Success Story: 1956 Eshelman Adult Sport Car

We always enjoy hearing from readers about finds that they’ve purchased as a result of seeing it on the site, it’s especially fun when it’s something odd like this Eshelman Sport Car. Reader Wes H purchased it after reading Scotty’s article, which you can find here. That was 4 years ago and Wes has just about finished a total restoration! He just has to put a few finishing touches on it, but wanted to share it with us now that it’s nearly done.

Once this oddball arrived at Wes’s shop, the Briggs & Stratton engine was removed and treated to a full rebuild. It runs great now and looks great in that tiny engine bay. Wes provided us with a video of the engine running, which you can watch view above or here on YouTube. With just 8.5 horsepower, you might not expect much, but I bet this thing is actually an absolute blast to drive!

Wes is planning on having the finishing touches done in time for the spring and he already has plans of hauling it around to car shows in his Ford Van! I can’t wait to see photos of it parked in his van. Our thanks to Wes for sharing his progress and we wish him luck with this awesome find. If you’ve purchased a vehicle you found here on Barn Finds, we sure would love to hear about it! Send us an email at and we will be sure to feature it.



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  1. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Fantastic update, Josh! That’s a beauty, Wes! Hopefully, you’ll send a couple of photos once it’s 100% done, nice work!

    Like 4
    • Charles Robert Speh

      C.L. Eshelman would be proud to see the interest in his creation.

  2. RayT Member

    And now it even has the little rocket on the side! How Deluxe can you get?

    I’d say the only thing to do is get the proud owner to do a face-off with Josh’s new go-kart! Or maybe find someone with a King Midget….

    This is the first I’ve seen or heard of one of these — having somehow missed the previous article — but I have to say I’d love to have one!

  3. peter Kaczmarski

    I suspect this is not street legal as I see no tail lights, turn signals etc. Some people feel my ’63 King Midget is crude but compared to this car it is not. My 9.5 Horse Wisconsin motor gives similar performance numbers and fuel economy.

    Like 1
    • Glenn Anderson

      Currently owning 9 King Midgets I absolutely agree with Peter

      Like 2
      • John b

        Hi glen- i own a 69 king midget. Would like to have a network of experienced owners. Email
        Notify me here so i know u got tge message. Thanks

  4. Chinga-Trailer

    Makes a Kleinsmitter look huge and luxurious!

    • wes holliday

      Wes Hello that is my little 1956 Eshelman Adult Sport Car, the company also makes a childs version that is smaller, and not road worthy. The little car has tail lights, and head lights, and brakes, in 1956 the little car was considered Street Legal.. My goal was to have a small car that I could take to Antique Auto Shows, and the Eshelman is acceptable. My other car is a 1925 Auto Red Bug, that veicle is 30 years more primative than the Eshelman. I can carry both little cars in the back of my full size Ford E-350 van. No more trailers !
      I hauled Race Cars for 35 years, and can really appreciate not towing a trailer, and all the associated expenses. I am a 71 year old car guy.

  5. Wes Holliday

    In 1956 the car was considered street legal. Has headlights, tail lights, use your arms for signaling a turn. On Eshelman web site some owners have received a title with their little cars !

    In 1925 my Auto Red Bug was considered street legal. However it probably could get hung up in a pile of horse poop .

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