Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to All Our Content
1959 Sadler-Meyer Special

1959 Sadler-Meyer Special

1959 Sadler-Meyer Special

In 1959, Bill Sadler modified John van Meyer’s race car into this Sadler-Meyer hillclimb special. The car was highly successful at the time, setting records at the Giant’s Despair Hillclimb for three years straight.

Canadian engineer Bill Sadler retained Meyer’s original Pontiac V-8, Borrani wire wheels and deDion rear suspension, but created a new frame for the car. The body was low and purposeful with a small Plexiglas windscreen, driver’s head fairing and low-set front intake.

In period the car raced with a large scoop to cover air filers. It appeared like this at many at many Northeastern races. By 1967, Meyer replaced the car with a Cooper-Ford and it disappeared from racing.

In 2008 the car was fully restored with assistance from Bill Sadler who oversaw many modifications to make the car more useable. This included Plexiglas side windows, a different front nose, an enclosed exhaust. In this condition it was used in the 2009 Colorado Grand and then displayed at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance.

Story by

In Detail

type Racing Car
built at USA
production 1
engine Chevrolet V8
position Front, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
fuel feed 6 Stromberg 97 Carburetors
displacement 5555 cc / 339 in³
power 316.9 kw / 425 bhp @ 6000 rpm
specific output 76.51 bhp per litre
torque 504.4 nm / 372 ft lbs
front brakes Solid Discs
rear brakes Inboard Drums
f suspension Double Wishbones
r suspension de Dion-Type Axle
transmission Borg-Warner T10 4-Speed Manual