Dale Warrington's 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster (from Volume 11, Issue 125)

When we heard the long list of things Dale Warrington from Ft. Pierce did to his 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster replica, it was quite impressive. Then, Dale handed us his business card that showed he does this for a living, and it made sense he went through all the custom fabrication to get the car to look just as he envisioned.

Dale purchased the car as an unfinished project, and started with what he believes is a Glen Pray manufactured body (but since he didn’t purchase it himself he can’t be sure). He never intended to build it to look like an original car, so he got busy by taking everything back apart and starting from scratch.

The chassis was the first order of business, which is a custom built 2x4 inch tube unit with a ‘69 Galaxy front clip and a 9-inch Ford rear end fitted with 3.70:1 gears, with Firestone air suspension to adjust the ride height at will. Other items include a removable cross member, mounts for a 350 Chevy and 200R4 transmission, stainless steel trailing arms.

As for the body, Dale made many of the pieces himself, or modified the old ones. The aluminum grill is of his own design and make, and he made the aluminum three piece hood which includes a swoopy side vent to accentuate the car’s styling. The windshield was chopped three inches, and a custom Carson style top was made. The fender vents were cut to visually lighten up the car, behind which is a chrome plated copper wire mesh for a neat look. The Jag style tri-bar headlights were molded into the fenders, and a set of ‘50 Pontiac taillights were molded into the body to match the headlights. Streamlining was the objective, so naturally Dale had to make and install hidden hinges in the suicide doors, sans exterior handles. The lighted, retractable license plate pops out of one side of the boattail, and was his own design and manufacture, powered by an early style GM power window motor, allowing the lines to be clean when parked. Dale did all the body work and paint himself, and used Ford Chestnut Metallic and Harvest Gold colors of the PPG basecoat / clearcoat line. The phantom script and logo were designed by Dale, and cast in bronze at a local foundry. Complimenting the look are classic Halibrand wheels (15x7” up front, 15x8” out back). And yes, last but not least is the fin, which Dale added to boattail’s original lines.

The top and interior were stitched by Dale Moyer of Vero Beach. The seat is actually a modified rear unit from a ‘92 Saturn, and along with the door panels are covered in tan and teak colored “Illusion”. Because the car has no side windows or curtains, leather was out, but with Illusion the leather look is in. The dashboard is fabricated of 16 gauge steel covered with African burled wood veneer, and fitted with Autometer gauges. The steering column is a shortened (16”) 1970 Chevy truck unit fitted with a Grant Banjo steering wheel. There is also a Lokar shifter and hand brake, Big Al’s spoon style gas and brake pedals.

Under the hood is a 1997 Chevy 350, bored .030 over and fitted with a Comp Cam, Edelbrock Performer carb and intake, plus a set of Headman headers. The engine sports a ‘57 Olds air cleaner pinstriped by Sunny, early style Weiand valve covers, a polished alternator and air conditioner compressor mounted on Alan Grove brackets, Walker radiator and Accel HEI distributor. The disc brakes up front are assisted via a Midland booster mounted inside the left fender, and the Ford drum brakes at the rear are disguised with ‘66 Buick finned aluminum drums. Even the gas tank is a custom built stainless steel unit, fed through a Donzi boat gas filler.

As you can see, there wasn’t much on the car that Dale didn’t either fabricate, tweak or restyle. The combination of which, of course, lends the car lots of visual style. It is certainly a unique car that gets lots of attention when at the various car shows because it is so different from all the other vehicles parked around it.....which is the way Dale likes it! CN