Rajo Chevrolet Special Indianapolis racer 1932
2015 Antwerp Classic Salon - Antwerpen (B)
In the early days of the famous American oval racetrack in Indianapolis the majority of races featured not Grand Prix cars but so-called specials. Specials were generally purpose built assembled racing cars, using parts from various sources. The engines were often taken from regular production cars and then modified to make them more powerful.
During the 1920s and 30s the Chevrolet brothers (after having sold their self named company to General Motors) offered tuning kits and engine conversions under the Frontenac name; subsequent specials were often referred to as "Fronty". Competition came from Rajo, among others. Rajo was the Racine based company of engineer Joe Jagersberger, who was best known for his overhead valve conversions of Ford Model T engines. The car shown here has a Chevrolet engine modified by Rajo. Ironically, the "Fronty Fords" of the Chevrolet brothers were more popular and successful in 1932.
Rajo offered engine conversions for Ford and Chevrolet engines from 1918 until approximately 1952; apparently some 4000 overhead valve conversions were made during that period.