Fred Puhn -- 1962 Santee SS

(4-17-08)    Santee update from Fred Puhn: 

"There are 3 factory built Santees in existence.  The 3rd car was a pilot production car that was never completed.  When the company went under the 3rd car was purchased by Ed Bowen of Ramona, CA, but he never completed it.  Many years later I found Ed and discovered the car sitting in a field behind Ed's parents' cabin on a dirt trail in the foothills.  I purchased it but it was never high on my priority list.

The 3rd Santee is now in the capable hands of Charlie Wallace who helped me restore my Santee SS.  Charlie owns the Santee #3 and is totally restoring it as he completes it.  The specs are an option that the Santee factory offered.  It is an SS fully equipped for road use.  Thus it differs from the SS by having a glass windscreen, doors that are hinged vertically, wipers, mufflers, etc.  The engine and driveline are SS specs (~300 hp, close ratio transmission, bundle of snakes exhaust, Weber carbs, etc.) Charlie plans to run it in vintage races and also license it for road use.

Meanwhile, I am repairing the problems experienced in the 2006 Coronado vintage race with my Santee SS.  The car finished but there were a number of "bugs" that needed attention.  Obviously the Santee SS was never sorted out for reliability and drivability during its racing career.  We areputting those fixes on Charlie's car also so both cars will be safe and reliable.  Among the fixes are stub axles that won't break, new rear uprights based on original NOS castings, suspension fasteners that won't fall out, etc.

Also Charlie is performing a frame-off restoration of Santee 001, the prototype road car.  Again we are finding certain design flaws that we are repairing as we go.  I have 45 years additional engineering experience since I designed the Santees and I can spot problems and solutions quickly.  Also some parts failed in service and those stand out immediately.  At the end of the project we should have all 3 Santees ready to race/drive/show.

We also have many spare parts available to possibly build up another car in the future.  We are making a full set of body molds so authentic spec "continuation" cars could be constructed if needed.  I expect we will have both race cars into testing this year and will enter them in events in 2009."

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