Harold Ohanesian's 1934 Ford

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Photo by Gene Winfield
The Coupe as it looked when Orvel bought it from Buddy. Photo provided by Orvel Reichert.
Orvel with the coupe at the 1953 The Century Toppers Auto Club Hot Rod & Custom Auto Show. Photo provided by Orvel Reichert.
Orvel in the driver seat of his Coupe. Photo provided by Orvel Reichert.

1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe originally owned and raced by Thunderbolts member Harold Ohanesian of Sacramento, California. The car was built in 1952, and Dick Bertolucci chopped the top for Harold "Buddy" Ohanesian.[1]

In 1952 the car was clocked at 136 mph at Bonneville. Bud had a guy who routinely drove the car for him. In 1952 the flywheel on the car blew up during a pass down a drag strip and pieces of it hit the driver in the ass, causing some very serious injuries. After the accident Bud donated the car with no engine to a raffle to raise money for the wounded driver. Tickets for the raffle cost $1 and a lady won the car. Modesto Century Toppers member Orvel "Speed" Reichert of Escalon, California wanted the car because it had a quick change rear end, and bought it from the lady. Orvel bought the car in 1953 and put a 1947 Mercury engine he had from his 1931 Ford Model A Roadster in it. Orvel ran the coupe on straight Alky, and the top speed he turned on a 1/4 mile was 120 mph.[2]

While exploring changing to a rear-engine setup, Orvel lifted the body off the frame. The body which had been channeled, had no interior frame support or firewall, so it was sitting upright next to fellow Modesto Century Toppers member Ray Rosson's house where they worked on the car. Some kids tipped it over, causing the body to collapse. The body was ruined and Orvel fooled around with the remains of the car for a while before he realized that he would never be able to compete again as the OHV V8's had taken over along with nitro. He didn't have the money it took, and decided to sell the car for a few bucks around 1957. The flathead was worth almost nothing by then, but the Hallibrand axle was still worth something, so Orvel sold the whole rig for about $300.[2]


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