Dave Blake is the owner of one very special car.
It’s a hot rod built in 1947 by brothers Hal and Bill Ulrich using a 1934 Ford Roadster chassis and a masterpiece of an engine lifted out of a Duesenberg. Despite being designed all the way back in 1928, the 7.0-liter inline-8 Duesenberg engine had double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder. And as Jay Leno points out in the video above, the engine was delivering 265 horsepower at a time when a Ford only had about 60.
Incredibly, the car came close to being dismantled at one point. It was up for auction in the 1970s with one bidder keen to use the engine in a Duesenberg replica and another bidder looking to get the chassis to drop in a modern V-8. Fortunately Blake’s father was at the auction and knowing the significance of the car made some deals to acquire it.
Today it’s looked after by Blake and his own son. They run Blake Machine Company in Phoenix, Arizona, which produces replacement parts for a number of classic cars, particularly those from Dodge.
Note, Jay Leno has his own Duesenberg in his vast collection. The funny man’s car is a 1931 Model J that he picked up in 2005 and fully restored. Like all Duesenbergs, it also has an interesting story behind it.