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Become a '50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker

Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
Image: Bring A Trailer

With red wire wheels, giant Firestones, bare metal WWII aircraft bodywork, and a roaring flathead V8 sitting behind the driver, this aerodynamic wonder is 1950s hot rod culture on four wheels. It’s a nostalgia fueled icon of the era for speed freaks, and now you can make it yours, because it’s for sale on Bring A Trailer.

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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker

This thing has an extremely limited use case, as it is basically only capable of running at runways, salt flats, or dry lake beds, and even then can only run for about 5-7 minutes on its 2-gallon tank of fuel. Honestly, that only makes this thing all the more badass.

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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker

You really have to be dedicated to the cause of skidding along the surface of the planet with little in the way of protection, just because you want to go really fast. If you live near El Mirage or Bonneville, it might be a great weekend toy. If you don’t it’ll end up being little more than a 1:1 scale display model.

Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker

With a Ford Model T frame fitted inside a Lockheed P-38 Lightning fuel tank, this thing is properly vintage speed shop built. It was actually built in-era, and revived about 15 years ago. Exactly a decade ago, it hit eBay and Sam Smith featured it right here on Jalopnik. The BaT seller is the same guy that bought the tanker on eBay a decade ago.

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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker

If that wasn’t enough badassery for you, check out the video of the car running at El Mirage.

In 1952 a similar belly tanker with a similar 156 CI V8 ran an awe-inspiring 145.395 mph. One equipped with a larger Mercury flathead ran a 195.77 mph. Can you imagine going that fast with your butt an inch from the ground, riding on wire wheels with tubed tires, and nothing there to protec yo’ neck?

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Is it “hipster” if it is also 100% certified bitchin’?

Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker
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Illustration for article titled Become a 50s Speed Demon With This Flathead-powered Belly Tanker

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

gasclay
Gaseous Clay

I’ve always liked the irony of an enormous fuel tank being turned into a car with hardly any capacity for fuel