Why Warplane Tanks Make Great Hot Rods
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any current news about Belly Tanks, but as soon ...
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any current news about Belly Tanks, but as soon as I saw the title of this video from Business Insider, I knew exactly what the video was going to be about.
Made from the auxiliary fuel tanks that were bolted to the bellies of warplanes back in WWII to extend their range, Belly Tanks, or Lakesters as they were also called, are some of the coolest and most unique cars to ever hit the lake beds of Bonneville, among others. While it’s pretty obvious they weren’t built for comfort, these things were lightweight and inherently aerodynamic, making them perfect for top speed style racing and they could also be found occasionally on the drag strip. Powered by quite literally anything and everything, there was no telling what you might find providing power for your favorite Belly Tank. Back in their heyday, I would imagine the venerable Flathead Ford would have been the powerplant of choice, though I am hardly an expert on the subject.
As the years went on, you’d likely find these hotrods keeping up with the trends of the day with features like disc brakes and more modern style engines. I can only imagine what one fo these lightweight speedsters would do on the salt flats with a massive 427 HEMI crammed between the wheels for power. Pushing only a few hundred pounds of slippery teardrop shape across the expansive salt flats would have likely produced speeds well in excess of 200 MPH, despite limited technology available at the time.
Of course, I don’t know for sure if that particular combination was ever built, but with nothing stopping the builders but their imagination and the space constraints of the relatively small tank, the sky would have been the limit for the hotrodders of days gone by.
Go ahead and hit that play button below and tell us what you’d put in your Belly Tank. The first one of you to say and LS is getting banned from the site, though!