Skip to main content

1915 Van Blerck 17-Liter news, pictures, specifications, and information
Speedster
Chassis Num: 2188
 
High bid of $160,000 at 2008 Leake. (did not sell)
Sold for $142,500 at 2009 Leake.
Dutch immigrant Joseph Van Blerck was born on August 17th of 1876. He was a very skillful and innovative engineer who came to the United States in 1904 and worked for Henry Ford in Detroit. Around in 1906 he formed the Van Blerck motor company which would become on of the prominent producers of marine engines during the late 1910s. Their engines would capture some very early records in powerboat racing and would be used to power many of the Gold Cuppers in the teens and early twenties.

By 1916, the Van Blerck Motor Company had a diverse line-up of engines, ranging in power from 40-500 horsepower. The prices ranged from the low $1,000 to over $6,000 for the V-12 unit.

Automotive enthusiast, craftsman, and Pebble Beach awarded winner, Gary Wales constructed this massive Van Blerck Speedster. It has a wheelbase that measures nearly fourteen feet, a length of almost eighteen feet, and a staggering height of over seven feet. With all of this real-estate, it seats only two individuals. Most of the space is reserved for the engine, which - in honor of the Van Blerck Motor Company - is enormous. It is a six-cylinder, T-head unit that displaces 17 liters and produces 200 horsepower. In other words, its cubic-inch displacement is in the 1000 region. Each of the combustion chambers require three spark plugs to ignite all the fuel and air it digests with each stroke. During the Van Blerck era, this engine would probably have been hidden in the hull of racing boat. In modern times, it is mated to a three-speed transmission, and uses massive double chains to drive the gigantic rear wheels or a road-going Speedster.

The sheer size and sound of this behemoth attracts a crowd wherever it travels. When not in motion, there are plenty of details to admire. The down-draft carburetor is situated outside of the hood panel which allows for better fuel cooling. The rear of the vehicle features a brass fin positioned on top of the rounded tail. Brass ornamentation can be seen throughout the vehicle, with the largest collection found in the front. Two headlights flank the pointed and angular grille. Inside, the driver is positioned on the right, behind a very large steering wheel. There are plenty of gauges to inform about temperature, fuel, volts, oil, oil temperature, speed, and more.

This Gary Wales built Van Blerck Speedster is the only example ever created. In 2008 it was sold at the Huston Classic Auction presented by Worldwide Group Auctioneers where it was sold for $288,200 including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES PRICING OF 2015 GOLF GTI MODELS, STARTING AT $24,395
The latest Golf GTI adds more standard equipment and exciting new optional features ◾Seventh-generation Golf GTI is bigger, lighter, faster, and more fuel-efficient ◾Price rises just $195 over previous-generation GTI, despite more standard equipment and an increase of 10 horsepower and 51 pound-feet of torque from new EA888 TSI® engine ◾Golf GTI Performance Package provides a great value at just $1495, includes electronically-controlled torque-sensing limited-slip differential ◾Dynami...[Read more...]
GOLF PRODUCTION IN MEXICO MARKS ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR VOLKSWAGEN GROUP IN NORTH AMERICA
Mexican Secretary of Economy, Dr. Guajardo, and Volkswagen CEO, Prof. Dr. Winterkorn, inaugurate production of the new Volkswagen Golf at the Puebla plant • The Volkswagen Group is investing US$7 billion in new products and modern production facilities in North America in period to 2018 • Volkswagen de México celebrates 50th anniversary Puebla (Mexico) / Wolfsburg, January 14, 2014 – Production of the new Volkswagen Golf¹ commenced today at the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, Mexi...[Read more...]
VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA REPORTS AUGUST 2013 SALES
 - Best-ever August and year-to-date results for Passat and TDI® Clean Diesels •Best August and year-to-date for Passat with 10,194 and 76,364 units, respectively •Jetta Sedan delivered 13,508 units for the month •Tiguan delivered 2,948 units, marking the best August and year-to-date ever •High-mileage, TDI® Clean Diesel models accounted for 30.4 percent of sales in August and 24.3 percent of sales year-to-date, the best August and year-to-date results on record •Passat TDI sales reach 43.8 ...[Read more...]
EDWARDS PACES FORD QUALIFYING EFFORT AT INDIANAPOLIS WITH 3RD PLACE SHOWING
 CARL EDWARDS, NO. 99 FASTENAL FORD FUSION (QUALIFIED 2nd) – 'We have a fast race car and I am pretty proud of that lap. If I did it again I don't know that I could go any faster. That was a pretty good lap. Hopefully that holds up for a top two or three. If we can start up front I think we have the pit crew and crew chief on the box and a car that can win this race. I want to win this thing badly. MARCOS AMBROSE, NO. 9 DEWALT FORD FUSION (QUALIFIED 10th) – 'We improved a lot and I am pretty ...[Read more...]
Edsel Ford's Speedster Stars at 'The Amelia'
Edsel Ford's 'continental car', a custom boattail speedster, will take its rightful place in the Sports Car Class of the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. In the shape of Edsel's seminal speedster is the genesis of Ford's legendary design department. Edsel Ford was hardly 'a chip off the old block'. The acorn fell well away from the mighty oak that was Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. Edsel was not just the President of Ford, he was a car guy to his core. His ta...[Read more...]

© 1998-2014. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.