One of the craziest forms of DIY racing is the pursuit of salt flat land speed records. From actual rocket cars to jalopies stripped of everything needed for comfort (and barely the minimum for safety), Almost anything goes as long as it follows a few rules.
The belly tanker is one of the wildest concepts of all. The main body comes from an actual fuel tank from a World War II plane. Specifically, these were detachable tanks designed to add range when needed or dropped for more agility. It’s a wonder any survived.
Nonetheless, someone got the idea of repurposing one of these to make a sleek, low-song teardrop-shaped car that sits low to the ground between widely spaced wheels.
These vehicles have been sort of rare in miniature, which is a shame. M2 recently released a 1/64 model of such a racer, with Shell Oil graphics. It may or not be based on any particular belly tanker. There really are no two exactly alike.
Hot Wheels released a cool model years ago, the Lakester in 1999, with a fully opening cockpit, which made this heavy, all-metal-bodied car even more fun. They also did a premium tanker, the 1952 S0-Cal Belly Tank Lakester with lots of detail under the hood.
Hopefully, we’ll see these cars and more like them in the future. Like a bellyful of them.