1934 Vintage Race Cars { once it was a post office jeep}

Started on July 27 by dennisg

Ride Rating


A 1930's style racer made from a post office jeep. It had to have a 4 cylinder engine older than 1934 to compete[race] with model A based cars so I used an Allis Chalmers engine. I have had several kinds of engines in it since then.
It is fully street legal and is run in dry weather .

21 comments on this ride

Latest updates

Nov. 03

2018 upgrade

I upgrade this car annually. This year I changed its rear suspension to coil springs on 42" swingarms instead of its leaf springs to get a soft controlled ride. I set it up for airbags but they were short in ...

Aug. 12

quick release steering wheel

At a car show, seeing its steering wheeel stowed on the side of the car, a bystander asked the following question: bystander pointing, "What does that do ?" I "it steers the car." bystander "How does it work?" I "I ...

Aug. 12

outside shift

Reaching under the steering wheel was inconvenient, so as the engine and transmission were out, I cut off the shift lever, welded a small plate to its remaining stub and connected the plate to a tube running outside to a ...

Aug. 12

I'm learning

The downdraft carb leaked fuel and the lowest cylinder hydrolocked. So this time I used an updraft zenith carb originally from a forklift. Hydrolocking will be impossible. three return springs assure throttle closing even if one spring fails.

Aug. 12

updraft zenith

As the burst cylinder was due to hydrolocking, I played it safe using an updraft zenith carburetor this time. Forklifts used them until recently. Three return springs are a safety factor. I soldered a speedometer cable into its idle adjustment ...

Aug. 12

burst cylinder

I did not know engines did such things but here is a picture of its 4th cylinder...split end to end.

Feb. 11

water under the bridge

Last summer, after 7 years, I finally had the bugs worked out, or so I thought. It ran reliably and with the right tires, it could slam me in the back when it took off. But I rarely ran it ...

Jan. 04

in summary

It finally works well, but it took some time getting there. After finishing it, I had many parts left over. Engines, transmissions, radiators, shifters, steering, wheels & tires, instruments and even a parking space. Why not assemble the pile of ...

Aug. 24

changed the wheels

I recently changed from 16" 1935 ford wire wheels to 15" stamped steel disk wheels. The stamped wheels run far smoother but do not look as nice. It used to steer eratically on stopping That problem went away with the ...

April 30

needs better brakes

Badly needs stronger brakes. I will be adding disk brakes to my 56 ford front axle. The wire wheels were the problem, after changing them to disk wheels the braking improved greatly

Jan. 03

its first paint (I disliked it as it was good only at sunset)

I first painted this car in a paint which was dazzling at sunset, but which looked like brown shoe polish the rest of the day. So although it is pretty in this old photo, I repainted it as soon as ...

Dec. 13

water-methanol injection

I'm going to put a fog nozzle above the carburetor throat and feed it a mix of water and methanol to slow its combustion so I can continue using 87 octane gasoline and not knock. as seen in this photo, ...

Dec. 11


I have always run a turbo muffler on #58. Had to have a heat shield on it but it is very effective and makes driving plesant (and street legal). The man flagging cars said he could not even hear it ...

Dec. 04

better front view

The color is better in this photo ( the front axle is wider but this photo's angle exaggerates it.)

Dec. 04

pulls its own trailer to racetrack

Seen at the Cottage Grove race track, it pulls a small teardrop trailer with extra tires etc and which is also a camping trailer.

March 25

good power

it has good power so I made a teardrop trailer and a trailer hitch. No more tenting in the rain. The hitch braces its rear bumper which I notched to fit the body into the frame. Postal jeeps have (and ...

March 16

instruments update

I went to an Innovate wideband oxygen fuel to air meter. Now I can rejet with confidence. Don't be confused by it reading 22.4. That only means that the engine has not been run for a few days and oxygen ...

March 16

hatch shut

Just to show that you can cut an opening into a fiberglass body and the cut out center can be used as a door simply by adding a hinge and latch. This method is genrally frowned on but it worked ...

March 16

carb access

It has no hood so I cut in a hatch over its carburetor (so I can change jets. I also cut in a little door so I can adjust the idle jets. The first season that I ran it I ...

May 29

aluminum dash

I have been monitoring exhaust gas temperature and exhaust gas oxygen. I liked them giving continuous readouts so much that I made a new dash which included them. I'm using an Innovate MTX-L wideband system that works a lot better ...

May 29

airflow control

This shows a hinged deflector in its chin air intake. A wooden dowel supports a deflector and the dowel is placed in upper holes for more air restriction or lower holes for less restriction. This deflector serves a purpose similar ...

April 15

second annual spring rebuild

Its fuel cell was too small, 5 gallons was not enough gasoline..I would run out of gas easily, and fuel float gauges don't do well in a foam filled fuel cell, so I made an auxiliary fuel tank to fit ...

Feb. 24

what it began as

This was what it started as so you can see how much it changed

July 02

right side updated

note the dangerous steering shaft is now gone. It runs on high profile Chinese truck tires to get a 1930's appearance.

July 02

left side revision

After it's 100 mile teardown and rebuild, It has -new steering [rack and pinion] -new transmission [ car tranny for the proper ratios] -new engine -new exhaust system -moved radiator forward and replaced with larger one -lowered front of body ...

