Rare Victress S4 Found!

When I first saw the pictures of what is labeled as a LaDawri Victress in the ad, I knew it wasn’t like any LaDawri Daytona or Conquest I had seen. After a quick consultation with Geoff Hacker, the world’s foremost expert on this type of American hand-crafted sports car, I was able to verify this is a modified Victress S4 or LaDawri Cavalier. It’s listed for sale here on eBay and is located in Washingtonville, New York. The starting bid for this unusual car is $3,000 and there’s no reserve.

Like many sport customs, the S4 was intended as a chance to build one’s own car, with individual styling and detail touches to suit the builder. We don’t know any history of this particular build, but the original body had some definite differences in both the front and the rear from how it appears now. The seller tells us it was purchased as a father-son project, but no reason is given for passing it on apart from it being large for the small single-bay garage the seller has available. The car is larger than it appears and is mounted on a 1949 Ford frame, which unfortunately requires some welding repairs. The original rear end is still in the car, but apparently, the engine and transmission, if ever fitted, are long gone.

Geoff Hacker’s fabulous website, Undiscovered Classics, has two great S4 stories, one about the creation of the design and another illustrating an S4 that came to light last year. I highly recommend looking through the entire site when you have a chance. It’s easy to see how this particular car deviated from the original rear design, shown here.

A hardtop was fabricated for this car as well, giving it a very distinctive look. It’s good to know the trunk lid does exist as well. It’s possible this picture and the top one in this post are from the car as found by the seller, as it appears to be stored in some kind of shelter rather than a garage or driveway.

A hodge-podge of gauges and a classic hot rod steering wheel make up the plain dash. Of course, depending on what you would want to do with this car, you could take the interior in a completely different direction!

And pretty much any V-8 will fit in here, although I’d be tempted to stay with a vintage Ford engine. What would you do with this interesting and rare sport custom?


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  1. Will Fox

    Way too crude for me. I see the windshield and grill are from a `55 Ford. The designer must’ve been out with the flu when the rear of this thing was styled. It just drops off to nothing. It’ll fit the bill for someone hopefully. GLWTS.

    Like 8
    • Joseph W. Meehan

      i owned a fiat spider 1962, designed by pinin farina. this car looks like a poor copy.

  2. Mark P

    This needs Jay Leno money to make it right. Even though a lot of it is there, it’s still a where do you start for me.

    Like 4
  3. Vance

    Its like giving a jigsaw puzzle to a blind person, where do you start and why? This has no upside to me personally.

    Like 6
  4. CCFisher

    Someone apparently has a soft spot for Kia Souls.

    The wrapped windshield and small door opening probably make it physically impossible for me to get into this car.

    Like 8
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      “Knee knocker” windshield and small door opening. Would be tough for any sized driver to comfortably get in and out. I have enough trouble with my MG Midget. Dashboard looks like something cut out of a early 1960s Chevy truck.

      Like 2
  5. robinlarry

    Kind of a 60s Maserati vibe in the front but the rear definitely is meaningless.

    Like 6
  6. Joseph

    So if you pour a bunch of money and time into this thing, then what will you have? An oddball kit car from the 50’s that is not particularly valuable?

    Like 3
  7. Matthew Wright

    I stared at this for an hour yesterday trying to figure out some way it is or could be beautiful. Nope. I love LaDawri cars but this thing is a NO.

  8. Pete

    I would do nothing with this car, Next

    Like 1
  9. Mike

    Seller needs to push it behind the garage, and let the trees grow up thru it…

  10. Gray Wolf

    When in doubt, stick a big blower on it! That will fix it! LOL!

    Like 1
  11. junkman Member

    Looks like a 59 T bird roof, put in a flat head with a slush box. Then get out the sawzall and put some taper on that square ass. Not for the faint of heart or reasonably sane.

  12. HC

    At least with a known model car you know where to begin. With someone elses unfinished kit car everything is up in the air. Someone with more imagination and money than I have can finish this project. But interesting find.

  13. JagManBill

    make it easy on yourself. Early 70’s Torino is a similar wheelbase to a shoebox so swap the body to a rust bucket with a good frame – or go crazy with an Art Morrison build.

    Like 1
  14. Charles Sawka

    Just say no.

    Like 1
  15. teresa m

    too bad someone ruined the back, the original back was a clean plain Packard look, now terrible.

    Like 1
    • JagManBill

      best I remember these had a 52/53 Caddy rear look to them. Since your dealing with a “blank slate”, keep it in the family and pull a mold off a LaDari Daytona or as simple as go Cunnimgham C3. Brave?…go 61/62 Vette. With the kinda-squared off lines, your going to need something that can combine the “square-ness” of the front (really reminds me a 56 DeSoto) and a flow to the rear

  16. Wayne

    I love different & challenges, but I would only take one on that would not make people turn away in disgust with the design.

  17. Lowell Peterson

    I see thru the mess! Jagman has the right idea. Torino chassis, 347 and a 5spd 9″ rear? Some small fins on the backtaper the deck, stretch the doors, Ghia windscreen, …$$$$$..driver side 1/2 of 55 chev dash…$$$$$$..zzzzz..

  18. HC

    This thing is beyond Fugly. Im not an automobile designer and even if I were, couldnt do much with this thing. Rather have a 1960s Falcon Sprint or Mercury Comet.

  19. J Saylor

    This one is easy if you’re interested in something relatively unique but which maximizes the design characteristics already in place. The overall profile, modified front end, and hardtop all have a bit of a Continental Mk II vibe already, I would just build upon that. Find a frame/chassis setup from any suitable 50’s Lincoln, update the brakes and drop the suspension a bit adding a suitable set of wheels and tires. Drop in a Lincoln Y-Block with stack injection, back that with a turbo 400 automatic, and the basic mechanicals are done. Finish the exterior and interior with a nod toward thar same Continental Mark II without making a 2/3 scale clone of it, and for goodness sakes lengthen those doors, and you’re there. It just takes imagination, and a decent stack of cash.

    • lance

      I would love to see a Y block in this little sportster but disagree about transmission a 4 speed manual is a preferred gear box but a 5 speed would be acceptable! I would say that for drivability sake fuel injection would be ok just to save the ower having to adjust carbs seasonally since few shops have trained guys ready to do the job

  20. Lance

    I like the front and side views of the car but the rear seems lacking! Square tail lights? There could be a lot better shape and i find the top interesting! It’s too bad the original power train is missing but an appropriate one could be found! This needs to go to a proper carriage builder to finish this car properly!

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