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Thread: 1928 Desoto Indy Race Car - South Bend Connection?

  1. #1
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    1928 Desoto Indy Race Car - South Bend Connection?

    On the AACA forum there is a 1928 Desoto Indy Race Car (assume a re-pop) for sale which has "South Bend, Indiana" painted on the left side. Does anyone know the connection to SB?

    Here is the link: http://forums.aaca.org/topic/290445-...tyle-race-car/

    The car apparently has no transmission, direct drive with a clutch, does that sound plausible?
    Dan Peterson
    Montpelier, VT
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible
    1960 Lark V-8 Convertible (parts car)

  2. #2
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    Whoever built/sponsored it lived in South Bend, but there's no Studebaker connection here...Gorgeous car, most likely built for the period dirt tracks!

    If this car is original, 35K isn't a lot of money for it these days.

  3. #3
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Lovely car. I'd love to give it a good look over.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  4. #4
    President Member garyash's Avatar
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    This is a dirt track car or "sprint car", not an Indy car - too small. It looks like a typical late 1930s to early 1950s racer, would be fun to drive - if only there were some good places to race against similar stuff without serious risk.

    Much of the verbiage is grossly incorrect. Springs are not made of stainless steel, and chroming them risks having them crack from hydrogen embrittlement - nice for a museum car, but not for real driving. It was common to have in-out direct drives in these cars. They usually ran magnetos for ignition and had no battery or starter, thus required push starts. Many engine brands were used based on what was available in the junkyard, including Studebaker Champion 6's with dual carbs, so it is doubtful that the Desoto division of Chrysler had anything to do with the car.

    It would be a good toy if money were no object.
    Gary Ash
    Dartmouth, Mass.

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  5. #5
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    I thought if you had the in out setup there would be no clutch....?
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  6. #6
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    I don't know what it is, but it isn't a 1928 DeSoto Indianapolis car.

    It appears to have some parts which could have come from a late 20s, early 30s Indy car, and some came from the 50s-60s, but certainly none of those period DeSoto engines could have been competitive, and none ever ran at Indy.

    I guess the best you could call it is an Indy-like car. And in that respect, it's fairly described.

    I don't know who might want it, but at $35K, it's probably a fair price. You couldn't replicate it for less. You might get laughed at, but you could do parade laps in it alongside late 20s Millers for a tenth the money of a true Indy car.

    Note it doesn't claim an in-out gearbox. It has no gearbox.

    Somebody had fun building it, and it's not a bad piece of work.

    Maybe it will find a good home.

    "requires immense skill to drive at speed" Also a fair description. It might do 90 mph, which would be scary fast. Like a Schwinn bike with a 10 HP Briggs and Stratton.
    Last edited by jnormanh; 04-05-2017 at 04:19 PM.

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