Later on this 7 days or subsequent, I will be commencing a mini-sequence of sorts on the historical past of American sport cars. That history is planted firmly in the palms of Briggs Cunningham, but Frank Curtis was not significantly guiding. Of training course, we all know him for his achievements on circle tracks. His dash automobiles were being unbeatable for more than a decade and his Indy automobiles are now legendary, but Frank desperately preferred to produce a production/activity car organization as properly.
His first effort and hard work was labeled the Kurtis Sport Automobile – a magnificent aluminum bodied convertible dependent on a 1949 Ford chassis. Due to the large value of production, Frank couldn’t make the quantities operate and offered the style and design to Earl Muntz who went on to re-label the motor vehicle as the Muntz Jet. Earl constructed about 300 from 1951 to 1953.
A small although later, Frank made a decision to try his hand at output automobiles as soon as again. This time, he made a decision to consider his 500B Indy motor vehicle chassis and modify it to be a suitable base for a street vehicle. It didn’t just take much… In actuality, other than the wider keep track of (completed to make it possible for +1 seating and a broader assortment of engine decisions) the to start with Kurtis 500S street motor vehicle was incredibly similar to the Kurtis race auto. So significantly so, that the automobile became acknowledged as the “Two-seat Indy Motor vehicle.”
Yet again, the expense of manufacturing hampered Frank. He just couldn’t get his advertising rate small plenty of to entice a current market of any form. In an work to fight this, Frank launched the KK500 – a kit model of the car or truck allowing for the builder/client to selected from a variety of various fiberglass bodies.
One of all those clients was a man named Jack Ensley. Jack’s goal was to earn the 1958 Road The us event. He experienced Jack Sutton construct an all aluminum overall body for the auto and after finished, he stabbed in a Rochester injected SBC backed by a 4-velocity. But time was shorter and Ensley wasn’t able to get the automobile completed in time for Road The united states. Dejected, he bought the vehicle to Joseph Cocannon.
Like numerous of the Kurtis street automobiles, the roadster transformed arms a large amount, acquired raced some, and never ever really lived up to its possible. But to me? This could possibly be the most beautiful Kurtis at any time created. There is just some thing about the slab side body along with the recognizable Kurtis grill that would make this thing both of those uniquely American and splendidly simplistic.