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News :: Antique race car: 1917 Hudson turns heads in Vinton
· 10:15am September 13th, 2013
The car that turned the most heads and attracted the most up-close looks during the Cedar Rapids Antique Automobile Club's visit to Vinton was one of Iowa's first race cars.
Tom Knight brought his restored 1917 Hudson to Vinton; his grandfather had raced that car for several years beginning in the 1920s, in tracks throughout Iowa.
After its racing career, the car spent several years parked in a barn, then many more years outside, before Knight began restoring it.
While the engine and many parts are new or rebuilt, the car looks very much like it did when his grandfather was circling the half-mile dirt tracks.
Back then, he said, it was common to race for 80 laps, or 40 miles. Knight said that his grandfathers saved some newspaper clippings about those racing days, but not many.
Knight drives the car frequently and at highway speeds of 50 to 60 mph. While the rebuilt engine has an electric start, it also includes the mechanism for crank-starting. Yet, he said, it only would take about one-quarter turn of the crank to bring the engine to life.
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