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...]

Racecar Fit for a Prinz – 1967 NSU 1200 TT

vintage racer

In 1961, NSU introduced the Prinz IV. It was very much inspired by the Chevrolet Corvair and featured an air-cooled, two-cylinder, 30 horsepower motor. After a couple of years the engine had become a four-cylinder unit and by 1965 NSU aimed to attract driving enthusiasts with the more performance-oriented 1000 TT. In 1967, the 1,197 cc NSU 1200 TT . US-spec versions of the car had to make due with a single carburetor, but European cars got two. … [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...]

Paul Newman’s Porsche – 1974 Porsche 911S

1974 Porsche 911S Race Car

Paul Newman needs no introduction here or anywhere, but what some might not know is just how late in life he was bitten by the racing bug, which of course turned into a pretty spectacular motorsports career. He was already in his 40s when he first did the Bob Bondurant school in preparation for the 1969 movie Winning, and it wasn't until 1972 that he really got involved, running SCCA races in a Lotus. It was a slippery slope from there, though, … [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...]

“She Goes” – 1963 Elva Courier

racecar

While Elva found success in Formula Junior racing and with beautiful sports racers like the Mk. 7 and Mk. 8, their take on a production sports car was the lovely, if somewhat obscure Courier. The Courier used plenty of BMC parts, specifically from MG. As so often happened with these small English manufacturers, Elva ran into financial troubles and from 1962 rights to the Courier were sold to Trojan, who continued production until 1969. This … [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...]

French Masterpiece – 1953 Gordini Type 24 S

1953 Gordini Type 24 S Track

Amédée Gordini stood at Le Mans in 1953. He had finally created his masterpiece, a three-litre eight-cylinder sports car, which he intended to use to compete at the highest level. It would run in anger against names like Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Aston Martin, and it would be run not only by Works teams but also by wealthy privateers. For his car, Gordini chose an inline eight-cylinder engine, which was chosen for … [Read more...]

Dominance – 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder

1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder

Perhaps no other race car claims the outright success that is boasted by Porsche’s 917/30, a purpose-built spyder that dominated its only season of competition and went on to set a still respectable closed-course speed record. Rooted in roughly four years of development of similar racing spyders, the 917/30’s beginnings initially arose from two goals. With a new American retail relationship between Porsche and Audi forming in 1969, VW of … [Read more...]