- Written by webmin
I came upon a communication from an interested reader that I had put aside for a while. A long while, actually. Nearly five years before I realized that I had it. We received a packet of photos from Richard E. Prizer, of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, filling us in on the creation of his 1915 American La France speedster, in conjunction with his son, Bob. At the time, it wasn’t done, so here’s a full synopsis.
The raw material was an ALF pumper that the Prizers acquired from Hal Fillinger, the fire specialist in Harleysville, Pennsylvania. The photo above shows the chassis heading out to Penn Dutch Restorations, in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, south of York, which did the restoration.
This photo says a ton, literally. Penn Dutch fitted new pistons, bearings, rings, valves and guides to the 14.5-liter T-head engine. That’s 884.84 cubic inches in Americanese, friends. Look at the crankshaft in the ALF’s cradle. The comparison piece in the tech’s hands is from a basic Ford flathead V-8.
For you guys who are into Top Fuel and the World of Outlaws, where ear-splitting short pipes rule, how would you like to hear these bassoons at full play?
It’s getting there. The firewall, incidentally, was formed in wood and then hand-cast in aluminum by Amish craftsmen. That’s impressive.
The finished product. The Prizers have named it the Rhino Racer, for obvious reasons. The inspiration was their award-winning 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. This is a car family: At one time, Richard Prizer’s father owned 58 cars.