The “Woody Lee T”
Cover Car for Hot Rod Deluxe Magazine!
Currently on stands and in stores now!
2nd place at the inaugural 1950 Oakland Roadster Show / Grand National Roadster Show
1952 January Hot Rod Magazine - 1952 June Hot Rod Magazine - Rodder's Journal
Sports Cars and Hot Rods (October, 1953) where it was compared with the Doane Spencer Roadster
Here is a great opportunity to own a historic, documented, original and un-restored piece of significant early California Hot Rod, Lakes and Drag racing history. The car is currently on the cover of and featured in the May issue of Hot Rod Deluxe.
The “Woody Lee T” was constructed in 1949 by Jack Hagemann Sr. for Larry Neves of Oakland, CA. The car was entered in the inaugural 1950 Oakland Roadster Show (Grand National Roadster Show) where it finished 2nd place to the Neikamp Roadster. Richard “Woody” Lee purchased the car in 1951 and raced it as a member of the Cal-Neva Roadster Association at both dry lakes and ¼ mile events setting multiple records. During 1951 the car briefly changed hands from Woody to Chuck Chenowth of San Diego, CA who drag raced the car in SoCal, then back to Woody who raced and showed the car through the early 50s. Magazine photos show the car being co-owned by David Thorne in 1952.
Ownership of the car is unknown from around 1954 to the mid 1960’s. During this time the car wound up in the hands of Jim and Yvonne Ranger who were most notable for owning and racing the unlimited hydroplane “My Gypsy”. Yvonne was the grand-daughter of Horace Dodge and an heiress to the Dodge family estate. In 1969 the car was purchased by a family friend Danny Gilmore of Covina, CA as a retirement project, however, passed away prior to working on the car. The car was handed down to his daughter where it was partially disassembled for storage, pushed in a corner of the garage, covered over with plywood (slot car track) and vanished into darkness for the next 45 years.
It should be noted that there are no records to indicate the car was either entered in or run at any events from 1954 to 2013 (59 years) when the car was acquired by the current owner.
This car is in un-restored condition with 1953 paint, scallops and striping by “Tommy the Greek” with original 1949 leather interior and rear rubber from 1951. The motor, when acquiring the car, is a 1949/53 Mercury with Navarro 3 pot intake, 97 carbs set up for methanol, Sharp heads and early Mallory dual point distributor. The block is the stock bore with no ridge and is disassembled with crank, cam and all pieces/parts bagged and labeled waiting for rebuild if so desired. Brakes have been redone.
We would love to bring this one back to life again in our Sakowski Motors shop for you!
Racing Class: “C” Modified Roadster
Builder: Jack Hagemann Sr.
Paint: “Tommy the Greek”
Body: Based on a 24 T Roadster with Aluminum Hand Formed Front Nose, Hood, Dash and Belly Pan
Motor: 296 cu. in. (1948) Mercury V8; Navarro Heads & 3 Pot Intake; Winfield Cam; Harmon Collins Magneto
Features: Tubular Chromoly Chassis; Indy Novi Aluminum Nose; Full Belly Pan; Franklin Steering; V860 Front Axle, Hand Pump Pressurized Fuel System
Cal-Neva (Reno) Record Holder @ 131.1 mph
Tracy ¼ Mile Record Holder @ 124 mph
Bonneville Top Speed @ 133.6 mph
Paradise Mesa ¼ Mile Record Holder @ 121 mph
Note: January 1952 Hot Rod Magazine states a Bonneville speed of 168 mph, however, no additional documentation has been found at this time.
The car appeared in Hot Rod Magazine twice, January and June of 1952 and was featured in a Dean Batchelor written article in Sports Cars and Hot Rods (October, 1953) where it was compared with the Doane Spencer Roadster as viable road race cars. It is also documented in the Rodders Journal Scrapbook and Don Montgomery’s Old Hot Rods Scrapbook.
The pictures are documented evidence of the car from 1950/53 at Reno, Bonneville and San Diego, as well as recent shots taken at El Mirage Dry Lake. Original magazines and a complete set of pictures will be provided to the new owner.
The car was recently awarded the “Oilers” CC/MC PICK at the 2015 Grand National Roadster Show and would be a perfect candidate for the Race of Gentlemen.
This car is a very rare one off example of early California Hot Rod history and perfect for the automotive enthusiast or serious collector and comes with complete historic documentation.
Trades will be considered for something of equal value (real steel period 32 Ford Deuce 1932 hot rod, etc).