The Dual Charged Roadster
Carl Fleischmann was a genius. Not the kind that walks around in a white coat and spits out calculations from the top of his head, but the kind that sneaks around quietly and drops intellectual bombs when you least expect it. He was known in the 1950’s Hot Rod scene as a shy and brilliant man that could figure anything out and on a practical level, build just about anything as well. When Mal Hooper (the coolest man to ever walk the earth) and Dean Batchelor decided it was time to build the Shadoff Special, they took it to Carl’s backyard garage for that very reason. And when Carl was done with the car, it broke six international records… on it’s first time out!
So, his level of awesomeness is established. Now, behold one of his early efforts – the Dual Charged Roadster.
I’ve stared at this January, 1953 Hot Rod Magazine article countless times. It’s a short piece that recollects the author’s (W.G. Brown) 160 mile road trip with Carl in his dual super charged ’29 roadster. As the two blasted from Glendale, CA to Lancaster and back, W.G. couldn’t get over the insane performance of the car. Not only did it haul ass, but that car handled and stopped like nothing he had every experienced as well. It was the complete package… and incredibly exotic for its time.
There was one performance issue. The dual blowers provided more air than the twin Strombergs could keep up with. At high RPM and under load, detonation was hellacious; often blowing spark plugs to bits. At the time of the article, Carl was rethinking the whole setup. In mind was a two staged blower drive fed by a fuel injection system healthy enough to match the forced air with the proper fuel mixture.
I wonder if he ever got that done? I’ve heard the car is still around, but I believe it sits sans blowers. Anyone out there with some insight?