HomePick of the DayMore than 70 years later, this midget-style racer awaits its first race

More than 70 years later, this midget-style racer awaits its first race


The Pick of the Day is something of a mystery machine. It’s a 1948 Kurtis Kraft-style midget race car offered with a full trailer and extra parts by a dealership in Hanover, Massachussets.

All of that appears fine and dandy in the photos that are part of the car’s advertisement on ClassicCars.com. 

The dealer notes that the car was built between 1947 and 1949, has been well-maintained, is powered by a 60 horsepower Ford V8 (presumably a flathead-style engine) with dual carburetors and Edmunds manifold and cylinder heads.

The car is built on a Model T frame with Model A front axle, in-and-out gearbox, and comes with both dirt-track and pavement tires.

The dealer adds that the trailer has been rebuilt with a new floor, tiers, lights, safety chains, wheels, etc.

But then comes the mystery: 

“Current owner did some research on this car and as far as he knows it has not been in any race,” the dealer reports.

But why would someone build such a machine and then never race it? The possibilities are intriguing and perhaps the next owner will be able to track down the history of “The Swallow,” which is the name on the car’s bodywork.

The cockpit

“If you are a race enthusiast or a beginner looking to get started, this is a nice piece of racing history from the ’40s,” the dealer suggests.

The asking price is $15,000 or best offer. 

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.


Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


    • The Ford V8-60 was the economy Ford flathead. It was never popular in the street cars for the most part because of it’s smaller horsepower, which made it a perfect choice as a “poor mans” substitute for a Offenhauser engine. While I’ve seen race cars that have never been run, it’s been able to be proved. When you can’t prove the existence or lack of history, I think it’s more accurate to state, “The Car has no history.”

  1. Ford didn’t put OHVs into their cars until 54. I had a 53 Merc with a flat head. Midgets were popular racers up to about that time. As a teenager then, I can still remember the rumble of a flathead as opposed to any OHV never being able to match that flathead sound with a set of straight pipes. Just reminiscing. "o)

    • i know a guy with 3 three of those old Ford 60s engines,,most are parts but one is all together!

      i asked if he would sell them ,firmly NOOO!


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