During World War II, long-range fighter and bomber aircraft were equipped with “Belly Tanks” or “Drop Tanks” full of fuel which extended their range for long-distance flights.
After the war, the tanks’ streamlined housings became the go-to choice for hotrodders looking for an aerodynamic body for their Salt Flat racers.
With little more than a chassis, engine, wheels, and seat, these belly tankers (also referred to as “Lakesters”) demonstrated their capabilities at land-speed events and became common sights at places like Bonneville.
The beauty of these racers is the sheer simplicity of design combined with the ingenuity involved in re-purposing existing components to create something better than the sum of its parts.
That’s why we really, really dig Doug Edwards’ belly tank racer.
The build took Edwards more than two years to complete, and he funded the entire build out of his own pocket.
“This is a completely home-built project, no professionals involved,” Edwards said. “From the design and construction of the frame to the finished paint, it was all home-built.”
“Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma had other plans,” the Florida native said—a reference to the Category 5 hurricane that affected much of the Caribbean and southeast United States during August and September of 2017.
But Edwards assures us that he’s made plans to get to Bonneville this year, and we’re looking forward to seeing that.
Thanks for sharing your impressive build Doug—and good luck in Utah!