• Dec 21, 2009
American LaFrance firetruck speedster - click above for high-res gallery

One of our favorite cars from 2009 is the Blastolene Peterbilt hot rod. You know the one with two (count 'em, two) superchargers bolted to its Detroit Diesel V12. Hubba hubba,. And if we had access to a time machine, our very favorite car from say 1933 might just be this firetruck speedster, that's quite possibly a direct ancestor of Blastolene. For certain the two are related in the chutzpah department. As the owner states, "You don't know what 'awesome' is until you drive this car."

Where to even start? First of all, brass era cars rule. Even if this particular American LaFrance bucket isn't exactly 100 percent of the period. The chassis is from 1921 type 14-6 short wheelbase firetruck. The motor is out of a 1918 type 31-6-75 front drive aerial ladder, while the aluminum cowl comes from another American LaFrance firetruck built between 1927 and 1930. The speedster just looks like it hails from 1915 (the year which it's coincidently registered). Pretty amazing, no?

Let's talk motor for just one moment. The six-cylinder powering this particular rat rod is a 14.5-liter inline-six (that's 820 cubic inches) good for 105 horsepower. Not oodles of power, but with twelve spark plugs (six off the distributor, six off the magneto) and all that displacement, you can bet this guy is torquey enough to pull stumps. Need more convincing? The differential takes 600 weight oil. Currently, the speedster's sitting at $50,000 (reserve not met) with a buy it now price of $149,000. Serious bidders only, and good luck!



[Source: eBay Motors]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Want!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I saw one of these meat grinders at the Dedham endicott estate show in july,I say meat grinder because if you put your hand in the wrong place when its moving all of the exsposed gear and chain work will use it your hand for lubrication. It looks like it is defintaly an intersting ride!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's talking; all cars talk.

      It's saying chittychitty chittychitty chittychitty chittychitty chittychitty chittychitty

      < bang bang >

      Chitty Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

      • 5 Years Ago
      Unfortunately this speedster needs work. Try driving an open wheel vehicle when it kicks up a rock, at a minimum it needs fenders. You can pick these up for around $50k done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I caught one of these at the Hockenheim Classic event this year. The sound is amazing.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/brrm/tags/lafrance/
      • 5 Years Ago
      The horn and the lamp tail light are perfect. It'd take some real brass balls to run the mechanical hand brakes at speed! So much fun!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Coooooooooooooool!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I read somewhere these cars were responsible for about 40 deaths in auto racing accidents back then. I would imagine those deaths included the drivers!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just realized this car has an incorrect cowl and motor because it may have been in one of the aforementioned deadly auto racing accidents. The owner states on a different website that he doesn't know when the conversion took place. I would guess it was a very long time ago. Very few of these speedsters were ever built and I believe they only had 4 cylinders in 1915.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It has the perfect amount of decay and patina, absolutely awesome.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I saw this at Milwaukee's masterpiece car show. That's where these pictures were taken. The owners were pretty cool as well. Good luck guys!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This has actually been on Ebay for weeks now, the last few auctions for this car never met reserve.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love it.
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