Ford Edelbrock Roadster

Before World War II, in the early days of organized hot rodding, Vic Edelbrock, Sr. operated a machine shop and service station in Los Angeles. On weekends, he drove his 1932 Ford roadster up to the dry lakes, where he competed under the auspices of the fledgling Southern California Timing Association (SCTA). Edelbrock began to create a line of speed equipment for Ford and Mercury flathead engines. After the war, his highly respected performance parts business grew exponentially. Edelbrock knew racing victories would help draw attention and spur sales. Besides running his roadster and a pair of midget racers, Vic Sr. encouraged his employees to compete as well.

Assisted by Bobby Meeks, Edelbrock’s talented engine builder, employees Bob and Dick Pierson, Don Waite, Francisco “Fran” Hernandez and Bill Likes became respected competitors. The Pierson Brothers’ chopped ’34 Ford coupe topped 143 mph in 1949 and appeared on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine. A member of the Russetta Timing Association (RTA) Coupes Club, Bill Likes owned a ’32 Ford highboy. Using different displacement flatheads, Likes and Hernandez competed in SCTA Classes B and C, for engines up to 260-cid and 305-cid.

Known as the “Edelbrock Special,” Bill Likes’ roadster could be considered the quintessential racing highboy of its era. Bill was the man to beat every time he appeared. Initially using a 1932 roadster body on a 1932 Ford frame painted dark blue, stripped of every nonessential part and packing a potent flathead, the clean, well-turned-out Likes highboy was a top points getter at SCTA and Russetta meets. It was photographed in Hot Rod magazine and Fawcett hot rod publications of the era. The machine shop manager at Edelbrock, Bill Likes always ran Edelbrock-built flatheads, fitted with his employer’s latest equipment and tuned to perfection by Bobby Meeks.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

259 cu. in. 1949 Ford flathead V-8 (over-bored 0.100" and de-stroked 1/8"), 1932 Ford chassis, Edelbrock heads and three-carburetor intake, Harman and Collins camshaft, three-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel hydraulic brakes, solid front and rear axles, single transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear. Wheelbase: 106"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

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