Rare Car Network

Rare Car Network
Unique Classics, Replicas and Build Culture
						La Dawri Conquest2
Barn-Find LaDawri Conquest

Olds Rocket V8-powered LaDawri Conquest

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, eBay

As a rolling form of expression, the LaDawri was likely without equal when it came onto the scene in the late 1950s. Corvettes and T-birds were out there, but there was no way you’d come across another one of these at your local cruising spot, leading interested parties to inquire between the stoplights. With the added benefit that you could build one at home in your garage, early fiberglass sports specials like this LaDawri Conquest boomed in the late 1950s and early ’60s, and thanks to the corrosion resistance of fiberglass, many are still around today to tell their tales. In complete and unaltered period-correct condition, this Olds Rocket-powered Conquest on eBay is a trip, and ready for a sympathetic refurbishment.

Accommodating wheelbases from 100 to 104 inches, the LaDawri Conquest is seen in many different mechanical configurations. This one is based on a Henry J chassis at 100 inches, but there’s something pretty unique under the hood — an Oldsmobile Rocket V8. You have to remember that the ubiquitous small-block Chevrolet was still only a few years old when this car was being built, and was only then becoming the going thing. For other options you had all sorts of Ford Flatheads, Nailhead Buicks, Chrysler HEMIs and Oldsmobile Rockets. GM’s first post-war OHV V8, and indeed the first mass-produced OHV V8, Olds Rockets are nostalgic gold in project cars of this vintage, and pretty stout performers as well.

Detailed in the builders original documentation, we can see that it’s the 324 ci variant used here, and it’s built up nicely with Fenton headers, Jahns pistons and a dual-point distributor. Compression is reportedly 9.5:1, and the engine is likely good for roughly 250 hp.

From the outward appearance, this is a pretty cohesive build handled by capable hands. The body wears a medium green shade with color-matched steel wheels wearing matching hubcaps. Windshield wipers, front and rear bumpers and a white pinstripe give a higher quality finish, and the car is in survivor-quality condition cosmetically. The engine is reportedly sized, and it will likely require a rebuild.

If I purchased this car, it would receive a sympathetic refurbishment of its mechanical parts, as well as tidying up the interior. I’d leave the body alone, and enjoy this car as a testament to the original constructor, who obviously took great care in its planning and construction 60 years ago.

See the LaDawri Conquest here on eBay.

Comments for: Barn-Find LaDawri Conquest

comments powered by Disqus

Related Stories You Might Like