Hot rodding is filled with legends and tall tales. There are the big ones—the stories that are passed down from generation to generation at bench racing sessions. The details always change and, for whatever reason, photos never surface.
For me, I’m most interested in the local legends: machines that prowled streets late at night, hungry for cars to race. This is when slicks were swapped and headers were uncorked. You know, the kind of things you see in movies.
Last week, I saw two snapshots of a coupe that undoubtedly fit the description of a local legend. Posted by my friend Ed Leal, the car in question was a ‘30-‘31 Model A coupe dubbed “The White Ghost.” Built by a teenager named Don Wood in Newark, California, in the mid-‘50s, the car was built to street race.
According to Ed, the coupe had a healthy flathead lurking beneath the hood. The real game-changer, however, was the Columbia two-speed rear.
“You had to shift the Columbia by a gearshift under the car,” Ed recalls. “Let’s go racing—so ‘50s!”
By all accounts, the White Ghost was a terror on the streets. Then, one day, it disappeared. Where it went is anyone’s guess. Pretty fitting for a car of that name, don’t you think?
Photos by Ed Leal