Kurtis Cars -- 1

Indianapolis car builder Frank Kurtis also built sports/racing cars in the early and mid-1950s.  Hugely powerful Pontiac, Chevy, and Buick engines and Indy-style solid axles meant spectacular slides that scared drivers and thrilled spectators.

Paul Cunningham qualified this 6200cc. Pontiac powered ex-Mickey Thompson car for the 1961 Riverside GP.

Here at Cotati, he DNF'd after battling Hugh Harn's similar car for most of the race.

The Kurtis-Pontiac reappeared at the 2003 Goodwood historic race meeting.
See it as it looks today!

Hugh Harn usually drove a production Corvette.  In late 1961 he made several starts in this long wheelbase, Chevy- powered Kurtis.

At Cotati, Harn diced with Cunningham, and was also challenged by Ron Hathaway's Lola.

Myron Cottrell now owns the ex-Hugh Harn car... New photos!

Elgin Holmes on the pre-grid in his Buick-powered Kurtis.

(Note Bob Edmison's Mercedes- Corvette and Ak Miller standing by his Devin-Olds in the background.)

Primitive Indy car suspensions, (Note Watts links for solid axles front and rear) weren't the answer for bumpy courses like Pomona.


From website Visitor David Grant:

"On Kurtis Cars -- 1 (bottom photograph) with Elgin Holmes in car #188:  This is actually an Art Ingles sports car.  Art built two like this, and in the mid 1960s this car belonged to a man named Don Bell who lived here in Southern California.  He would race it at Willow Springs through the years of his ownership.  Later, Don sold the roadster to a Norm Crum, also of Southern California.  A photo of the car, with Norm driving it at the L.A. Roadster show, with the same paint sceme, appears in Street Rod Quarterly Fall 1971.

I am sorry, I do not know what became of this car.  I just thought that you would like to know a little bit more history about this car."

From racing historian Ron Cummings:

"This car was originally raced with a Ford four cylinder tractor motor. These Ford motors had some success in circle track racing.   The chassis was built from Kurtis components. Ingles worked for Kurtis at times. He and Bell called the car a Kurtis."

From website visitor Jim Miller:

"On Kurtis page 1 you have ID'ed a car as a Kurtis. I think this car was actually built by Dick Kraft. Look at Hot Rod Magazine covers, from sometime in '54. Kraft's car was on the cover and painted bronze. There were also build photos of the car in the same issue. In the early '60s I saw the car painted blue and with a headrest added. It looked the same as your photo."

More from Ron Cummings  (8-4-05)

"At this site you can see the similarity of the KK2000 Kurtis compared to the Art Ingles/ Don Bell Sports Car that Ingles built using Kurtis parts,most likely while he was working for Kurtis.  Elgin Holmes drove that car (above) with a Fordson tractor motor and later a "Nail-Head" Buick."

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