November 27, 2022

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1955 Kurtis KK500 | The Jalopy Journal The Jalopy Journal


1955 Kurtis KK500

Afterwards this week or next, I will be beginning a mini-series of sorts on the record of American activity cars. That background is planted firmly in the fingers of Briggs Cunningham, but Frank Curtis was not significantly at the rear of. Of program, we all know him for his good results on circle tracks. His sprint cars and trucks were being unbeatable for about a ten years and his Indy automobiles are now famous, but Frank desperately required to create a generation/activity car business as perfectly.

His to start with effort was labeled the Kurtis Sport Motor vehicle – a gorgeous aluminum bodied convertible primarily based on a 1949 Ford chassis. Due to the higher cost of output, Frank couldn’t make the quantities operate and sold the style to Earl Muntz who went on to re-label the car or truck as the Muntz Jet. Earl designed all over 300 from 1951 to 1953.

A brief even though afterwards, Frank decided to try out his hand at manufacturing cars at the time yet again. This time, he made the decision to get his 500B Indy motor vehicle chassis and modify it to be a suitable base for a street car or truck. It did not just take much… In fact, other than the wider observe (carried out to make it possible for +1 seating and a wider variety of motor choices) the initial Kurtis 500S highway car or truck was really similar to the Kurtis race auto. So substantially so, that the car turned identified as the “Two-seat Indy Motor vehicle.”

Again, the cost of creation hampered Frank. He just couldn’t get his marketing rate low sufficient to entice a market of any variety. In an effort and hard work to battle this, Frank released the KK500 – a package model of the car or truck making it possible for the builder/buyer to chose from a selection of distinct fiberglass bodies.

A single of those people consumers was a man named Jack Ensley. Jack’s purpose was to acquire the 1958 Highway The united states function. He experienced Jack Sutton make an all aluminum physique for the car and once finished, he stabbed in a Rochester injected SBC backed by a 4-pace. But time was quick and Ensley was not equipped to get the car or truck performed in time for Highway The united states. Dejected, he marketed the car to Joseph Cocannon.

Like quite a few of the Kurtis street cars, the roadster changed arms a ton, bought raced some, and by no means seriously lived up to its opportunity. But to me? This could possibly be the most stunning Kurtis at any time constructed. There’s just one thing about the slab aspect entire body alongside with the recognizable Kurtis grill that tends to make this factor both equally uniquely American and incredibly simplistic.


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