There’s added activity with this 1955 Californian roadster, currently listed for bargain on eBay, than meets the eye.
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Unlike added limited-production hand-built fiberglass-bodied sports cars we’ve featured, which generally ride on abate anatomy repurposed from European assembly models, this one makes use of 1940s Ford underpinnings. The 239-cubic-inch Ford flathead V8 underhood is added with aeon acceleration equipment, including Offenhauser aluminum headers, an Offenhauser aluminum assimilation assorted and bifold Stromberg carbs. The Ford three-speed manual is operated via a floor-mounted shifter.
The architecture is arresting and, because the actuality that it was acceptable done by an amateur, adequately well-executed. The advanced seems to accept Italian influences, but the rear end, while frustratingly familiar, is boxy to place. It’s not absolutely a first-gen Corvette, but we feel like we’ve apparent it afore (perhaps on article British). In any event, we acknowledge the attendance of a block lid and a small, but still usable, block — article you couldn’t alike booty for accepted on baby assembly cars of that era and a assurance that whoever advised this auto advised for it to be at atomic semi-practical.
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So far, so acceptable — but the big abstruseness actuality is what the heck this affair absolutely is. “Californian” is aloof an alias, and one affected almost afresh at that; its absolute name, and its history, is anon unknown. Our accompany Geoff Hacker and Rick D’Louhy of Forgotten Fiberglass, who are affairs the car, adequate it several years ago afore assuming it at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance.
Yet admitting their clue almanac for hunting bottomward shreds of affirmation cogent the belief of alike the best abstruse cars, they haven’t gotten any added than agreement its date of accomplish at about about 1955; not alike the roadster’s time in the accessible eye over the accomplished several years has brought annihilation to the surface.
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On its own, this isn’t absolutely surprising. A boundless cardinal of one-off customs, fiberglass-bodied or otherwise, emerged from tinkerers’ garages in the postwar years, and not all of them were featured in enthusiast magazines.
Everything you need, annihilation you don’t.
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The artifice thickens here, though, because added than one of these was built. One actual archetype is active a activity of chance as chase car and a third exists as an unbuilt body. Were added bodies produced? Were any added of these cars completed? The unbuilt anatomy seems to betoken that addition was gearing up to advertise these roadsters, best acceptable as kits, which makes the abridgement of any aeon photos or advantage (or advertising) all the added puzzling.
As we mentioned, the car is up for bargain on eBay appropriate now; it may not accept a accepted history (yet), but it’s accessible to drive aloof about anywhere. Or anywhere that doesn’t see abundant rainfall, at least. Check out added photos of the car and apprentice added about its history at the bargain listing, and if you accept any added advice on who created it — or appear to accept addition one sitting beneath a tarp in your backyard — accord us a shout. Stranger things accept happened…
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For what we accept is an abecedarian design, the alleged California has a actual nice profile.
Graham Kozak – Graham Kozak collection a 1951 Packard 200 auto in aerial academy because he capital article that would be accessible to acquisition in a parking lot. He thinks all the things they’re accomplishing with ammunition bang and seatbelts these canicule are appealing chic too. See added by this author»
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