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						Board Track Racer 5
Modernized Board Track Racer

1925 Board Track Racer Replica

By Dean Larson

Motorsports exploded in the early 1900s, and if you were looking for the most exciting show on wheels, you went to the board track. The first board tracks started popping up around 1910 and were built from 2 x 4-inch boards with 20 degree banked corners. Thanks to their extremely low cost compared to paved circuits, more than 20 board tracks sprouted up in the United States with corners banked up to 60 degrees. While they were originally intended for motorcycles, racecars soon found their way onto board tracks to push the envelope of automotive speed

Board tracks paid for their low construction costs with terrible durability and great danger to racers and fans. The track surface would only last between three and five years and as much as 1 million board feet could be required to resurface it. The track surface was also slick and flying splinters and wood debris endangered racers who managed to keep their cars and bikes on the track. When crashes did happen, fans were also in danger thanks to the close proximity of the grand stands. Mounting deaths and injuries eventually diminished the reputation of board track racing and it fizzled out by the start of the Great Depression.

Board Racing Historic Resize

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-DIG-npcc-27449]

Despite that bit of doom and gloom, we think board track racing is seriously cool and is the quintessential early 1900s form of motorsport. Imagine the sight of a 2 mile long banked oval made from wood. For some reason, it seems like it would be twice as imposing as an asphalt one. Those wanting a taste of the board track experience without all the splintery death should check out this board track replica racer offered on eBay

The builder of the car describes it as an all-steel replica of a 1925 board track racecar. It’s based on a custom fabricated 2 x 6-inch frame and rolls on 20-inch wire wheels and a Winters 9-inch rear axle. The highlight of the car is the front suspension, a double quarter-elliptical and friction shock set up. (Lets take a minute to unpack that.)

The leaf springs under everyday vehicles are the semi elliptical type, called this because the make up one half of an ellipse, or oval. Early automotive suspensions experimented with various leaf spring configurations, including full elliptic, three quarter-elliptic, quarter-elliptic and transverse. The quarter-elliptic design employs roughly one half of your common leaf spring, or one quarter of an ellipse. The double quarter-elliptical set up on this board track racer suspends the axle with a quarter-elliptic leaf above and below the front axle on each side. With the axle suspended, the set up needs a shock for dampening and the builder chose a classic friction shock design. Popular through the 1930s, the friction shock has two mounting points and a series of stacked disks held under pressure by a center bolt. The friction between these disks through travel provides a dampening effect.

Board Track Racer 2

We enjoy how the builder has mixed various classic and modern touches into the build. The bodywork, wheels, tires and overall profile enforce the classic look, but a few modern cues meet the eye on closer inspection. Powering the car is a modern aluminum-block, 227-cubic inch Mercury Marine four-cylinder engine connected to a Richmond T-10 transmission. The heat wrap on the exhaust manifold also bolsters the classic look, but you might notice a Borla logo on the large muffler downstream.

The bodywork has a nice simplicity and the paint color and modernized Brooklands-style windscreen give it an updated look. The interior is more of the same with a turned-aluminum style dash and classic gauge cluster that is all modernized by the gunmetal gray color. 

We clearly love this board track racer and think it’s a fantastic tribute to racing history with a style of its own. The price for this one-of-a-kind construction is $25,000, but buyers will have to settle for a bill of sale only. Find it here on eBay.

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Open-Wheel Race Replica