So-Cal Speed Shop is an Icon for the hot rod world and arguably one of its best known creations is the So-Cal Special. After World War II there were a lot of surplus war items and returning GIs were innovative, creative and ready for thrills. Hot Rods and Drag Racing were the outlet for many. Building a car from scratch was no challenge for these warriors.
The Belly Tanker started life as axillary fuel tanks on the bottom of P-38 Lightning Aircraft. It wasn’t long before these aerodynamic shapes were rescued from salvage yards and converted into race cars. In 1952 Alex Xydias and So-Cal Speed Shop built this Bonneville tanker that ran three different Ford V-8 Flatheads in three different classes. Alex set two records and attained a top speed of 198.34 MPH while setting the Class C Lakester record.
They won 6 awards that speed week. They also walked away with the “Best Appearing Car and Crew” award. All in all, making it one of the “Most Honored Cars In Bonneville History.” In 1949 it graced the cover of Hot Rod Magazine.
Hot Rod Magazine January 1949
For 40 years it remained untouched. It has now been meticulously restored for Bruce Meyer by Pete Chapouris and the new So-Cal Speed Shop. The original engine and restored engine were both built by Bob Meeks of Edelbrock. To see restoration photo of this car Click Here.
We have visited the So-Cal Speed Shop on several occasions and even had the opportunity to see this fabulous piece of racing history during its restoration. You can see more by Clicking Here.