Ford Roadster that beat racehorse auctions for $192,000

A 1932 Ford Roadster that became famous when it beat a racehorse has sold for $192,500. 

The car was among the stars of RM Sotheby's Hershey sale on the weekend. 


Car beat horse

A hugely powerful engine propelled the Ford to victory

During the 1940s, a racehorse owner in La Habra, California won huge sums challenging hot rod owners to a race against his thoroughbred.

The catch? The race was just 60 feet. 

Pete Henderson modified his roadster with a hugely powerful 1939 Mercury flathead V-8 engine to secure the only victory against the horse.

“There are few cars more significant in the world of American Hot Rods than Pete Henderson's 1932 Ford Roadster," explains RM Sotheby's.

“Restored recently to its period appearance in 1944, the car will always be known as, ‘the Hot Rod that beat the racehorse.' 

“Its well-documented history began in 1944 with a Saturday morning race on Highway 39 outside La Habra, California – a moment that many consider to be the birth of the quarter-mile drag race.” 

The top lot of the auction was the first Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow ever built. The 1933 machine sold for $2.3m. 

The car was a concept, and one of only five produced. Its sleek lines, power braking and automatic transmission made it highly advanced for its time. It made its debut at the 1933 New York World’s Fair.

Silver arrow

The first Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow ever built

"Not merely an automobile, the Derro Silver Arrow could be considered an Art Moderne monument and a symbol of the streamlined age at its finest and most audacious," explained the auction house. 

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about classic car auctions. 

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock