San Jose P-38 Belly Tank Lakester

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A photo of James Bauer with the belly tank, right after he had gotten it from Guasco in the late 1970s or the early 1980s. Photo courtesy of James Bauer.
The belly tank as it sat when Ed Godshalk bought it in March of 2015. Photo courtesy of Ed Godshalk.
Photo courtesy of Ed Godshalk.
Ed's belly tank as it sat in March of 2015. Photo courtesy of Ed Godshalk.
Photo courtesy of Ed Godshalk.
Photo courtesy of Ed Godshalk.
Photo courtesy of Ed Godshalk.
Photo courtesy of Ed Godshalk.

P-38 Belly Tank body owned by Ed Godshalk of Newberg, Oregon.[1]

In the late 1970s, or the early 1980s, James Bauer of Pleasanton, California found the old belly tank at Rich Guasco's wrecking yard. In 2016 James told Kustomrama that he lived on Old Santa Rita Road, next door to Rich's wrecking yard at the time; "He had two yards located about half a block apart. One was the day to day stuff, and the other was older less useful junk. The tank was in the old yard, and it had been buried in leaves and junk for years when I found it. One day I asked him about it, and he said "Just take it"." A few years later James sold the belly tank to Brian Martin in Centerville, Fremont for $200; "Brian had his own body shop there at the time."[2] Brian had the old tank in his shop up over the office; " I Sold it for $250 as I remember about 1988. Damn that is one thing I wish I would have found a way to keep" Brian told Kustomrama in 2016.[3]

The old belly tank was discovered by Lou Parvesi in a body shop in San Jose, California. Around 2000 it was received by Curtis Patience in trade for restoration work performed on Skip Hudson's 1962 Chaparral 1 sports racing car. Curtis traded it to Scott Perrott as partial payment for a Bonneville streamliner project from the 1960s. It was then traded to Ed Godshalk in March, 2015 for an aluminum sports car body from the 1950s. When Ed got the tank, it looked exactly like it did when James Bauer owned it in the 1980s.

The belly tank comes from a P-38 Lightning, and it is the large 305 gallon tank. It has holes in it for the larger flathead V8. The paint is very old, and it has mounting holes for a windshield and a head rest/roll bar. It has correct exhaust pipe holes and axle cut-outs, so it seems likely that it was once mounted on a car. Ed wants to do a proper job restoring the belly tank, using period parts that look their age to create a wonderful presentation. Before he starts the restoration, he wants to do some research to see if he can find out more about the history of the old race car. If anyone recognize Ed's belly tank, please get in touch with Kustomrama at


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