The Dago Axle

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Stewart Speed Automotive after Ed and Bob moved the family business from Suncrest to San Diego.
Al Andril's 1940 Mercury Coupe of Maywood, California. Al's Merc was restyled by Barris Kustoms in 1948 at their Compton Avenue shop. The Merc was lowered using a Dago axle.
Johnny Zaro's 1940 Mercury Coupe of Maywood, California. Johnny's Merc was restyled by Barris Kustoms in 1948 at their Compton Avenue shop. The Merc was lowered using a Dago axle.

The Dago Axle is a name for dropped axels made by Ed "Axle" Stewart of San Diego, California. Ed was a machinist and heat-treat specialist by trade, but ended up devoting his life to hot rods. In the 1940s Ed started up a speed shop called Stewart Speed Automotive in his garage in Suncrest, about 30 miles from San Diego. Ed collaborated with Abe Kobeck at Rogers Auto Carriage to learn how to make 1932 Ford dropped axles by the drop hammer method, which made them tougher than taffy-pulled axles. The modified axle lowered the stance of the desert racers for less wind resistance and faster times and became a signature hot rod part known as the Dago Axle after the locale of San Diego.[1]

In the early 1950s, Ed moved the speed shop to San Diego. Ed's son, Bob Stewart became expert at boring, honing, port-and-polish work, and made deliveries of the Dago Axle and other speed parts to Los Angeles. Bob's customers nicknamed him Li’l Axle after his well-known father.[1]

Cars Featuring A Dropped Dago Axel

Luke Castro's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster
Frank Douillard's 1930 Ford Roadster
Les Callahan's 1922 Dodge Roadster Pickup
Alfred A. Berton's 1932 Ford Roadster
George Sein's 1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe - The Flamer
Robert Accosta's 1933 Ford Sedan
Dave Gayner's 1936 Ford Roadster
Bill Page's 1940 Ford
Al Andril's 1940 Mercury Coupe
Johnny Zaro's 1940 Mercury Coupe
Bob Trammel's 1941 Ford - The Bathtub
Jerry Vrionis' 1941 Ford Pickup


  1. 1.0 1.1 YouTube - Bob Li'l Axle Stewart: 1950s Hot Rods, the Dry Lakes, and the Dago Axle

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