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#176 - The Alligator

The "Alligator" along with Bobby Edward's three sons right after it was restored to it's current condition.  From Left to right are Robert (Bobby, Jr.) Edwards, Original Helmet worn by Bobby Edwards during his career, Ralph Edwards and Bill Edwards.

Found sitting next to a house in Massachusetts, the remains of the original Alligator would become not only a great part of a great collection but a work of love and enjoyment, that continues to provide surprise, intrigue and interesting discussions throughout New England.  Restoring and keeping alive the memories and nostalgia of the old race cars has become a passion of mine.  Looking for a body to work into a Vintage Race Car, the body of an old race car was advertised in an Auto Classified magazine and a trip to Tommy Caruso's in Tyngsboro Mass. brought to me the 176, the same car I would later find the Edwards boys had played in as children.  Restoration of the Alligator began in fall of 1999 and completed in the winter of 2000.  The history of the car would remain unknown to me until I met Ken Paulsen, a freelance writer of Vintage Racing articles.  The article that appears in Jimmies and seen by the Sons of Bobby Edwards was to start a great friendship and completed the documentation of this car. Read the Article Here

The "Alligator" as it arrived at my shop in Barre, Vermont from Tommy Caruso's in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts under the watchful eye of Jeremy Goodell.  All in all the car was in great shape for being out in the elements for approximately 40 years.  Jeremy was key in making the body as it is today.  

As is the history of this car, the "Alligator" may have faded but it is still visible and very much alive.  I was glad that it was there so that during restoration we could duplicate it as closely as possible.  To this day the "Alligator" rides proudly on several events throughout the year.

The above pictures show that the frame and roll cage were intact but certainly in bad shape and was sure to take the crew a bunch of time and energy to bring it back to where it needed to be.

In order to strengthen and create a secure frame for "The Alligator" Kenny Morris used a procedure known as "fish plating".  This procedure would allow us to keep the original structure of the frame while making it strong enough to be track worthy.

This shot shows the condition of the body when it arrived at our shop and the work that would need to be done to restore it.

In this shot the body is under way to becoming the car that it was and the car that it is today thanks to Kenny & Jeremy!

With the fiberglass fabric in place and the body smoothed with love and attention; with a fair amount of tiger hair the car was certainly starting to take shape.  With every day my excitment grew, knowing that soon my baby would be ready to take to the tracks.

Of course, no race car is complete without some good ole fashioned "Flat Head" power under the hood.  Lots of hard work went into bringing this baby back to life and today is powering the Number 68, another of my fine cars that travels the tours of STAR and NEAR.

Finally, the finished product.  "The Alligator", the car and the memories have been restored and returned to life!

This picture of the hood pays tribute to the "Alligator's" driver who often drove this car to victory lane!



In case you missed the link above... click here to view Ken Paulsen's article on "The Alligator"

Don't forget to check out the 176 photo gallery.


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