Made in Buffalo! 1946 “Mystery” Sports Car

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We’re hoping one of our readers can help identify this car because I’m having no luck in doing so. The seller doesn’t know what it is which means there can’t be any paperwork. But we’re told it was built in Buffalo, New York after World War II and production was limited. This shell of what may have once been a cool sports car is (or was) located in Medina, New York, and is (or was) available here on Facebook Marketplace for $1,500. But the listing is at least two years old now. Our thanks to Barn Finder “Ted” for the tip!

If you Google “cars made in Buffalo, New York” you’ll come up with an extensive list that includes mostly unfamiliar names. I tracked some of them down and they didn’t resemble this car at all, though the Playboy looks rather interesting. Something happened to this automobile at one time, which likely included being caught in a fire. Even if you even knew what it is, is there anything here that would be usable other than as a lawn ornament?

We’re told this sad thing has 1,000 miles on it and an automobile transmission, but neither of them are likely and probable placeholders. There is no indication as to what powered this machine at one time, but an inline-4 is likely with a manual tranny. Did either of those survive the fire or whatever that put this mystery machine out of commission years ago? If you have any clue what this is, please chime in. It looks like so many English sports cars from that same time period.

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  1. AEP

    Not a Playboy, I have seen a Playboy car and this not one.

    Like 6
    • Will Fox

      Playboys were 3-wheelers, weren’t they?

      Like 2
      • Slimm

        @Will Cox What? Why would you have thought they were 3 wheel cars? Maybe you are thinking of a Davis Divan. Google images.

        Like 2
      • Roger

        No. My brother owns one and it’s 4 wheeled.

        Like 0
      • Roger

        Playboy cars were 4-wheeled. My brother owns a 1948 model. Facebook Playboy car to see.

        Like 0
    • Steve Bold

      Jowett Jupiter?

      Like 0
  2. Terry M

    Well I don’t know what it is but does remind me of an idea my oldest brother and I had to stump the experts at swap meets. We were going to modify a few old body parts, make em look like the 20s era, identify them as BuckMor motor car pieces, $$ and display. Bros last name Buckles, mine Morrison, founders of the fictitious BuckMor motor car. Just wondered how many would say “remember my grand dads old car, pretty sure it was a 1926 BuckMor”.

    Like 9
    • Al

      I hope you got a Buck More than you paid for it.

      Like 21
    • Paul in Ma

      It’s like the Three Stooges buying that car, “It’s a Columbus”. Oh you’re crazy, Columbus came by boat.

      Like 5
    • BobC

      Sounds like the shenanigans I’d do…

      Like 0
    • ChingaTrailer

      Reminds me of the mythical “Henweigh” Car . . .

      Like 2
      • teresa

        That’s spelled Henway!

        Like 2
  3. Mark

    It has a clutch pedal. How do they know what year it is if they don’t know the car make or model?

    Like 5
  4. Derek

    Rear wheel; is it a VW one? Certainly a wide PCD.

    Like 1
    • ChingaTrailer

      Late 1930s Ford axle & wheels and what looks like a torque tube. Someone’s homemade fantasy, in a perfect world it would have been maintained, in a less perfect world at least restored, in a slightly less good case, at least documentation of what it was and what it looked like. But alas, it is what it is now.

      Like 3
  5. JohnD

    Smells a little like Jag 120/140 bits . .. but it is a custom . . . Wide 5 Ford wheels and who knows what all else. A labor of love. You just don’t know what you are loving . . . .

    Like 4
    • Terry M

      Pass the jug, Ma, I’m gonna build another one!

      Like 18
    • Todd

      Not a European grill/ light spacing.

      Like 0
    • scottymac

      You’re right about the wheels, I was thinking custom body on a ’36 Ford chassis.

      Like 0
  6. Big C

    Did they leave it on the trailer when it fried?

    Like 4
  7. Al camino

    Spring cleaning is here again time to clean out that darn chicken coop

    Like 6
  8. Mike

    All metal body? Maybe a mid-50’s custom car? The steering wheel and the rims should give a clue to what it was based on.

    Like 4
    • Todd

      That’s my thought as the rear is beyond ugly and the doors appear ‘non-existent’.

      Like 0
  9. Kenneth Carney

    Looks to me like one.of those U-build-
    it cars from Popular Mechanics or
    Mechanix Illustrated. You know, one
    of those backyard builds that anyone
    of average abilities could build with a
    decent set of hand tools in the privacy of your own garage. When all my schoolwork was done, I’d drop by
    my school’s library and just browse
    through the stacks of those two magazines. As a young motorhead, I
    was blown away by all the neat stuff a guy like me could actually build. And seeing it all was awesome! While looking at a 1947 copy of PM,
    I saw a car very similar to this one.
    The feature car was based on Ford
    parts which were readily available since Ford was cranking out all kinds
    of parts to service millions of old Fords that were still on the roads as well as turning out warmed-over ’42
    models and passing them off as ’46s.
    According to the author, you could
    beat the long wait lists for new cars
    back then by building this “kit car”
    yourself one piece at a time– just like
    Johnny Cash. That’s what I think.happened here. Some guy out there, hot to trot for a new set of wheels built this car in his garage on
    weekends as time permitted. And once it was done, he drove it a few years before passing it on to someone else. As for this car, take stock of what you have, and choose a modern power train to move it down
    the road and 4-wheel disc brakes to
    make it stop. Me, I’d use a 3800 V-6
    topped with a turbo, and mated to a
    5-speed for power. The use the rear
    axle from an S-10 pickup to top it all off. The power to weight ratio should
    put it in the 6 second range for 0-60
    and the top speed should be 140-
    150 MPH. This car is just waiting for
    someone to take it full circle and
    maybe recycle it into something we
    haven’t seen in years. Wish it was me!

