Belly tanker of the beast on eBay

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Who needs a belly tanker? I do.

belly tankerOK, I don’t need a belly tanker but I really really want one. Yes, the only places to drive it are many hundreds of miles away. So what? It’s cool and I want one. I can’t afford one but what does that have to do with anything?

For those of you who don’t know, a belly tanker is a airplane fuel tank that sat outside the plane’s main body. After WWII the mechanically hyperactive ex-military hot rodders discovered that they made great bodies for the all out speed wars happening out on the flats. Since the army didn’t need them anymore they could be had for cheap.

This particular example is not just a great example of a tank but is also powered by the ultimate early hot rod engine, the flathead V8. This was an engine simple in design and not overly amazing in performance. However its design was intended to be nearly indestructible.

This allowed the crazies to add ridiculously severe camshafts, pistons, ignitions, piles of carbs and even the occasional supercharger without blowing the block apart. (Well, sometimes.) Seriously, look at the pictures in the listing. You will see all kinds of what-the-hell-is-thats bolted on or around the engine.

Salt flat racing is an interesting tangent to the history of hot rodding. At first there was a lot of crossover between drag racing and the cars on the flats, but quickly the specialized needs of each discipline began excluding the other.

So if I were to buy this car what would I do with it? The biggest problem is that I not only don’t have a garage, I don’t even have a driveway. Perhaps I could rent a crane to lift it into my back yard. Invite my motorhead friends over for group tinkering. Maybe not.

Look at this on eBay

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Author: Tom
Writer, cyclist, RVer, etc.