Huffaker-Chevy History

Rich Bennett is looking for information on this car because his grandfather, Joe Gilardi, once owned it.

From Rich:  "I was hoping you had some info or more pics of this car because my grand- father (Joe Gilardi) owned the car in the mid 60s-70s (10 years total .  He sold it in the 70s to my uncle who then sold it to a young kid who crashed it and left it in some field in North Carolina.

My grandfather died a few months before I was born so I guess this a way for me to "get to know him"!  I went to the Huffaker shop about 5 years ago and saw an article on how it had been recovered by the Huffaker team and restored but now it looks way different then it did originally. 

I've only heard about this car and have seen just 2 pictures that my mom has so if anyone has any more pics or history on it or know any place I might be able to find some info your help would be appreciated."
For info on the Huffaker-Chevy:

"There's a really good article about the car in the October 1958 issue of "Hot Rod" magazine, a picture of it wearing the number 264 at Riverside in the January 1959 "Hot Rod", and another picture of it wearing #64 (the original number it wore) in the October 1958 issue of "Sports Car" magazine.  If Rich digs up the November 13, 1965 issue of "Autoweek", he'll see a picture of it with the 1965 driver Jim Williams at the wheel in front of Dave Love's Testa Rossa."

More info on the car:

"Jim Williams sold the car to L.G. Maatz, who raced it on the west coast until 1967.  Maatz took the car to Bonneville, where it "clocked a timed run in excess of 190 MPH", by the way.

As you'll learn from that July 1992 "Autoweek" if you have it handy, the car went through a period where it was "converted for street use", which is to say it had a Porsche windshield bondo-ed into place, had taillights for a boat trailer (if I remember correctly) and had some kind of headlights riveted or screwed into the front of the car.

The scoop was actually on the hood in 1958!  I just realized the old "Hot Rod" shows it there, but not the fender flares that you see in 1965 vintage photos.  The car, therefore, wears the same scoop it had in '58 and the fender flares from the Williams era. The roll bar and hood pins were VMRC mandates (plus some other safety enhancements like a collapsible steering wheel).  The real changes to the car happened somewhere in the mid-60s.  The Jag transmission was abandoned in favor of a Borg-Warner T-10, and somewhere around the same time, the 283 (actually bored out to 301) "fuelie" got replaced with a carbureted Chevy 327. However, the DeDion rear end is still there, as is the torsion bar front suspension, and all the original chassis.

As for the car's glory days, I don't know how successful Fred Knoop was with the car; he seemed to have mechanical issues with that original engine and transmission, but Jim Williams made a name for that car in the mid-60s.  However, if you look at race wins and championships, most of those came inthe mid-90s!"

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