The Glen Smith Special
The Glen Smith Special is an early dry lakes racer owned and raced by Glen Smith of San Fernando, California. Glen's father, Boyd Smith, owned a salvage yard in the town of San Fernando, from which Glen and his dad built their race car.
Sweep Panel Dual-Cowl Phaeton
Built during the Great Depression, Glen's race car was constructed using various Ford-components. It ran a Model T chassis, and Model T front and rear axles with hairpin split front radius rods. Power came from a Ford Model A engine. The design of the car was heavily inspired by the exclusive Model J Duesenberg's, and it featured a custom made aluminum phaeton body. Just like the LeBaron bodied Duesenberg's, Glen's Special featured dual-cowls and sweep panel design. A V'ed grille, similar to the Duesenberg was installed on the car as well. It was further dressed up with chromed Model A headlamps and a windshield with wind-wings mounted on a rise. It ran 19 inch rims.
March 25, 1931, one of the first known organized amateur speed trials was held at Muroc Dry Lake. It was sponsored by Gilmore Oil Company, and George Wright, the owner of Bell Auto Parts, was one of the driving forces behind the event. June 14, 1931, at the age of 20, Glen attended the race with his Special. Classes had been established according to engine type, and the speed trials were open to all cars within the designated class. A pace car would start up a dozen racers at a time. At around 50 mph the pace car would drop back and the racers would continue to accelerate to the finish line. No "wildcat warmups" were allowed, and any car that jumped the start would be given a penalty of a hundred foot handicap when the race was restarted. The cars ran as a group, and the two fastest cars from each class were eligible to run in the open competition from which a single winner would emerge. Glen won the Main Event in June with his homemade special. A great achievement for the young racer.
In June of 2017, Shayne Cleaveland told Kustomrama that his great uncle Glen worked as an engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Company in Burbank, California for most of his life. The car disappeared in the 1940s.
Did You Enjoy This Article?
Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.
- Find out how you can become a contributor.
- Forward this article to a friend.
- Subscribe to our newsletter and receive updates on The Glen Smith Special and other subjects featured on Kustomrama.
Help Us Make This Article Better
If you have additional information, photos, feedback or corrections about The Glen Smith Special, please get in touch with Kustomrama at: email@example.com.