1926 Pontiac Boat Tail Racer news, pictures, and information
Shortly after the car's sale, the owner suffered a fire, which destroyed the passenger compartment. The car returned to the dealership where the chassis was taken across town to the Willoughby Company, a local coachbuilder wîth a national reputation for building custom, quality vehicle bodies on high-end automobile chassis. The rough finish of the boat-tail body and the lack of a Willoughby number plate seem to indicate that the conversion was a quick and dirty job, certainly not in keeping wîth their usual high-end coachwork.
The car first raced at the Sherrill Hill Climb on August 14, 1926 where it won first in class and in unlimited displacement, taking home two trophies and $20 in prize money. The car was named 'Hill Climber' and went on to compete as a dealer-sponsored racer until its retirement in 1932. The car stayed in the McRorie family through three generations. It left the Útica area in 1983 after the dealership closed. By that point it had fallen into disrepair.
In May of 1997, current owner, Arnold Landvoigt responded to a computer bulletin board ad for a 'one of a kind 1926 Pontiac Boat Tail Racer.' He and his wife, Lois, fell in love wîth the car and purchased it on the spot. They have since restored the car and researched its history along wîth that of racing in upstate NY in the 1920s. Hill Climber is now a certified AACA Competition vehicle that has toured the country.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2007Source - AACA Museum
Its first race was in August 14, 1926 at the Sherrill, New York Hill Climb. It won 1st in class.
'Hill Climber', the earliest known Pontiac race car, was produced very early in 1926, Pontiac's first production year.
Starting life as a standard 2-door sedan, it was sold in Utica, New York. McRotie-Sautter dealership re-acquired the car and had the chassis rebuilt into an open, boat-tailed racer to compete in local hill climbs.
On August 14, 1926 it raced for the first time at an event in Sherrill, New York. On its first outing it won first in class and third in unlimited displacement class, taking home two trophies and $20 in prize money.
Mr. and Mrs. Landvoigt acquired the car un-restored in 1997. They have done most of the restoration as well as extensive research documenting the history of the car.
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