<b>c.1938 "Detroit Deluxe Special" Midget Racecar</b>
Lot 2
c.1938 "Detroit Deluxe Special" Midget Racecar
Sold for US$ 12,320 inc. premium

Lot Details
<b>c.1938 "Detroit Deluxe Special" Midget Racecar</b> <b>c.1938 "Detroit Deluxe Special" Midget Racecar</b> <b>c.1938 "Detroit Deluxe Special" Midget Racecar</b>
The Orville Lane
c.1938 "Detroit Deluxe Special" Midget Racecar

188 ci. in Side-Valve 4-Cylinder Continental Engine
2 Winfield Carburetors, 88bhp at 2,400rpm
In/Out gearbox
Live Axle Suspension With Transverse Leaf Springs
Rear-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brake

*Timewarp 'discovery' Midget
*Returns to US for sale
*Interesting piece of Americana


MIDGET RACERS

Midget racing cars emerged in the 1920s initially as novelty or warm up act for the big car races. These tiny racers were noted for their speed and maneuverability and highly competitive racing, that attracted huge crowds to the Chicago Amphitheatre, Soldier Field and the Chicago Armory. After WWII the resumption of racing led to a "golden era" of the midgets that lasted a brief few years but produced a generation of Indianapolis competitors including Emil Andres, Tony Bettenhausen, Duke Nalon and the like. The most famous Midget race win was at Lime Rock in 1959, when Rodger Ward drove an 11-year-old Midget to set a new lap record and win a Formula Libre race against world-class drivers in new Formula One and sports/racing cars!

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

One such character in this world was Orville Lane, the owner of Deluxe Motor Service, Detroit. He is understood to have built this car in approximately 1938, using a relatively stock format, with Continental 4 Cylinder power. However, more interestingly, research suggests that as built it was run in four-wheel drive form, which appears to be endorsed by a period photo of the car as illustrated here. Lane is believed to have campaigned the car right through the war years and up to 1952, when it was retired. In the early 2000s it resurfaced when it was acquired by British Ford Model T experts the Tuckett Brothers as part of a group of cars bought from the U.S. It passed through a series of owners in the U.K., its current custodian electing to return it to its homeland where it rightfully belongs.

Viewed today, the machine has a consistent and very appealing patina, suggesting that it hasn't been active for some considerable time, yet it was looked after and perhaps didn't endure the ravages of later day modification to stay on the grids. Accompanying the racer are numerous spares, including gears, spare wheels, engine components, wooden carrying boxes of spark plugs, new pistons and various other mechanical pieces, including we believe the front-end drive mechanics, all of which may help to return the car to use.

Footnotes

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale.
Activities
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    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
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