Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


YESTERDAY, CLARK GABLE DESCRIBED his favorite sports car, the XK-120 Jaguar, in the March 1950 Road and Track. Today in Part 2, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson reveals plans in Road and Track a year later for swapping a drive of Jack Benny’s fabled Maxwell with something considerably more potent. What’s more, through some Internet sleuthing we learn even more about this car.

Chassis Details of the “Rochester” Sports Car. In March 1951, Road and Track reported “Emil Diedt, noted race car and ‘special’ constructor, is now putting the finishing touches on an interesting car built to order for Rochester, the well-known radio and motion picture comedian.” 

Indeed, Diedt had already been featured in the magazine’s “From Drafting Board to Indianapolis: Story of a Speedway Car,” a year before this. 

These images from Road and Track, March 1950.

The frame of the Rochester sports car, Road and Track wrote, “is built up of steel tubing and box sections, with an unconventional ‘jog’ in each end of the side members.”  

The car’s Cadillac V-8, “to be given a full speed treatment, is located well back for proper sports car weight distribution.”

The magazine continued, “Two transverse leaf springs, four shock absorbers, and radius arms are used at the rear.” 

The car has Rudge-type wire wheels (hub nuts not yet installed; rear radius rods to come as well).

“At present,” Road and Track said, “the finishing touches are being made on the body, with completion scheduled for the near future. Rochester has expressed a desire to enter the car in various sports car races in 1951.”

An informal survey of Road and Track’s West Coast race coverage failed to yield any further information of the Rochester/Diedt sports car. However, Internet sleuthing proved fruitful.

Eddie Anderson and his car. Image from “People of Color in Classic Film.” 

There’s more information on the car and Eddie Anderson at “People of Color in Classic Film.” Also, check out

Image assembled from Motor Trend, April 1951.

The Internet is a marvelous device: To wit, this Griff Borgeson article on the Rochester from Motor Trend, April 1951. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2022  

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