Jim Khougaz roadster


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Jim Khougaz roadster
« on: February 19, 2018, 02:13:06 PM »
from Sotheby's when it was last auctioned (sold for $187k):

During his childhood, while growing up in Van Nuys, California, Jim Khougaz was fascinated with hot rods. After years of lustfully watching these machines rumble down the street en route to local races, Khougaz finally got his first taste of racing when he managed to tag along with a friend’s brother to Muroc in 1938. In high school, Khougaz purchased a basket-case ’32 Roadster for $50 and managed to get the car in running order to do some minor racing before duty called.

After returning from serving overseas as a waist gunner in an Army Air Corps B-17 Flying Fortress, Khougaz decided it was time to dive into hot rods full time and compete with the best.


Starting with another ’32 Ford Roadster, Khougaz channeled the car a full seven inches over the frame and handcrafted a sectioned grille shell to match. The body was faired into the frame, and Khougaz fabricated a full-length aluminum belly pan. The hood was extended by two inches, with the hot engine enclosed between custom louvered side panels. With a flat spoiler affixed to the grille to keep the nose down at speed, and with the windshield removed (Khougaz used a chopped windshield from a ’32 Ford for street use), the Roadster cut through the air like a hot knife through butter.

At the Roadster’s heart was a high-output 286-cubic inch flathead V-8 that had been modified with such features as a Winfield SU-AM cam, finned high-compression Edelbrock cylinder heads, and a quad-carb Edelbrock intake manifold. Furthermore, the car was fitted with twin Wilco magnetos, which were later replaced by a single Harman and Collins magneto. The engine block was ported and relieved, with all reciprocating parts carefully balanced, which was a specialty that would later help Jim to earn his living. He also built a custom column-shift setup for the three-speed manual transmission and fitted it to a ’48 Ford steering wheel.

Interestingly enough, the Roadster doubled as Khougaz’s daily driver, but as the car became more successful and focused, it became his dedicated lakes racer. While racing on the lake beds, the car proved to be quite successful, becoming faster and faster with each successive run. In 1949, the car topped out at 141.95 miles at El Mirage Dry Lake. After winning a sizable collection of coveted Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) timing tags, Khougaz retired the car in the mid-1950s.