March 17

100 mile rebuild

After driving it i decided some changes were needed: 1. different ring & pinion [as it was geared too low] 2. changed to car transmission [replaced pickup transmission] 3. changed to ford pickup I beam axle [for better appearance as ...

Oct. 02

traction masters 2

I made them from a Toyota panhard bar and a idler arm rod[for the rod ends]. The cost was nearly zero. When making these you must get the pivot point location right on and the length just right too or ...

Oct. 02

traction masters

Light cars with limber rear leaf springs must have a linkage to stop wheel hop on acceleration. I carefully drew a half scale diagram to locate them so there would be no binding and they came out well.

July 30


This shows the frame just after I made it 2 feet longer. Now there is room between the axles for the engine , transmission and shortened driveshaft .

July 29

central steering

A single passenger car steers from its center. I use chain and sprockets to move the steering to the center of the dash after the steering shaft has passed the engine. It also has the advantage that you can change ...

July 29

making steering wheel

Showing the construction of a steering wheel from wood and a circular saw blade.

July 28

tall engine

As you can see the engine's size dominates the Jeep frame which had to be lengthened 2 feet to fit it in.

July 28

be comfortable

Running a car like this is best described as violent, so a comfy boat seat like this one makes it easier to take.

July 28


its sprintcar body ancestry shows here, but it began life as a post office jeep. the steering wheel, off in this view, removes to enter the car.

July 28

#58 side

the ford wheels make it look really old. The odd aircleaner is a Ford pickup aircleaner turned inside out sheetmetal will later fill the side opening. I thought the paint in this photo was too much like brown shoe polish ...

July 28

#58 interior 1

Quickly removable [release button seen at top center of its hub ] steering wheel made from a circular sawblade and a maple tree I cut down. This instrument and switch layout proved to be confusing. I changed it in May ...

July 28

#58 front

that is two halves of a Lincoln Continental grille bolted together and turned on its side. Headlights are 9 inch chevrolet truck from the 1920's.

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Jul 27, 2009 11:20 p.m.
That looks incredible! Do you have any more pictures or a build site?
Jul 28, 2009 12:42 a.m.
Thanks and yes, I have a web group on which a full series of construction photos of it can be seen, go to yahoo groups find "speedsterowners" enter that group look in "photos" for "gwynn carrier special" For those who I've email addresses,I'll send invitations to join the group.
Jul 28, 2009 12:50 a.m.
I've just joined the grassroots group and do not know how to post more than one photo, and a single picture does not give a good idea of how it looks. [ I've a set of 6 completion photos] and too many construction photos to post.
Jul 28, 2009 8:57 a.m.
Tim Baxter:
That is crazy-cool.
Jul 28, 2009 9:09 a.m.
John Brown (Forum Supporter):
Simply awesome. Dennis, you are a hero among supervillains.
Jul 28, 2009 9:24 a.m.
im completely awe-struck...
Jul 28, 2009 9:34 a.m.
Powar (Forum Supporter):
Wow. That's awesome.
Jul 28, 2009 10:03 a.m.
That is a WAAAAY cool car!
Jul 28, 2009 11:27 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker:
This is positively nucking futts. I love all of the odd sources for parts and they way it all gels together. Completely bonkers in a good way.
Jul 28, 2009 11:47 a.m.
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter):
Wow! Center engine (full engine behind the axle)
Jul 28, 2009 7:50 p.m.
Very, very cool.
Oct 2, 2009 9:50 p.m.
I just made and added traction masters to it. Not for huge torque but because I removed most of the leafs from the rear springs to get a reasonable spring rate with the lighter load they carry. They seem not to be binding and the ride is much better with the softer springs.
Nov 6, 2009 9:40 p.m.
EastCoastMojo (Forum Supporter):
Got my vote! Very cool!
Aug 12, 2010 8:40 a.m.
Raze (Forum Supporter):
Aug 28, 2011 10:45 p.m.
the new engine overwhelmed its old radiator so I changed to a two row radiator laying in the junkyard.
Dec 5, 2011 1:57 p.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter):
Awesome car! I'm with Raze. Not sure how I missed this.
Mar 1, 2012 7:13 p.m.
And I can drive it around on the street.. It is as fun to drive to a race as to be in one.
May 29, 2012 10:47 a.m.
That is fantastic. I love it!
Jun 8, 2012 12:37 a.m.
Actually, it is more fun on the street as I'm not always turning left and people go bonkers when they see it.
Jul 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.
I changed to a cable operated clutch today as: 1. It was inexpensive ($5 for a swapmeet brake cable and $5 for some bolts 2. It was simple 3. It adjusts well 4. The old mechanical linkage was crude, nearly impossible to work on ...and it had worn out.
Feb 14, 2020 2:21 a.m.
feb 2020 Engine changed, again....the 4th for it. Electrical system done over again...Kubota alternator (5 lbs) replaced its (25 lb) generator. The old headlights looked nice but were too dim for night driving so it was time for different headlights, headlight relays and heavy wiring (# 10 and #12)on a short run direct from its alternator..it is now much brighter and has a controlled pattern.

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