    Like 9
    • Threepedal

      There was an individual who ran ads in the back of Popular Mechanics selling plans to build sports cars using parts from existing American mass produced sedans. Don’t remember much about the mechanicals but apparently they had details about cutting a 1940 Ford fender and shaping it to look “European”. I’m 78, been afflicted with the car bug most of my life (started reading Hot Rod in 1959) so I’ve forgotten the individuals name, but he promoted the destruction of many later collectibles.

      Like 2
  10. stillrunners stillrunnersMember

    Betting on a 1939 Ford frame by the wheels – motor cross member and you can see the master cylinder in one pic….like was said – lots of home builts out there from P& M……..

    Like 2
  11. Steveo

    It’s a Fuchi Manuli.

    Like 1
  12. Steveo

    It’s a Fuchi Manuli. Dick Orkin had one he was always talking about.

    Like 2
    • Racer417

      Man, that’s an old commercial reference! I only know one other guy who would remember it.

      Like 2
  13. HoA HoAMember

    Mays well get my 2 cents in. The fact it’s steel, should be a clue. Fiberglass was just coming on the scene, and I looked up “home made US sports cars of the 50s”, and a slew came up. Seemed everybody tried jumping on the bandwagon, and most were fiberglass. One site said, Pierce-Arrow was from “Nickel City”, but I see no connection here. I don’t think it was a kit, the body parts need a pretty big press, more than likely, a hodge-podge of this and that. I see no value here whatsoever.

    Like 8
  14. Wes

    If someone buys this car,I hope they give us progress updates!
    Lots of work here !

    Like 4
  15. Keith

    Its a Leaverite……1949. Saw one of these in a buddys junkyard years ago.
    He had the only other one. Sadly it disappeared, and was in much better shape.
    This poor remains will take it’s weight in gold to bring back, and even then, two lifetimes of spare time. I think its better to leaverite where she is……

    Like 12
    • Todd

      Spelling? I can’t find anything on it.

      Like 0
  16. Lonny

    What identity is on the transmission? Differential?

    Like 1
    • Terry

      if you notice the driveshaft, it is a torque tube enclosed drive shaft, most likely from the same car as front axel, rear end (differential, axel housing), and wheels–most likely the 39 Ford option.

      Like 1
  17. Ronald Amon

    I’d say it once was a Jag. And hoping to gain its real identity again.

    Like 1
  18. Ken Smith

    If they don’t know what it is – how do they know “production was limited”?

    Like 2
  19. Jerry

    Sure looks a lot like a Jowett Jupiter, c1951.

    There were several Jowett Jupiters in Western New York, I knew of one still around in the 1970’s

    Like 1
  20. Steve Cota

    Home built custom, definitely based on a late 30’s ford. Going by the front axle, wheels, and steering wheel

    Like 3
  21. Jerry

    Looks like the body of a Jowett Jupiter, c1951.

    Like 1
  22. michael genshock

    $1500.00…not even for .15 cents.

    Like 3
  23. Jerry

    The body apperars to be from a Jowett Jupiter (aka Javelin Jupiter), c.1951.
    Tried post a couple time, but the post disappears. Maybe because I included a link, so I’ll omit that, you can googe Jowitt Jupiter yourself.

    FWIW, I live in Buffalo NY and I know personally of Jowitt Jupiter that was still around in the 1970’s, so they were sold in Buffalo at some point.

    Like 2
    • Todd

      Close to a JJ, however only the rare M2 had wide headlights. That car (not clear any M2 imported) did boast pretty much the ugliest
      rear end in automotive history.

      Like 0
    • Tod

      Oh, forgot ~ JJ’s have an aluminum body.

      Like 0
  24. MarkO

    Patina up the YingYang!

    Like 0
  25. Will

    This isn’t it, but I do remember one particular custom built back in the ’50s with bits & pieces from a bunch of cars and powered by, if I remember correctly, a Buick Roadmaster’s straight eight with 8, count ‘m, 8 Amal carbs, one per cylinder.
    The finished product was called a Bulinformercillac. Who could forget that name?
    Howzat for a bit of useless trivia?

    Like 2
  26. Gus

    Woodill Wildfire

    Like 0
    • Ken Smith

      I believe all the Woodill Wildfires were fiberglas.

      Like 0
    • TouringFordor

      It’s a Wallaby Balloonfire X-4000

      Car and Driver, December 1971

      Like 0
  27. moosie moosie

    It’s a “Henweigh”

    Like 2
    • Ken Smith

      How much does a hen weigh?

      Like 1
  28. Marinenorm

    Send the thing to the scrap and let it rest. What a piece of junk!

    Like 0
    • Brakeservo

      Gee, you sound like my (ex) wife . . .

      Like 2
  29. conrad alexander

    looks like it got run over by a buffalo

    Like 0
  30. Paul

    It’s a Rolls Canhardly.

    Like 0
  31. robbert

    Frazer Nash sports…

    Like 0
  32. Ted

    I am enjoying ALL the comments on this Barn Find that I submitted! From the historical to the hysterical; it’s been a treat!
    BTW… there has been a drop in price! $850 now! 👍

    Like 1
  33. Eric B

    Listed two years ago? Wow, what a patient seller and I’m impressed that it doesn’t say, “don’t ask me if it’s still available, I’ll ignore you!”, like literally every other Facebook ad around here.

    Yes, I’m in the area and while I don’t know what it is, I see it as good reflection of Buffalo.

    Like 0
  34. Claudio

    So , a friend of mine had a rust/cancer spot appear on the 1/4 pannel of his Chrysler sebring convertible and was not able to get it repaired by any local bodyshop , they said no rust repair ! Sadly , i cannot jump on this one due to lack of decent labor …

    Like 0

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