The Ingalls Special is a very interesting, attractive, and unique hot-rod racing special. It was built by Ed Ingalls of Lafayette, California who had a desire to race but lacked the necessary finances to purchase a competitive foreign race car. European models, at the time, were highly successful and often outpaced the competition. This prompted many low-cost specials to be built, such as the Hagemann and Ingalls Special, to name a few, that had success at a much lower cost.
A DeSoto Airflow was used for the chassis, using the frame rails but removing the rear cross-members in favor of a Ford setup. The front and rear axles were from early Fords. The steering was from a 1936 Dodge and the brakes were Ford hydraulic drums.
The body is easily identifiable as a Ford Roadster from the early 1930s. Ingalls added cycle fenders to the front and permanent fenders in the rear. The rear fenders were later replaced with aluminum. The hood was hand-formed by Ingalls, as was the instrument cluster featuring Stewart Warner gauges and instrumentation.
Up front, a Chrysler Spitfire flathead six-cylinder engine that displaced 260 cubic-inches was installed. It breathed through three Stromberg carburetors which provided plenty of power. A Ford three-speed manual gearbox sent that power to the rear wheels.
Later in the vehicles life, the Chrysler engine was replaced with a Ford flathead V8.