by Mike Bumbeck - Clunkbucket.com
The American Heritage Dictionary defines jalopy as a word used to describe an old, dilapidated motor vehicle – especially an automobile. The origin of the word itself is hazy.
The Ultimate Hot Rod Dictionary goes further, suggesting the word may have come into being as a result of many dilapidated automobiles sent to the Mexican city of Jalapa. The second definition of the word is the very automobile seen here. Any rough, oftentimes crudely constructed early-vintage automobile used in circle track operations during the ’40s and ’50s.
Once driven by Benny Hofer of Rock Island, Illinois, this is not just any jalopy, but a genuine 1940 two-door Ford coupe full race jalopy.
A fuel cell flush and a fresh Stromberg 97 were the first steps in figuring things out, but the flathead was still not up to snuff. A compression check checked out, but that very same squeeze was pushing past two blown head gaskets and into the cooling channels – wrecking all sorts of havoc.
A new set of gaskets, some aviation gasket sealant, a retorque, a set of points and the flathead runs and sounds like a race-prepped flat-knocker should.