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When was Car Made? (our best guess)

It’s hard for us to say especially since custom cars are often modernized over time.  We estimate the original custom to have been completed in the early 1940’s based on styling and the age of the parts, and maybe refurbished in about 1980-ish with paint/upholstery/mechanical rebuild.  The car is clearly late 1930’s in its styling and parts; it certainly doesn’t strike us as a 1950’s custom lead sled or tail dragger.

Our theory is the car was finished around 1940 as the newest body part is 1938-9 and the drive line is also 1930’s.  Only the speedometer (1941), hood ornament (1949), add on gauges, air shocks, Tru-spoke wheels, Fenton manifolds and a few other minor items are newer  than 1939 and added later on over the years. The car has a much older, more primitive 1930’s styling rather than the 1950’s Mercury/ Ford bathtub look.  We also believe it to be an earlier 1940’s custom as, why else would someone make a ’32 Plymouth look like a late 30’s car in the 1940’s or 1950’s?   We speculate that a customizer would attempt to make their custom appear fresh, newer and more expensive, not resemble a 10 year old car with out-of-date styling and design.  To us, the car attempts to look like a late 1930’s bigger more expensive sportier car like a Packard, Cord, Buick or such.  Perhaps it was built by one of the earlier custom car builders like Sam & George Barris, George Duvall, Frank Kurtis, Jimmy Summers, Gene Westergard, Coachcraft, or ???????  These famous car customizers and others were certainly hovering all around the Long Beach, California area where we suspect this car originated.

The bottom line, we are speculating, what do you think or know about when the Dudley Sportster was made?


Where was this Car Made?

We believe the car to be from the Long Beach, California area based on three items.  1) A previous owner, Nelda O. Hammond (who ended up in Canton Pennsylvania) who owned the car for about 30 years total starting out in Long Beach according to the previous owner.  2) An old brass radiator repair tag also confirms a Long Beach residency at some point as well.   3) It has also two California ID tags added to the frame which is of an unkown date to us.   Other than this we have nothing, can you help us?