Long before he became famous for designing and building Indianapolis racers that won the 500-mile race five times, Los Angeles fabricator Frank Kurtis made a considerable reputation building the best midget race cars in the world.
Beginning in the late 1930s, his company, Kurtis Kraft, churned out over 1,150 midgets, 500 in ready-to-race form and 600 kits. Described by the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame as “virtually unbeatable for over twenty years,” the Kurtis midget racer won countless events all over the country for decades and still performs well at vintage races today.
In a first for Sports Car Digest, we teamed up with GrayRoss Productions to create a video profile of the 1948 Kurtis Kraft Midget owned by Mark Sange. Shot at Infineon Raceway Sears Point during the 2009 CSRG Charity Challenge, the video includes on-board shots and interviews with the driver and lead mechanic.
Sange’s Kurtis Kraft Midget is powered by a 1937 Ford V8-60 and it’s maintained by Mike Ryan. The Midget has extensive racing history in the 1950s and 60s on both oval and road courses, including a last-to-first win at Willow Springs against a field of 83 entries comprised of Jaguars, Aston Martins, Ferraris and others. The win was so convincing, that the Midget was barred from future competition in that class.
As always, we welcome feedback on how we can improve, longer/shorter and other suggestions.
1948 Kurtis Kraft Midget – Video Car Profile
[Source: GrayRoss Productions; Mecum]