In July of 1941 at the age of 19, Fred Lobello purchased a stock ’32 with a 4-cylinder engine. Very soon, the fenders were off and the body chopped and channeled. with a downdraft manifold and a Winfield cam, Fred ran a respectable 96 MPH.
With a father who was a machinist, it wasn’t long before Fred was making his own speed equipment; porting and relieving blocks and experimenting with new ways to go faster. In 1951 he teamed up with the legendary John Vesco and driver Jack Harvey, running a Reilly four port in the bellytank. Fred’s love of the 4-cylinder engine never tired and he ran the engine and roaster from October 1945 to 1948. In 1947 he changed to a Cragar head and managed to break the 100 MPH barrier, quite an achievement at the time. After the bellytank made its debut on the lakes, Fred decided to make his own. While the tank was a smaller 165 gallon from a Navy Corsair, the design caught the attention of the magazines. With its red and white paint job, it was christened The Lady Bug. As recently as January 2005, Fred Lobello was staying busy restoring his original 32 as well as building a lakester for that year’s Bonneville meet.