1939 "Big Car" (Early term for Sprint Car)

The Ranger inverted 6 cylinder air cooled engine was first developed in 1930 by Fairchild Aircraft and Engine Company for the training type of aircraft they designed and build. Among those were the Fairchild PT-19 and PT-26 military single wing training planes. It was an extremely reliable engine and was continually upgraded over the years.

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Vehicle Type "Big Car" (Early term for Sprint Car
Year Built 1939
Built By Bob Helms
Suspension Solid Axles and Cross Springs Front and Rear
Engine L-440, 441 cubic inch Ranger Aircraft Engine, air cooled, single under-head Cam, 4 valves per cylinder, hallow crank and Cam, 4 Stromberg 97 carburetors, 7.5:1 compression, bore: 4 1/8l inch, stroke: 5 1/8 inch.
Owner Woodland Family Collection


This race car is a very unique example of blending the aviation industry into the world of auto racing. While very rare, these Ranger powered Sprint Cars were raced across the country from the late 1930s until the late 1960s. For many years, Ranger powered race cars had an advantage over the much smaller cubic inch Ford V-8s and Chevy/GMC 6 cylinder racing engines as they were mostly 300 cubic inch +/- while the Ranger's displacement was roughly 50% larger. While these engines weighed in at just over 350 pounds, they had no radiator or water so they have had a slight overall weight advantage also.

The Woodland Auto Display

is located on the grounds of

Estrella Warbirds Museum

Follow Woodland Auto Display: