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Going Supersonic

The Fageol Supersonic was a Buck Rogers rocket-sled with dazzling looks and a top speed of 150 MPH, perhaps the fastest street legal automobile ever in 1949. Photo: Fageol Family Collection

During the first half of the Twentieth Century Fageol Motors and the later Fageol Twin Coach Company were innovators in the American truck and bus industries. Founded by the brothers Rollie, William, Frank and Claude Fageol, the company revolutionized the bus industry with a low center of gravity, unibody construction, diesel power and doors forward of the front axle. Fageol even mounted twin engines under the floor of some buses, hence the name “Fageol Twin Coach Company.” Fageol held patents for all kinds of innovations for the bus and truck industries and was a subcontractor to many marine and aerospace firms.

The Fageol Twin Coach Special was born from the genius mind of Ray Fageol. The car was blazingly fast and qualified on the front row at the Indy 500 in 1946. With twin Offenhauser engines driving all four wheels, it shocked the racing world.
Photo: Fageol Family Collection

In less than half a century, the Fageol brothers made the transition from Iowa farm boys to wealthy and powerful international industrialists. Born in 1906, Frank’s son Lou was like his father and uncles, a natural innovator and engineer. He was also a born competitor who started by racing outboards on the channels of Oakland, California, and graduated to larger and more powerful classes. The Harmsworth Trophy was just one of his many top-level wins.

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