Something Special – 1955 Swartley-OSCA

vintage race special ken miles

In the early 1950s, SCCA racer Skip Swartley had been campaigning an Allard, but in 1955 he took a delivery of a tube-frame, aluminum-bodied, OSCA-powered one-off special to race in the G-Modified class. It was reportedly designed by Jim Troy of Burbank, California. Swartley debuted the pretty little car at the Pebble Beach races in April of that year, and after many impressive performances, including victory at Torrey Pines and the Bremerton Cup … [Read more...]

Fiberglass Find – 1953 Woodill Wildfire

1953 Woodill Wildfire

1950s America produced what seems like an endless number of different low production, fiberglass-bodied sports cars. This Woodill Wildfire is yet another one. Produced by Willys dealer B. Robert "Woody" Woodill, it wore a relatively familiar looking Glasspar fiberglass shell that was laid over a custom frame, a Willys straight-six and various other Willys bits that Woodill would have had ample supply of. The Wildfire sold as a kit or as a … [Read more...]

The Fourth GT40 – 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype

1964 Ford GT40 Prototype

The outbreak of the Ford-Ferrari wars needs no introduction here, and we all know it was this car, the GT40, that was the sweet fruit of Ford's labor during that conflict. Developed with help from Eric Broadley of Lola and built at the new Ford Advanced Vehicles facility in England, the very first GT40 to be shown to the public, chassis GT/101, made its debut at the 1964 New York Auto Show. Within weeks, GT/102 was completed, but at the Le Mans … [Read more...]

Viva Las Vegas – 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

race car viva las vegas movie

When the RPO Z06 racing package was bestowed upon some of the first C2 Corvettes, Los Angeles Chevrolet dealer Harry Mann thought that he had to have one and felt like he deserved one. For the 1962 Times Grand Prix at Riverside, though, Chevrolet only doled out four Z06's, and none of them went to Mann. Annoyed, Mann then decided to more or less make his own Z06, starting with a new L84 327/360 HP-equipped Split Window Coupe and going from there. … [Read more...]

Unrestored, Unused, Unsoiled – 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

don mcnamara original 427 big block

It is both baffling and somewhat reassuring that many fantastic classic cars were bought new for not insignificant sums of money and then used so sparingly, a few miles at a time, that years later they are almost completely unspoiled. This car is a particularly extreme example of that strange habit. In 1966, a 30 year old US Marine went to Vegas, won $5,000 in a slot machine, and bought his dream car. It was a 1967 Corvette Coupe finished in … [Read more...]

Track-Prepped Panther – 1972 De Tomaso Pantera

race car

De Tomaso Panteras are rarely left alone, and this is yet another quite seriously modified example. Done with the track (but not period correct preparation) in mind, it has a 419 ci stroker with forged crank and pistons, titanium valves, custom heads and a claimed 600+ rear wheel horsepower. The hood and deck lid are fiberglass, the fender flares are steel, the coil overs are adjustable, and the flywheel is lightened. Although it's advertised as … [Read more...]

Renault-Powered Rarity – 1959 Bunce Buck

renault 4cv race car h modified

The 1950s were a ripe time in America for road racing specials, and crafty mechanics and engineers all across the country stitched together unique and successful machines. These home-grown cars were often concoctions of American, British, and sometimes Italian or German components, but this car is just a little bit outside the box. Built by Ed Buck and Bill Bunce on the West Coast, this little special utilizes French power, in this case an … [Read more...]

Tough Tanker – 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

dick lang

As soon as the new Corvette Stingray saw the light of day, people were looking to race it, particularly in the SCCA's production car ranks. One of the most serious was surely Ohio Chevrolet dealer Dick Lang, who had already made solid showings around the country in A and B Production driving his 1959 Corvette. For racers like Lang, Duntov had concocted a new, options package for the Corvette that included beefier suspension all around, a front … [Read more...]

Car Seeking Track – 1967 Gerhardt-Ford Indy Car

1967 Gerhardt-Ford Indy Car

The 1967 Indy 500 was an exciting one, and the timing sheets would have been dotted with the true greats from that era. Graham Hill, Jim Clark, Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, Jochen Rindt, Dan Gurney, Jackie Stewart, Cale Yarborough, Parnelli Jones, Denny Hulme, A.J. Foyt, and two Unsers all took to the Brickyard for '67, and it was a great year for technology as well as talent. The mid-engined revolution had only hit Indy a few years before, … [Read more...]

Sorry Split Window – 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

split window coupe '63 project barn find

Inspired by Bill Mitchell’s 1959 Stingray Racer, the C2 Corvette represented a big step forward for America’s sports car. It may not have been as big of a step as Duntov would have liked, but the new Corvette was lighter than the old roadster, had a shorter wheelbase, and for the first time was shaped through wind-tunnel testing. The new car also had better weight distribution, wider drum brakes, and independent rear suspension. Power from the … [Read more...]