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The Eads Motor Co., Lexington Kentucky and two Ford Racing Cars

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  • Ford-based racing cars and a Graham in front of the Eads Motor Co.

The Eads Motor Co. pictured above was located at 256 East Main Street in Lexington, Kentucky. Little is known about the operation other than what can be found on the signage on the front of the building. The agency handled Diamond T Trucks and cars from the Graham Motor Car Company. They also offered More Cash For Your Car.

Nothing is known about why the photo was taken, but one might be safe to assume that it was connected with Eads sponsoring the two young men and their Ford-based racing cars that are parked out in the street. Just behind the racers as part of the photo op appears to be a circa 1935 Graham Sedan, and directly behind it The Guaranty Finance Company and the Lexington Greyhound Bus Depot.

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  • A Model “T” Ford-based racing car.

The racing car pictured above is based on a Model T Ford chassis that was modified and lowered. It is equipped with: Knock-off dental-drive wire wheels; Hartford shocks; what appears to be a professionally built body, hood and radiator; a non-Ford center-mounted steering box (possibly a Franklin), and a rams horn radiator cap to intimidate the competition.

What is under the hood is unknown, but it is likely it was a racing engine based on a Model T block with an o.h.v. conversion cylinder head and other special racing parts. Well built and maintained Model T Ford-based racing cars were competitive up until World War II on the rough and tumble dirt tracks in certain parts of the country. Learn more about the Model T Ford racing car here.

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  • A Model “A” or “B” Ford-based racing car.

The second car is slightly more modern and appears to be based on Model A or B Ford components that include the front and rear axles. The frame maybe custom-made or it could be based on the side rails from an Essex frame. The front spring has had much of the arch removed from it and is attached to what is referred to as a suicide spring perch directly in front of the of the radiator.

The body appears to be professionally-built and the engine, if it was, in fact, a Ford, was likely to have had a Cragar, Hal, or a Riley two or four-port o.h.v. conversion head. Others were made and included both single and double o.h.c units. Visible on the right side of the hood is the covered down draft carburetor.

Both of the racing cars appear to be in excellent condition, with reasonably good paint work. They appear to be devoid of lettering or numbers, which may have been added later. If you can add anything to the story about the Eads Motor Company or this pair of drivers and cars, please send us a comment.    

5 responses to “The Eads Motor Co., Lexington Kentucky and two Ford Racing Cars

  1. “Eads takes over distributorship for Graham Car”
    The Eads Motor Company, 263 East Main Street, was recently named distributor for the Graham motor car in 30 central and eastern Kentucky counties, and G.B. “Beck” Eads, president of the concern, reports good business. 10/01/1933
    http://kentuckyroom.org/node/619459

    Some additional details of Eads Motor Co are found in a case involving the financier of Eads Motor Company.

    Beckham Eads, a brother-in-law of the plaintiff, lived in Lexington, Kentucky, and had been employed in that city for some ten or twelve years prior to 1933 by Goodwin Brothers, one of the large dealers in new and secondhand automobiles in that city. In the latter part of 1932 the plaintiff, thinking that Eads was a good automobile man and was not making the salary that he deserved, decided to start an automobile business in Lexington with Eads in charge.
    http://www.leagle.com/decision/194434156FSupp285_1272.xml/BARNES v. GLENN

    The plaintiff knew practically nothing about the automobile business and gave no supervision to the operation of the company, but expected Eads, his brother-in-law, to run it.

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=42180737

  2. Prior to occupation by the Eads Motor Co, 250-256 East Main Street was a Sears, Roebuck & Co store. Sears moved to a larger store at 213 East Main Street in 1934, so this photo could not be earlier than 1934.

    If these cars are being sponsored by a Lexington business, I think that they must be competing locally. According to “Dirt Track Auto Racing 1919-1941: A Pictorial History” by Don Radbruch, Fulton, Lebanon, Hartford and Ashland all had dirt tracks that were active in the 1930’s.

  3. The driver on the right, bears a striking resemblance to Bill Schroeder, from Burch Run in Michigan . If it’s him, I’m currently restoring that car in my garage right now.

  4. This photo appeared in the Lexington (Ky.) Herald on Friday June 28, 1935. It was promoting the auto races to be run at the Mt. Sterling, Ky. Fairgrounds track on Sunday June 30, 1935. The man on the left is J. B. Thompson of Lexington and the man on the right is Ben Emrick of Germantown, Ohio. The pair had previously built racing cars together but were meeting as rivals at Mt. Sterling. Emrick was a very successful driver.

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