1955 Kurtis 500SOLD

Believed To Have Been Constructed for La Carrera PanAmericana of 1955

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Engine Type: Lincoln V8
Color:Red / Black

Reference Number 81092

as of 5/13/2010

Overview
Car 1955 Kurtis 500
VIN KK43 
Mileage 14,152 miles 
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Known History

 

1955 Kurtis 500 bodied by Allied

s/n KK43

Red with Racing Graphics and Black Interior

 

The modern Carrera Panamericana is a revival of the famous international Pan Am race that was conducted between 1950-1954. Many of the world’s most famous drivers, including world champions like Phil Hill and Juan Manuel Fangio, came to Mexico during these years to test their cars, skill, and stamina. The race was started in 1950 by the Mexican government to publicize to the world that Mexico had a new system of highways that stretched across the country – from north to south – for commerce and tourism. By the end of 1954, there were too many casualties for the race to continue, and the 1955 event, for which this Allied bodied Kurtis 500 was built, was canceled.

 

Allied bodies of Los Angles, CA built “Swallow” fiberglass bodies intended to be mounted on a number of different chassis ranging from MGTDs, to modified domestic and Kurtis 500 chassis. Only two of Allied’s bodies actually made it to Kurtis 500 chassis, this being one of those two cars.

 

This car, s/n KK43, was equipped with a Lincoln V8 engine and 3-speed transmission when new. In 1990, it was prepared in a no expense spared fashion for the Carrara Panamericana by Phil Denny of PRD Engineering in Sonoma, CA, and was driven to a finish in the great race by Jeffery Pattinson, then owner of Coys of Kensington in London, England. This car was later raced by Bruce Trenery, owner of Fantasy Junction, in a CSRG vintage race. Interestingly, the only other Allied bodied Kurtis 500 was equipped with a Chrysler Hemi and has also accumulated racing history, first by Stuart Wilson of Elko, Nevada, and then by English character Robs Lamplough, and later to a masterful win at the Monterey Historics by Mike Sheehan of Ferraris-Online.com.

 

More recently, the current owner prepared and raced the car in the 2007 and 2008 Carrera Panamerican race events, as well as the 2009 Chihuahua Express event by the same organizers. Race preparation for this included the fitment of a 5-speed full syncromesh transmission and an engine rebuild by JMS Racing Engines of El Monte, California. Dyno tests yielded 257 hp and 308 ft/lbs of torque! Front disc breaks were also fitted, which the current owner believes this car was equipped with in period. Several improvements were made to driver comfort including increased ventilation and airflow, as well as heat shielding.

 

While road registered and eligible for nearly all the prestigious road rallies, this example remains very much a racecar with complete roll cage, racing seats, removable steering wheel, fuel cell, oil pressure warning light, late model Tilton pedal and master cylinders assemblies, brake bias control, and two full five point safety harnesses. While these additions make it a track friendly car, it can still be used on the street, ideally for driving events. Indeed, the owner has used the car regularly, including on the 2011 Targa California.

 

KK43 displays very good racing cosmetics and is still in its Carrera Panamericana livery from 1990. The paint is in good shape throughout, with a minor crack here or there, and the lights and trim are also in good shape. The interior is functional with full instrumentation, roll cage, and modern competition type seats. The engine is also competition prepared with wrapped headers, aeroquip fittings, and high capacity radiator.

 

With the car comes a plethora of spares, including many driveline components, equipment to convert the car to drum brakes, extra shocks, two Holley carburetors, and a number of other brackets and extras which are likely to prove useful to the next owner. We also have rebuild notes and dyno test results on file for the JMS engine, as well as a VSCC vintage racing logbook. The car was featured in the June of 2008 issue of Hot Rod Magazine, and a photocopy of the article is included.