big name auction guys tend not to play with fire, there were a tiny limited number of 328 Mille Miglia cars and their whereabouts are known (mainly in the BMW collection). So the Bridgehampton car almost certainly isn´t one of those. It might have a copycat body, as proportions don´t seem exactly the same as the BMW at auction to my eye.

    Veritas is more likely and less well documented (they tend to look more like a slabsided 550 Porsche, but not like the cream Bridgehampton car). The advertiser´s listing most closely resembles @Bridgehampton1955´s informed eyewitness account, perhaps with Veritas chassis/axles and wheels in the mix?

    Like 1
    • Karguy James

      Perhaps Mr. Horracks, but Veritas started building his own cars after having been an integral part of the BMW race program pre-war and intimately involved in the lightweight BMW race program. After the war, all of his cars were built on BMW platforms and many, like the awkward coupe I posted above, were built on lightweight racing versions of the BMW 328. In other words, there were no “Veritas” knock off wheels, they were ALL BMW components and most often the entire chassis and engine was used. It will be interesting to see if this car surfaces and what lies underneath that white paint.

      • Martin Horrocks

        Love your Adler! Similar to the Mille Miglia Lancia Aprilias of the late 30s and the Jaray/Partout aerodynamic designs.

        Was the post war Veritas actually built on a 328 chassis, then, or were 328 parts built into a Veritas chassis?

        Someone earlier mentioned the post war Frazer Nash, some of which which also had similar wheels to those shown. This was part of the post war deal which saw the Aldington brothers take some of the best parts of competition BMWs for their company and later do a deal with Bristol, which morphed the BMW 6 cylinder into the Bristol 6 cylinder.

        There are also the EMWs from the BMW factories which got left behind in Eastern Germany. There´s a book in this for someone, or does it already exist?

  19. Kerry Stagmer

    James, I would of course differ with you on your opinion of Gertler’s work :D

  20. Kerry Stagmer

    Note that left car is not the same (see far distance in this pic). Left car I assume to be the Aston version (although perhaps there are 3 variations)

  21. Paul Hickey

    I have a photo of the car from a 1952 a “This Week” newspaper insert article about the new fangled European auto racing in the states. One of the photos featured is of Lawrence Kulak in his Lea-Francis powered “prewar BMW” at a race in Bridgehampton, NY.
    I can post it to site, if allowed.
    I also have an image of an Adler Rennlimousin in Iowa in the 50’s.
    Thanks!
    Paul Hickey

    Like 1
  22. Paul Hickey

    I believe the Adler pictured above now resides at the AutoSammlung Stein in Schramberg, Germany. I corresponded with the museums’ owner in 2015, and he mentioned buying the car in 2005.
    https://www.autosammlung-steim.de/de/geschichte.html

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