Gil Gets "Tanked"
Gil's major vehicle fall project has been building a
late 40's-early 50's belly tank racer or "Lakester"
which was the type to set land speed records on the
Bonneville Salt Flats. During WW11 and subsequent
wars, pilots flying long-range missions would carry
extra fuel in tanks under their belly or the wings.
Before going into combat they would drop the empty
In the Pacific Theater, natives loved finding these
and building boats from them. After WW11, hot
rodders used the streamlined aluminum tanks as
bodies for their racers. Speeds of close to 200 mph
were obtained using souped-up Ford or Mercury
flathead V8 engines. Even though it is a tight fit, Gil
enjoys driving it.
Those donating or discounting parts or labor,
include the following:
Jim Beyer, Bishop Sign
Works, Crosier Kinetics, Jerry's Custom Engines,
Art Mangels, Gary McGraw, and Parts Fathers.
The tank was originally purchased by us thanks to the
alertness of Don Smart who spotted it in the back of a
Built by old school standards, Gil used a Model A
Ford front axle and drilled it and the radius rods to
lighten up the suspension.
made the 1939
Mercury rear axle affordable.
When Gil was growing up on the farm just three
miles south of the museum, his dad purchased a
wrecked 1953 Mercury car to use the engine in a 1951
Ford farm truck. Gil would put on thousands of miles
driving that old truck hauling water, hay bales,
potatoes, grain, or rocks picked from the field.
Last year the truck became a donor
vehicle by giving up its steering box,
battery box, instrument cluster,
radiator, and engine. The engine, -
while still running - was very tired, so
it was completely rebuilt and souped
up with a high-lift cam, balanced
crank, high compression heads, and
extra carburetion. This may be seen on
You Tube under "Polson Lakester."
Gil's belly-tank racer. To see it and
hear it, watch Gil's YouTube video at:
We salute our
Philip L. Barney, MD and Sandra
Senator Carmine Mowbray
Henry C. Orr of Gaylord Bros
Richard and Karen Anderson
Katherine Johnson and Richard
Dwight (Pat) and Mary Deyo
John and Toni Erkkila
Bob and Charlotte Marshall
Larry and Judy Sagers
David and Mary Sergent
In keeping with our policy,
become a Lifetime member by donating $1000
over a several year period. However, he, like
donate and we are very grateful.
$100 In memory of "Snowshoe Polly"
from "Buckhannon Billy" (her husband,
) the cedar shake hand splitter.
(Already Sustaining Members) "Polly loved
being here on Live History Days, and enjoyed
seeing all the wonderful exhibitors, and
$15.00 in memory of Frank Stolle (The late
Jerry Stolle's father) from