If you’re old enough, you may have seen this car before, perhaps when it was featured in the July 1958 issue of HOT ROD. Since then, the hot rod hill climber originally built by Bob Davis of Boone, North Carolina, has been a few places. Now it’s back, completely restored and updated to modern specs for hot rodding, hill climbing, and vintage road racing.
After that, though, the car spent more than 25 years in a junkyard in Waynesville, North Carolina, rusting away until vintage sports car enthusiast Jimmy Dobbs of Memphis rescued it from obscurity in 1992. The cost of restoration was so high that Dobbs sold the car to Chuck Rahn, a talented fabricator based in Phoenix. Rahn attempted to sell it to Jim Herlinger, who owned a similar car, the Baldwin Special, in northern California. Herlinger passed, but called a friend of his in Michigan to tell him about the car.
The Prescott Vintage Speed Hill Climb takes place at the home of the Bugatti Owners Club in the heart of the very picturesque rolling Cotswold Hills in South Central England. Prescott Hill has been an active motorsports venue for 80 years! The site was purchased in 1937 by the Bugatti owners club, but all events are run under the auspices of the The Vintage Sports-Car Club. The VHRA also run their annual Gow! Hill Climb event at this venue. The VSSC event predominately features British and European vehicles, but there were a few American vehicles both in competition and on the showfield.
1926 Ford Model T Rajo Special Hill Climb Competitor
Model T Speedster on the Showfield
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Model T Based Flathead Powered Hot Rod on the Showfield
Various other American entrants on the Showfield (yes I’ve included RHD Model A’s!)