1926 Pontiac Custom Boat Tail Speedster

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Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
Morgantown, PA

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Morgantown, PA



Year 1926
Mileage 22550
Engine 100
Doors --
Transmission Manual
Make Pontiac
Model Other

Other 1926

Title Status Clear
Exterior Color White
Interior Color Black


1926 Pontiac Boat Tail Speedster

There's a reason the hill climb was one of the earliest forms of motor vehicle racing: Competition doesn't get much simpler. All you need is a hill (duh), a handful of competitors with cars and sympathetic local authorities. Race up to the top one by one, then see who did it the fastest. That's about all there is to it.

For consignment a piece of Pontiac promotional history with a 1926 Pontiac Boat Tail Speedster. Originally a mild mannered 2-door sedan that was destroyed in a fire (sections of the floor still show charring from this unfortunate but momentous occasion). It was then resurrected for the dealer by Utica, New York coachbuilder, Willoughby, to be built onto a hill climber, where it would be a promotional for that local Utica Pontiac dealer of McRorie-Sautter. Willoughby was famous for high end coachbuilding, however this was a quick and dirty conversion with simple steel over wood from the dashboard back. This documented car is Pontiac's earliest known race car. Our consigner and his wife have gone to great extents to not only bring the car back to its original racing form, but also document the history of Pontiac racing. Can you say provenance?


With a curb weight of only 1,750 pounds, down 600 pounds from sedan weight, it's in true racing form, stripped to the basics. Sporting a nickel plated radiator surround topped with a beautiful "Chief" radiator cap, (the likes of which you will not see another, on a race car!), fronting a cowled hood then to the open simple cockpit and for the back of the car of this era the boat tail design proved popular although did not do much for actual aerodynamics which really were an afterthought, if thought of at all, at this time. Plenty of racing sponsorship is emblazoned on top of the white paint (its original racing color livery in the 20's) with signage hand painted from photos of the period, the name of our dealer/ builder McRorie & Sautter, Pontiac letter badges and the rear "Pontiac Chief of the Sixes" with the chief head profile. On the back, the ring for a spare is there, sans a rubber surrounding tire. Other notable modifications that have taken place of original equipment of the sedan are an open 3-inch exhaust, 21 inch Buffalo wire wheels which are included with the purchase. Presently the car sits on a set of correct 20 inch wood spoke wheels. Noted the body is sheet metal over a wood subframe and the failed wood underneath the metal was rebuilt by the consignor, his wife and friends using period correct fasteners then the original metal was painstakingly refinished per the 1926 photos.


I think more aptly in lieu of interior it should be referred to as the cockpit. Simple utilitarian black leather covers the dual bomber styled bench with rounded low backs. A large wood steering wheel has an attached water temperature gauge, fronts a simple black dash which is in near perfect restored condition. Lights, odometer, voltmeter, speedometer, choke and throttle knobs are on the center panel cluster. Black smooth flooring with the gearshift lever reaching for the driver is in the center of the wood planked floor. One only has to look at the shifter knob sitting atop of the shift lever and wonder why it was not restored to the same outstanding quality as the rest of the interior....simply put, Warren Mandeville held the shift knob while racing this car and not only winning his class but also taking 3rd place in the Free For All Class. Talk about euphoria for this writer as I gripped the knob.


A 186.5ci Inline 6-cylinder engine (casting number 525151-4, and serial number P3687) is factory original to this car. A Stromberg OE1 1-barrel carburetor is feeding this 6 popper. Larger valves (1.1/2 inch) replace the original 1-3/16 valves. Intake and exhaust manifolds have also been upgraded to 1928 versions which have the ports going from 7/8 inch to 1 inch I.D and having the preheater between the intake and exhaust blocked off. A 3-speed manual transmission is on back, and a Chevrolet 3.818 ring and pinion now resides in the axle in place of the original Pontiac 4.18 gearset.


All buttoned up undercarriage showing some early technology in the form of 3-inch exhaust and leaf springs. In original race trim the car would have had Gabriel snubbers in lieu of shock absorbers. Mechanical drum brakes only on the rear wheels make planning a stop interesting unless you lean heavily on them.


The car starts right up and is an easy drive. It handles well and is very sound mechanically being constantly maintained since the full restoration in 2001. A definite thrill ride open to the road and track where you interact with it much closer than you may want!

Bring home this AACA Junior Award winner, AACA Senior Award winner, AACA Grand National winner, AACA Grand Nationa


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