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Old 01-22-2010, 09:36 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default 1955 Kurtis 500KK



A week ago, Mr. Kellogg told the story of Tommy Lee and his extravagant roadster built by Frank Kurtis. Frank got his start at Don Lee Cadillac, but it wasn't long before he struck out on his own and ...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Thankyou Ryan.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:46 AM   #3
Special Ed
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Gotta love a Kurtis design! Thanks for posting it Ryan...
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:03 AM   #4
JeffreyJames
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

I have a new love and it tis this car. How fucking stealthy is this thing? This car is perfect top to bottom....well maybe lose the bumper car steering wheel hahaha!!!


Love that it's running an injected Chevy V8. If you find an original article on this car add it to the early Chevy V8 thread!!!

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=430018
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:16 AM   #5
kurtis
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Nearly all the American sportscars in the '50s had very basic chassis designs with very primative leaf spring suspensions, except the Kurtis cars which came with torsion bars. Most of the earlier cars had a '39 Ford steering box and nearly all came with drum brakes. Some owners experimented with unreliable Halibrand discs also.
This chassis was also used by other sportscar manufacturers such as Allied, Sorrell, Glaspar and i'm sure there were many others.


Last edited by kurtis; 01-22-2010 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:17 AM   #6
koth
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Holy Smokes!! Now that is a sports car! Thanks for sharing it Ryan. Love the angles taken for the pictures too.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:58 AM   #7
AnimalAin
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Very cool. Thanks.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:17 AM   #8
boldventure
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

This is now the third Kurtis sports car I've seen in person or in photos. One has been at the Historics at Laguna Seca regularly, one I spotted at Hillsborough and this one.
All three are painted black!
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

if darth vadar was a car! man that Kurtis is cooler than a cobra! looks like its' goin fast in the pics... great job Ryan!
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:56 AM   #10
oaktree
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Wow, the Kurtis is smooth. Light weight (dig those seats), tube frame and what was probably the best engine, pound for pound, available in its day. It would be a fast street car today. Not bad for a car designed 60 years ago.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:10 PM   #11
Tman
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Very cool. The car has an odd shape but at the same time it does something to me.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Very cool! Thanks for the photos and story.

I'm pretty sure Ak Miller's El Caballo II was built on a similar chassis, but had a different one-off aluminum body. And early Hemi power. It was on the cover of a mid-50's Hot Rod magazine. I would love to build something along these lines...
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

I've seen photos of that car off and on for the past 50 years and it spins my wheels every time I see it. I think that there are some race photos of it that were taken not long after it was built.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Here is a similar Kurtis, also painted black, but with a very different and cool engine choice.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:33 PM   #15
haroldd1963
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

That car is gorgeous!!! Thanks for posting Ryan.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

It is a stunning car, I had the chance to buy it last year but didn't pull the trigger... it was just too nice to put on the track, hopefully it went to a person that will bring her out to play. The gentleman that restored it has a rather amazing Kurtis collection and is a really nice guy. There was a black 54 KK at "The Quail" last year and there are a couple other KK's that vintage race on the west coast.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:44 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Have I ever wanted a Cobra, not so much, but if some enterprizing soul started repoping this thing, well I may just have to go "sporty"!!
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Good story Ryan. The thing I find amazing about Frank was the amount and type of cars that came out of his shop during the 40's and 50's. While he was designing and building his indy roadsters, sprint cars, and sports cars, he also found the time to design and build 500, or so, of the most successfull midgets in history. I restored this one in '87, and as I worked on it I marveled at the functional simplicity of the design. frank Kurtis was a true genius.



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Old 01-22-2010, 01:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Wow.

Thanks for posting that, Ryan.

I have seen some really cool cars, but that is one I have never had the privilege of seeing. A true work of art.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:58 PM   #20
sololobo
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Default Re: 1955 Kurtis 500KK

Holy Hotrod, that thing is so cool it made my teeth hurt. It is about as spot on as a hot rod sports car can get. The other picture of the blown inline vehicle is also a mind bender. Thanx for diggin this up! ~Sololobo~
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