Renville Mordrow, of Fond du Lac, Wis., was convinced that he could create a high-powered sports racing car to compete with the European models. Mordrow’s plan was to build a powerful, one-of-a-kind prototype with a handmade, all-steel body, race it to prove its merits and then put it into mass production for the American market. Construction of the car began in 1946,. The car was constructed on a modified 1932 Ford chassis with the front and rear axles had been narrowed. It had a modified 1948 Mercury flathead V-8 engine attached to a floor-shifted 1937 Lincoln-Zephyr gearbox. The car was fitted with full weather equipment including a canvas top and side curtains. This car saw racing action at several Midwestern racing venues in the early 1950s and ran competitively. The car is the only Renville sports racer ever built, Mordrow’s dream of mass production was never realized. The Renville Special is so rare that Professor Geoffrey Hacker, of Florida, an automotive historian who keeps track of cars of this type, had never heard of it prior the recent announcement that the car would be offered for sale at the Borgata auction in Atlantic City, N.J. on Feb. 26, 2009. We are wondering if anyone, especially folks in the Fond du Lac area, know any more facts about this car. It would seem logical to believe it was raced at Road America, in neabry Elkhart Lake, siince that famous road course opened in 1950. Photos are available at www.acclassiccars.com.
Gunner’s Garage with John Gunnell
"Gunner" is one of of the most prolific authors and most visible characters in the old car hobby. He has written dozens of books about old cars for Krause Publications and is the former editor and publisher of Old Cars Weekly. His collecting pursuits range from old Pontiacs, to MGs, to retired police cruisers, to Indian motorcycles. He remains a frequent contributor to Old Cars Weekly and owns and operates Gunner’s Great Garage, a classic car restoration and gift shop in Manawa, Wis.
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