Tim Ritter's "Sorrell-bodied Special"

"My name is Tim Ritter and I am trying to track down any information on this car.  It has a round tubular frame and a 56 Corvette engine with a 39 Ford gearbox.It was finished at one time.  The instruments are winged Stewart Warners. The nose tilts forward.  The Sorrell body is in good condition."


This car looks very familiar.  Haven't we seen this car or one very much like it recently?

If you have any information on this car please email me and I'll put you in touch with Tim. TM


Any clues here?

More from Tim:

"I have known of Bob Sorrell since I bought his personal car that Mark Brinker owns. Then I started doing research on him since he was a excellent metal man and did a lot of alloy bodies for drag racers and Micky Thompsons record car.  I have a lot of Bobs  small air hammers and dies.I am allways interested in his work and think he deserves a place in automotive history in California."

(7-17-09)   From Darrell Wilhelm:

"For Tim's car, I could identify a late buggy-spring era (1939-48) Ford or Mercury tube-axle front suspension and brakes (identified by general appearance and the hydraulic brake hoses), lever-action shock absorbers that could either be like those used on British cars from the 1930s to the end of MGB production or could be from prewar American cars such as Packards, 1958-up Chevrolet Impala taillights, and a hood scoop like those sold by Moon, Honest Charley, J.C. Whitney, Bell and other speed shops of the fiberglass-special era. 

The windshield is also reminiscent of the Arnolt-Bristol in terms of the shape of its posts, although the MGA's, A.C. Ace/Shelby Cobra's and Jaguar XK150 roadster's are similar if I recall correctly. That style of windshield could also have been built quite easily, by way of obtaining steel or aluminum channel stock and rubber weatherstripping (or bicycle inner tubes) and fitting either a salvaged windshield of whatever shape would fit, flat glass, or a bespoke Plexiglas windshield to it, depending on how much expendable cash the builder had and on the style of the frame. 

It also appears to have had nerf bars or bumperettes of some kind on the rear end at one time, and it appears to have seats from a small imported two-door sedan or sports car (probably Volkswagen, Porsche 356, Fiat, Morris Minor, MGA or Renault Caravelle, judging from the size and shape of the backrest tops). I could probably get more information on other parts of the car and/or other unique features if I were able to see more pictures. Perhaps Tim could send them along?

This information may not lead directly to the exact identity of Tim's car, but the specific types of parts (readily available and inexpensive during the 1950s and 1960s) may tell something about the car or its original builder, and although I am not an expert on Sorrells (to say the least!), I could at least pin down an approximate era of completion and perhaps some details on its construction if I were to be able to see more pictures."

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