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History The Hunt for the Waddill Roadster

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by J.Ukrop, Jan 7, 2022.

  1. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 2,063

    Staff Member

    J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:

    The Hunt for the Waddill Roadster


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. The audacity of taking something like this apart, should be a war crime prosecuted in the bowels of The Hague.


  3. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,706


  4. hansboomer
    Joined: Nov 15, 2008
    Posts: 89

    from new york

    That car is perfect. I don't usually care much for body mods, but the raised wheel arches look perfect. But what really caught my eye was the 4 link suspension, which must have been a big deal in 1954. Also, I really like nailheads.

  5. Looks to me like the top of the windshield frame is curved. Neat detail.
    kidcampbell71 and Tim like this.
  6. My father knew Bill, he installed the McCulloch supercharger in my dad's '55 Chevy in 1955. They went to some races together and my dad tells stories of riding around in his heavily chopped ('52 Ford?) pickup. Bill would tow his '32 sedan to the track to race, and race the truck too. My dad turned to sportscar racing in '56-'57, so they lost touch.
  7. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 13,487

    from KCMO

    Great post! I’m always a sucker for a hood too off, hood sides on, shot but this one is especially fun to study C5E0B11C-F9B2-4B2C-93B3-81FA8BE9DB29.jpeg
  8. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,906


    Joey, you should also get a copy of the book his daughter published, I think it was called ‘ the original Hot Rodder’ ( I’ll have to double check when I’m at home), great book with lots of Michigan Hot Rodding history.
  9. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,366


    thankyou Ryan for all the neat articles! the best part of the HAMB!!
  10. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,875

    from Nebraska

    What a cool roadster! I, too, can't fathom why it would've been taken apart.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  11. What's the deal with the plate on the frame with what looks like a steering arm attached to it? I don't recall seeing something like that before.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  12. redo32
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,948


    On the Buick motor, what is in front of the distributor?
  13. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,906


    What’s in front of the distributor: That’s the coil, don’t recall the make.
    frame plate:?I’ve seen a lot of cars from the 50’s era where they cut the frame and plated it for a different steering box, not everything was done as nicely as we’d like to think.
    saltracer219, chryslerfan55 and Tim like this.
  14. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 916


    It would be quite a story to have someone find enough of it to put it back together.
  15. DeucePhaeton
    Joined: Sep 10, 2003
    Posts: 1,011


    Image 1:Bill Wadill, Dennis Lesky and John Hall with the sedan now owned by Dennis.
    Image 2: Early image of the Sedan
    Image 3: Burt and Bill Pierce with the Wadill Sedan (still owned by Dennis) in 2007 taken at the Lansing Car Show. Bill Pierce purchased the sedan from Bill Wadill in the late 50s when Bill built a Henry J to replace the sedan to go drag racing 26175957_1882555021772444_888688324_n.jpg 26175826_1882554985105781_1620642847_n.jpg 100_0324.JPG
  16. Gr8laker
    Joined: Sep 15, 2011
    Posts: 60

    from Michigan

    Maybe the condition of the car at that point?
    Malcolm likes this.
  17. They moved on to other cars and they just didn't mean much. I've got a few speed parts on my Model A from a '32 roadster hot rod that was built in 1949 by one of my dad's buddies. By the early '60s it was just taking up space in his garage, so he blew it apart and sold most of the pieces because he could get a few more bucks parted out than as a whole. Luckily for me he saved a few bits because no one would give him any money for flathead stuff (I wish he would've saved the Kinmont brakes). He took that money (and then some) and bought a brand spankin' new '65 Shelby Cobra. I only saw that car once or twice, he sold the Cobra in the late '70s after he'd raced it for a decade and it wasn't worth much either, then he bought a fancy new Fox body Mustang (um... yeah).

    It only doesn't make sense from today's perspective, but it all seemed like a good idea at the time.
  18. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,849


    It's a shame the roadster hasn't remained intact, it happened to a lot of old rods in the 80's and 90's, and all those builders who did that really felt like they were improving the car. That's why when survivor cars are found, it's so important not to make changes to them. We may think changing this or that will make it more attractive or easier to use or whatever, but once it's changed the history of it is damaged.

    Rusty, smashed hulks and unfinished project cars need builders, survivor cars need caretakers.
  19. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,875

    from Nebraska

    Very true.
    Just like the Shelby Cobra not being worth much in the late '70s as compared to today.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  20. Nobey
    Joined: May 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,276


    I couldn't agree with you more on your thoughts, Squablow, they need caretakers.... Joey you zeroed in on
    a fine roadster, witch version do you prefer, the four bar with the tube axle, or the I beam with wish bone?
    That Trend Book 102 should be required reading for any Hot Rod builder. Jimmy shared the whole book
    here on the H.A.M.B. somewhere. I only hope the family can locate Mr. Waddill's roadster....
  21. hotrodlane
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 301


    There was a post on here several years ago of someone showing their original roadster body find/build and they had replaced the quarter panels with new brookville quarters because they were raised similar to the ones on this roadster. don't remember who it was but I know that the quarter panels he removed were sold on ebay as I seen them listed shortly after on there as well. Not sure if that body could be this one or not but maybe someone remembers the post and can link it here for comparison.
    chryslerfan55 and The37Kid like this.
  22. Hi Joey! Thank you for starting this blog about looking for my Dad's '32 Roadster! I still have not found it, but I think it is still in Ohio and is orange not blue as stated on my pdf. I see that you know Kelli and Charlie Hascall in Oregon. I know them on-line! This car won second place at the very first Detroit Autorama in 1953. The Frank Mack car that is currently in the Petersen Museum won first place. At the 1954 Detroit Autorama, the '32 roadster won Best Engineered car; and I still have both of these trophies. I did write a book about my Dad and it has done very well and has even gone overseas. I have them on eBay for half the cost of the one in the link provided above. I think you need a copy for reference, so please email me your address to let me know where to send one! I think you would like it and would know several people in the book. Thank you so much for writing about him--I was very emotional when I found your blog. Kathy Waddill Ridley
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
  23. Detroit Autorama 2017 006.JPG I think this is the truck that Big A was talking about above. It is a 1953 Chevy that took first place pickup at the 1955 Detroit Autorama and this is a picture of it on display in 2017!
    jeff.l.hecht, alfin32, Big A and 9 others like this.
  24. Silva
    Joined: Apr 28, 2005
    Posts: 454


    chryslerfan55 and J.Ukrop like this.
  25. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 881


    That is a Mallory Mag Spark Coil.
    John Lee Williamson likes this.
  26. Oh man! I missed Autorama in 2017, I would have loved to see that truck.

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