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1955 Kurtis KK500 | The Jalopy Journal The Jalopy Journal


1955 Kurtis KK500

Later this 7 days or subsequent, I will be setting up a mini-series of types on the heritage of American activity automobiles. That historical past is planted firmly in the arms of Briggs Cunningham, but Frank Curtis was not much at the rear of. Of training course, we all know him for his success on circle tracks. His sprint cars had been unbeatable for about a decade and his Indy cars and trucks are now famous, but Frank desperately wanted to make a output/sport car enterprise as well.

His initial effort and hard work was labeled the Kurtis Sport Car – a magnificent aluminum bodied convertible primarily based on a 1949 Ford chassis. Due to the high charge of creation, Frank could not make the figures perform and bought the style and design to Earl Muntz who went on to re-label the motor vehicle as the Muntz Jet. Earl constructed all-around 300 from 1951 to 1953.

A brief while later, Frank decided to attempt his hand at creation cars and trucks after once more. This time, he made a decision to get his 500B Indy car chassis and modify it to be a acceptable base for a street automobile. It did not take much… In reality, other than the wider monitor (done to allow +1 seating and a wider assortment of motor selections) the to start with Kurtis 500S highway car or truck was quite comparable to the Kurtis race automobile. So a lot so, that the vehicle turned recognized as the “Two-seat Indy Car or truck.”

All over again, the charge of manufacturing hampered Frank. He just could not get his selling price reduced ample to entice a marketplace of any kind. In an energy to fight this, Frank launched the KK500 – a package edition of the automobile enabling the builder/shopper to selected from a variety of different fiberglass bodies.

Just one of those clients was a male named Jack Ensley. Jack’s target was to acquire the 1958 Street The united states function. He had Jack Sutton build an all aluminum body for the motor vehicle and when performed, he stabbed in a Rochester injected SBC backed by a 4-pace. But time was quick and Ensley wasn’t capable to get the vehicle accomplished in time for Street America. Dejected, he marketed the auto to Joseph Cocannon.

Like quite a few of the Kurtis highway automobiles, the roadster changed palms a ton, got raced some, and hardly ever actually lived up to its opportunity. But to me? This might be the most lovely Kurtis ever constructed. There is just one thing about the slab aspect physique together with the recognizable Kurtis grill that will make this detail both of those uniquely American and wonderfully simplistic.


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