Hot Rod Magazine

Alex Xydias’ Burbank, CA, So-Cal Speed Shop was founded in 1946 and quickly came to prominence at the dry lakes. So-Cal’s first HRM cover featured the shop’s P-38 belly tanker (the first tank on the cover), its streamliner was on Oct. ’49, and the May ’54 edition had the shop’s truck and ’34 coupe in color.

Hot Rod Magazine - P-38 Belly Tank

Belly Tank Model

Some things never change!  We have invited Tom Walsh, Jr. to our annual Membership Meeting this year, to display his father’s P-38 belly tank race car model and he’s planning to be there!

P-38 Belly Tank Model
We received this note from Tom about the model and original racer: “The belly tank my father built was raced by Tom Beatty from 1951-1962 setting several records and retiring the tank after setting a class record of over 243 miles per hour in 1962. The Beatty tank is now in the Henry Ford museum. The belly tank model is the result of both our interests.  I traveled to LA to photograph and measure the real car prior to my fathers building the model. The P-38 belly tank was used to build several land speed racers and even today many are still being raced as the tank is known as being very stable at high speeds.”

Belly Tank Racer on “Auction Hunters”

This P-38 Belly Tank Racer showed up on Episode #304 (Auction Hunter Shuffle) of the cable show “Auction Hunters.”

P-38 Belly Tank Racer from "Auction Hunters"

Buy Episode at Amazon 

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UPDATE received a note from newletter subscriber, Kent Foley, with this interesting article about a P-38 Belly Tank. Thanks, Kent!