1937 Ingalls American Special For Sale

During the late 40s, California was becoming a haven for American hot rods that were being built for use on drag strips and ovals. Although road racing was making a comeback after a hiatus during WWII, European sports cars like Maserati, Ferrari, and MG were dominating the field—for no other reason than American sports cars were not being manufactured at the time. If you wanted to take on the twisties and compete with the best Europe had to offer in an American made car, you had to build your own. And that’s just what Ed Ingalls of Lafayette, California did.

As with all American Specials, this one-off was assembled from a potpourri of parts that included the body of a ’31 Ford Roadster, on a Desoto Airflow frame, powered by a hopped up ’41 260-ci Chrysler Spitfire flathead 6-cyl (which would ultimately be replaced with a Flathead V-8). The steering box came from a ’36 Dodge, the dash was harvested from a ‘33 Auburn Type 12 speedster, and the grille borrowed from a ’38 LaSalle. Adding to the hodgepodge was an assortment of hand-formed parts such as the hood, rear fenders, side panels, radiator, and instrument panel.

During the 1950s, Ed competed with his homemade racecar at many of the famous Northern California tracks of the day including Pebble Beach, Stockton and Madera field. He and the Ingalls Special celebrated some success, mostly finishing in the top 5. In more recent times and after a complete restoration, the Ingalls would again see competition, this time at the 2003 running of the Monterey Historic Automobile Races at Laguna Seca.

Throughout the years, parts, drivers, and owners would be exchanged—adding to the rich history that American Specials are known for. All of which has been fully documented for a new owner by way of period and modern photos, letters from previous owners, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles.



If you are in the market for a piece of American Road Racing history, you can pick up the Ingalls Special for the bargain basement price of $149k. Although not the most beautiful roadster to ever grace the racetrack, the 1937 Ingalls Special for sale at Fantasy Junction was built by a true enthusiast and craftsman. Not to mention, it is still a driver making it eligible for a healthy array of events ranging from road rally to vintage racing—which should make it worth the price to someone out there. What would you do if it was yours?

About the author

Tracy Shayhorn

Tracy began in the automotive industry in 2002 as the marketing manager for a performance shop, which she helped co-found. As a marketing ploy, she found herself piloting high-powered racecars built at their shop. You may recognize Tracy from shows like Bullrun on and Ultimate Car Build Off. Tracy has used her racing career and media platforms to encourage and empower women to feel more comfortable in the automotive and motorsports arenas by starting up all women driving schools and automotive workshops. She now enjoys writing and shooting photos in her spare time for Power Automedia automotive magazines.
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