Bob Hamke's 1927 Ford

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The car as it appeared at the 1950 Indianapolis Hot Rod Show. Photo by Kirk Studio.
Photo by Kirk Studio.
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The Circle of Champions at the 1951 Bonneville Speed Week. Photo from the Bob Roddick Collection.
The Circle of Champions at the 1951 Bonneville Speed Week. Photo from the Bob Roddick Collection.
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The car as it appeared in Hot Rod Magazine in 1952
The car as it appeared in an ad for Triumph Motorcycles in 1959
The car as it sat in 2009 when Steve Carrasas purchased the car from Tom Dill. Photo by Steve Carrasas
Steve Carrasas picking up the car in June, 2009. Photo by Steve Carrasas
Robert Hamke reunited with his fathers old roadster. Photo by Steve Carrasas
Robert Hamke, Tom Dill, and Steve Carrasas next to the Roadster as Robert is bringing the car home again.

1927 Ford Model T Roadster built by Bob Hamke of Indianapolis, Indiana. Bob built the car out of a 1927 Ford Model T truck cab. In order to convert the car into a roadster he used a rear deck section from a 1927 Ford Model T Coupe. A set of 1949 Pontiac taillights were integrated into the rear panel. The battery and gas tank were mounted inside the rear deck compartment.

The frame was a composite of Model T, B, and A frame sections. The wheelbase was 96 inches, the overall length of the car was 135 inches and its height was 36 inches. The front end was chromed and consisted of a dropped 1932 Ford front axle fit with 1941 Ford hydraulic brakes. Front and rear split radius rods were side-frame mounted. Between the frame rails Bob installed a 1950 Mercury V-8 Flathead engine. The block was bored 1/8 inch, ported, relieved, and equipped with a 1/4 inch stroked crankshaft. The engine was also equipped with a Harman & Collins 3/4 race camshaft, Edmunds 8-1 heads and a dual carb manifold.

Inside, Bob used instruments from a 1949 Frazer. Once the car was completed he installed two bucket seats; these were later replaced by foam rubber cushions and custom upholstery. The floor was covered in carpet material.

When Bob showed the car at the 1950 Indianapolis Hot Rod Show he had spent 16 months constructing it.

In 1951 the car was entered at the Bonneville Speed Week under the name "Ralphs Muffler Shop Special" car #513C Modified Roadster. It was clocked at 149.253 mph, with Bob Hamke behind the wheel. The car was then running a 306 CID 1950 Ford Flathead V-8. At that time the car was running blackwall tires with different hubcaps, a different nerf bar and rollbar. The car was painted black without the scallop job it had one year earlier. The car finished in 9th at the Bonneville Speed Week and that was the fastest time turned by a non-west coast car. According to Bob's son Robert Hamke, Bob was trying to break 160 mph at the Speed Week. He was going to make three runs. One on "Gas",one on "Alcohol" and one on "Nitro". He made the first run on Gas at 149.253 mph. They got the car ready for the run on "Alcohol" and were waiting while the 666 car made its run. Someone forgot to turn the fuel valve off and when they started the car it hydraulic-locked and bent the rods. Bob stayed up all night using parts from two blown motors to make one good one. Unfortunately he didn't get it done in time to make another run.

Bob's roadster is featured in Fawcett Book 189 Best Hot Rods; in the book you can read that the car took 7 first places in 1951 and 1952 auto shows.

Bob sold the car in the 1960s. In 1961 a guy named Adrian sold the car to another guy named Joe. Last names seem to have been forgotten. The car was spotted in Dayton, Ohio in 1961 wearing a light blue color and a white top. Joe crashed the car while testing out a new motor. In the crash the axle was bent, and the grill shell smashed. When the car was crashed the track nose had been swapped for a 1932 Ford grill shell, and the car was painted in blue metalflake. After the wreck (1968) Joe sold the car to Tom Dill who kept the car until June 2009. At that time Steve Carrasas of Eaton, Ohio found the car and bought it from its previous owner. The car was then located in a garage in West Carrollton, Ohio where it had been sitting in a garage since 1968. It was mostly complete, only missing Bob Hamke's SCTA Tag and the track nose. Joe, the guy that sold the car to Tom Dill, had the track nose and SCTA tag for the car.

While doing research on the car and its history Steve got in touch with Bob Hamke's son Robert Hamke. Robert had been looking for the car for many years, so when Steve contacted him Robert asked if the car was for sale. Steve had dreamed about restoring the car back to its first or second version. Once the build was completed he wanted to run it again at the Bonneville Speed Week. Steve wanted the car to go back home to the Hamke family and he decided to sell it to Robert in July 2009. Robert has planned to restore the car back to the black 1951 Bonneville version. Robert is also trying to have the restoration done in time for the 2011 Bonneville Speed Week, the 60th anniversary of his father's run. At Speed Week Robert will try to match his father's time of 149 mph or beat it. (Note: Ray the Rat will be there to photograph this reunion.)


Magazine Features

Hot Rod Magazine November 1950
Fawcett Book 189 Best Hot Rods
Car Craft June 1960


Sources

The HAMB - 1950 Featured "Hot Rod" Found!





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