Cars We Sold

1928 McDowell Special Serial Number CA737249


Lead photograph of 1928 McDowell Special Serial Number CA737249


Make   McDowell Model   Special
Year   1928 Serial #   CA737249
Engine #    VIN   
Engine Type   SOH cam cross-draft 4 Chassis Type   McDowell Special
Build Sequence #   1 of 1 Number Built   1
Body Type   Grand Prix dual seater Body Builder   Jim Alan, Fresno
First Owner   Unknown Current Owner   Current Owner
Build Sheet   No Current Location   Ferraris-online LLC


1928 McDowell Special s/n CA737249. Like all race cars of that era, the McDowell went through twenty years of intense racing, being crashed, modified, updated and repaired many times before finally being crashed and put into storage in late 1947. In 1991 the McDowell was sold to Doug Asay of Gilroy, California, who spent three years rebuilding and restoring it, with about 80% of the original parts still with the car. Doug entered the McDowell in three 2,500 plus mile cross-country Great Races. The car proved to be very dependable on long distance rallies, and so was also featured in an ESPN Special on racing on a dirt track and was also featured on two of the Official Great Race calendars. The McDowell Special is road registered with headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals and has both a Montana title and Montana license plates. It was most recently entered in and accepted to run in the Colorado Grand.

Cosmetically, the car is in extremely nice condition and very “period correct”. The body and paint are very nice for a car that has been actively raced. The suspension is detailed and well sorted. The tires are new and period correct Excelsor Comp H Racing tires, and the kicked up aluminum cowl adds a nice touch. The interior is tidy and clean, with all the right gauges and an easy to read tachometer and Speedo. The dashboard is engine-turned aluminum and the McDowell has all the right look and feel of its correct vintage, nicely set off with a large and period correct 4-spoke steering wheel. The interior is surprisingly roomy, with more than enough space for the driver and their fearless passenger. The McDowell overhead-cam, cross-flow engine has had decades of competition preparation, yet the entire car has the feel of mechanical simplicity, affordability and offers a user-friendly driving experience. When restored, the twin-plug engine was rebuilt and the aluminum hood, cowl, tail and belly pan were hand formed. The T5 trans is an easy to use fully syncromesh 5-speed and a pair of Weber 40 DCOE carbs make starting and driving easy. The brakes are hydraulic, providing lots of stopping power. A small but powerful modern alternator powers the lights. The scrutineering tags and stickers from the Great Race in 1994, 1995 and again in 1997 are still on the inner front cockpit side panel. In May 2016, the McDowell was fully serviced and race prepared. The wheels, brakes and wheel bearings were inspected and the wheel bearings were repacked. The Halibrand quick change rear axle and torque tube assembly were removed to install a new and user-friendly clutch assembly. The rod bearings were hand fitted and replaced. The cylinder head was removed, the valves were re-ground and all clearances were set. A full set of new Excelsor Comp H 500-19 front and 650-19 Comp tires and tubes were installed. A new electric fuel pump and filter were installed. The oil tank and fuel tank were flushed and all fluids were changed. A pair of Weber 40 DCOE carbs were fitted and synchro’ed for easy driving. The chassis was lubed, the steering box was rebuilt. Dual custom mirrors and a dash grab handle were installed. A modern electronic ignition was installed and hidden under the dashboard. There are only test miles since the rebuild. The McDowell Special is well proven and is eligible for entry into multiple events where it will run against far more expensive and temperamental machinery. Thanks to its proven drivability and no lack of power, it is surprisingly competitive and grin-inducing, for both driver and spectators.


1928, first built and later updated to become the Mcdowell Special.

1928–late 1930s, raced in the AAA Pacific Coast Sprint Car Competition in California.

1940s, owned by Dick Wynn of Los Angeles.

1947, last confirmation of the McDowell Speciale racing at Oakland in 1947, exact date unknown.

1947, late, crashed.

1940s, late, sold to Wes Clover of Lemon Grove California, not restored or rebuilt.

1991, sold to Doug Asay, Gilroy, CA.

1991–1994, rebuilt by Doug Asay into a two-man car to the standards of that era. The common practice in the 20s and 30s was to hand build the car using parts from production cars of the time. Various car parts from at least 19 models of vehicles are incorporated in its build.

1991–1994, all body and chassis work was performed by Doug Asay and friends. The twin-plug engine rebuild was done by Furtado Machine of San Jose California, the aluminum hood, cowl, tail and belly pan was hand formed by Jim Alan of Clovis, California.

1994, Doug Asay ran the Mcdowell in the Great Races and other local events.

1995, Doug Asay ran the Mcdowell in the Great Races and other local events.

1997, Doug Asay ran the Mcdowell in the Great Races and other local events.

????, featured on ESPN in a Special on the Great Race.

199?, sold to John Mutchner and his wife who drove it in hillclimbs.

2013, sold to Joe Newman, but never used it and then sold to Joop Stolze’s in Lierweg, Holland.

2015, sold to the current owner and re-imported from Holland.

2016, 31 May, serviced by Old Car Service, 1018 West Collins Ave. Orange CA 92867. Removed all wheels, checked brakes, re-packed wheel bearings. Removed rear axle and torque tube assembly to remove and replace clutch assembly with street-able clutch. Replaced all rod bearings and hand fitted. Removed cylinder head, re-ground valves, set clearances. Fitted new tires and tubes. Replaced electric fuel pump and filter. Made accessory fuel filler pipe to connect both gas tanks. Changed oil, flushed oil tank and main gas tank. Gas tank reading at full 9.4 gallons, gas tank reading empty at 1.5 gallons. Made several special engine gaskets. Rebuilt Weber carbs and syncronized. Complete chassis lube. Removed and rebuilt steering box, refitted. Sourced technical information on special Model B Ford engine and cylinder head conversion. Fitted both custom mirrors and dash grab handle. Engine has dual plug cylinder head with electronic ignition (control boxes under cowl). Total invoice: 22,923.75.

2017, October, on Consignment with Ferraris-online LLC.

Note: The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated.