This vehicle is on the block on
- Midget Racer
- Exterior Color
Hiram Hillegass began building race cars in 1919 while working at Mack in Allentown, Pennsylvania. By the time he died in 1960, at the age of 65, he was recognized as one of the foremost builders of single seat race cars in the United States. He was elected to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1997. Hillegass is probably best known for his midgets, which he began building as the racing boom took off in the 1930s. Midgets, as builders like Frank Kurtis and Pop Dreyer proved, were a viable business, and Hillegass approached them as such. Hillegass went to the extent of investing in cast iron bucks over which he could accurately, quickly, and repeatedly form the complex body panels that clothed his creations. Racers earned their living with the diminutive but shapely single-seaters, sometimes racing every evening of the week during the season, and twice or more a day on weekends. The cars and their engines had to be quick enough to command appearance money, bring home prize money regularly, and stand up to constant use and competition. This example was signed by racing legends Tony Stewart and Mario Andretti. It is equipped with a modified 136 CI 17-bolt flathead V8-60 that Ford produced from 1937 to 1940. These engines were extremely popular for this application as there was a full complement of speed equipment available. Properly modified and running on nitro, these engines offered a less expensive alternative to top post-war midget racers than the 100 Offy of the same era. Modifications on this example include a custom intake manifold by Eddie Meyer Hollywood, Spencer 17 bolt heads and 2 Stromberg carburetors. A direct drive box transfers the power from the engine to the pavement. Details include turned gold leaf numbers, custom pin striping on the frame and true knock off Weld Wheels.