The Last Ol’ Yaller

1963 Ol’ Yaller Mark IX

Offered by Bonhams | Newport, Rhode Island | October 1, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Max Balchowsky opened a shop in Hollywood in the late 1940s and soon found himself modifying European cars with big American V8s. In the early 1950s he was on track in SCCA events. In the mid-to-late ’50s, he built two Old Yeller race cars that were mostly junkyard specials. Disney told him to change the name, so all following cars were called “Ol’ Yaller”s.

This car, number nine, was the final such special built. It features a custom tubular steel space frame and a 6.6-liter Buick V8 rated at 310 horsepower. It was apparently raced by Ronnie Bucknum at some point, and was later crashed.

It was subsequently restored to its original spec. One of the Ol’ Yallers appeared in the Elvis movie Viva Las Vegas (which has some pretty excellent 1950s car spotting scenes). These really never change hands – and this one is being offered out of the Petersen Museum collection. It is expected to fetch $150,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

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