We recently received an email from Carl Tregler, a longtime Rodder’s Journal reader from Erie, Pennsylvania. The note was short, but the accompanying photos of his speed equipment collection were worth a thousand words. Every available surface of his snug two-car garage is covered with rare speed parts with names like Ardun, Halibrand, and McCulloch. It’s a pretty cool scene, and we wanted to share it with you.
Carl is a machinist and metal fabricator by trade. As a kid he cut his teeth working on mini bikes, then spent the early-’60s cruising to high school in a ’46 Ford coupe with a 283 Chevy and a ’39 Ford toploader. The ’46 eventually made way for a channeled Deuce roadster, which he drove to Indy for the NHRA Nationals the summer after graduation. And he’s been tinkering with old cars and hording speed parts ever since.
He still owns a fiberglass-bodied roadster pickup that’s been on the road since 1972. It’s powered by a 427 Chevy with aluminum heads and has a Halibrand quickchange hanging out back. There’s also a pair of ’32s in the works: a roadster and a chopped five-window coupe.
“I started collecting long before eBay,” Carl says. “At the time, Hemmings Motor News set the high water mark. You could still buy, sell, and trade with your friends.” On one wall are magnesium and aluminum quickchange centersections from Halibrand, Frankland, and others. Nearly 200 intakes line the rafters and shelves. Most are for flatheads, but there are Cadillac, Olds, Pontiac, and Studebaker pieces as well. Mixed in among them are superchargers ranging from GMC 3-, 4-, and 6-71s to rare S.Co.T and McCulloch centrifugal units.
While the garage may look like a museum inventory room, Carl’s parts aren’t merely wall hangers. The roadster he’s building has an Ardun-equipped flathead and a Cyclone quickchange. Along one side of the garage, underneath a rack of dash inserts from Stewart-Warner and others, is a row of completely built flatheads. One of the early Ford V8’s is even fitted with an ultra-rare set of Dixon F-head cylinder heads, while others feature all manner of intakes, blowers, magnetos, and dual-coil distributors.
We’ve all got some part on our car or in our garage that is particularly special to us, but we wondered if Carl had a favorite piece hiding among his collection. “Picking the crown jewel would be a tough choice,” he says. “It goes without saying that the Arduns are valuable. But the Eddie Meyer distributor using the Pierce Arrow cap is very special.”
So what’s hanging from your rafters? If you’ve got some rare piece of equipment, or you’ve amassed your own vintage speed museum over the years, send us some snapshots to email@example.com. We never get tired of looking at old cars and the equipment that makes them go faster, and they just might wind up in the magazine or on www.roddersjournal.com.