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History Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster at GOODING & CO. Scottsdale 2019 Auction

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by HEMI32, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Gooding & Company logo.JPG
    The Scottsdale Auctions
    January 18 & 19, 2019

    Lot #115 The SPURGIN-GIOVANINE Roadster.JPG

    Estimate: $250,000 - $350,000

    Car Highlights:
    • Among the Most Historic 1940s California Dry Lakes Roadsters
    • Constructed by Albata Club Members Chuck Spurgin and Bob Giovanine
    • The 1948 SCTA Class A Roadster Champion – Perfect 1,800-Point Score
    • Featured on the Cover of the March 1949 Issue of Hot Rod Magazine
    • Displayed in the Special Hot Rod Class at Pebble Beach in 2010
    • Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame Inductee
    • Grand National Roadster Show Class Winner

    Technical Specs:
    • 1925 Chevrolet body
    • 183 CID OHV Chevrolet Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
    • Twin Sidedraft Carburetors
    • Estimated 150 BHP at 5,000 RPM
    • 3-Speed Manual Gearbox
    • 2-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
    • Front Solid-Axle Suspension with Transverse Leaf Spring
    • Rear Live Axle

    • Chuck Spurgin and Bob Giovanine, Los Angeles, California (constructed in 1948)
    • Carl Borgh, Los Angeles, California (acquired from Spurgin in 1954)
    • Robert Cano, Lomita, California (acquired from the above in 1956)
    • David Lawrence, Los Angeles, California (acquired in 1999)
    • Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2004)

    Race Highlights:
    • SCTA Class B Roadster Championship, 1947 (15th Place, 24 Points)
    • SCTA Class A Roadster Championship, 1948 (1st Place, 1,800 Points)
    • Various Dry Lakes and Drag Races, 1950–1957

    Featured Media:
    • Hop Up, Winter 2018, Vol. 13, No. 4, “The Fine Art of Re Surfacing,” by Tony Thacker
    • Hot Rod, March 1949, Cover Car and “Hot Rod of the Month” feature
    • Hot Rod, October 1956, “Worth Its Salt,” by Bob d’Olivo

    Exhibition Highlights:
    • Second Annual SCTA Hot Rod Exposition, Los Angeles, California, 1949
    • Ventura Motorsports Gathering, California, 2009
    • Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 2010
    • Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance, California, 2011 (Best in Class)
    • Grand National Roadster Show, California, 2012 (Best in Class)
    • Del Mar Concours d’Elegance, California, 2012 (Best in Class)
    • Gold Coast Roadster & Racing Club “Gas Up,” California, 2015

    This Car:

    The origins of this remarkable dry lakes roadster can be traced back to the late 1930s, when Chuck Spurgin and Bob Giovanine joined the Albata Club of Southern California and began to compete in the newly established Southern California Timing Association Championship. Although WWII interrupted racing activities, Spurgin and Giovanine returned to the dry lakes in 1947 and created one of the great hot rods of all time.

    The iconic car was based on Spurgin’s 1925 Chevrolet Roadster, which was fitted with Giovanine’s hopped-up Chevy four. The highly tuned engine featured a Ford “C” crank, Curtiss OX-5 connecting rods, and an Oldsmobile three-port head milled to give as much as 16.25:1 compression. Other notable speed equipment included a Winfield cam, Mallory distributor, Jewett oil pump, and Duke Hallock-designed carburetors.

    The Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster first appeared at the October 1947 SCTA meet, where it ran in the B Roadster class, turning 118.89 mph. That season, the car earned 24 points and finished 15th in the SCTA championship. Prior to the 1948 season, the Roadster was further modified. A ’32 Ford front axle replaced the stock suspension and the channeled roadster body was streamlined with a new aluminum hood, track nose, and full bellypan.

    In April 1948, the updated Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster kicked off the SCTA championship series by setting a Class A record with a two-way time of 113.95 mph. At the El Mirage meet two months later, it set another record of 117.515 mph. At the July meet, it attained 118.48 mph, and that September, it finally broke the 120 mph barrier. During the season’s final meet that October, the Roadster set a two-way time of 123.655 mph, breaking its own record yet again. By placing 1st and setting a record at every meet, the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster attained a perfect 1,800-point score, secured the 1948 SCTA Class A Championship, and set a record that stood for the next two years.

    In March 1949, the Roadster graced the cover of Hot Rod and was the magazine’s featured “Hot Rod of the Month.” The car was also included in a special display of record-setting machines in the SCTA’s Hot Rod Exposition, held at the Los Angeles National Guard Armory.

    Spurgin and Giovanine continued to race their Roadster into 1949, though they never repeated the success of the glorious championship season. In 1954, Spurgin sold the car to Carl Borgh, an aerospace engineer, who carried out a variety of modifications, including the installation of a GMC engine. Now called the “Mothersill’s Special,” Borgh’s Roadster ran at El Mirage in September 1954 and turned 141.73 mph. The following year, the Roadster was completely re-engineered, ran 149 mph at Bonneville and was profiled by Hot Rod for a feature that appeared in October 1956.

    In February 1956, the car was sold to Robert Cano, who modified it further and continued to race it as the “Cano Snoot.” The Roadster’s last known race took place at Lions Drag Strip in 1957, and then it disappeared for more than four decades.

    In the late 1990s, collector David Lawrence discovered the derelict car behind a garage in Apple Valley, California. Although it had been continually modified, the Roadster retained its original frame, body, and other identifying features.

    The current owner acquired the project in 2004 and embarked on a restoration that returned the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster to its 1948 appearance and specification. SCTA historian Terry Baldwin oversaw the process, which involved extensive research including tracking down members of the Giovanine, Spurgin, and Borgh families.

    Completed in 2009, the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster has since been displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and captured First in Class awards at the Grand National Roadster Show and Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance. In 2015, it was inducted into the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame.

    The Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster survives today as one of the most famous, beautiful, and successful dry lakes roadsters built during the dawn of the California hot rod movement. Noted historian Don Montgomery has stated that the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster’s flawless performance during the 1948 SCTA championship season “was an incredible milestone feat in land speed history.” Its status as a Hot Rod magazine cover car and decade-long racing career further its legendary reputation.

    Gooding & Company is proud to present this important dry lakes roadster – a car that is sure to appeal to the collector with a passion for exceptional examples of American ingenuity and craftsmanship.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
    Jalopy Joker, loudbang, Nobey and 5 others like this.

  2. Lot #115 The SPURGIN-GIOVANINE Roadster (1).JPG
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    Lot #115 The SPURGIN-GIOVANINE Roadster (7).JPG
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    Lot #115 The SPURGIN-GIOVANINE Roadster (9).JPG
    Lot #115 The SPURGIN-GIOVANINE Roadster (10).JPG
    Lot #115 The SPURGIN-GIOVANINE Roadster (11).JPG
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    Lot #115 The SPURGIN-GIOVANINE Roadster (13).JPG
    Lot #115 The SPURGIN-GIOVANINE Roadster (14).JPG
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    Lot #115 The SPURGIN-GIOVANINE Roadster (17).JPG
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
    loudbang, Tim, Nobey and 4 others like this.
  3. A video from GOODING & COMPANY:

    Billy_Bottle_Caps, Tim, Nobey and 3 others like this.
  4. The video from @Jive-Bomber's Revisting the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster… (November 30th 2017) TJJ Blog:

    Here's Justin Miller’s wonderful short film about the car as told from the current and previous owner, and sharing more history about why this roadster is so important. We also get a brief history of Dry Lakes Racing, as well as how much this little car dominated at El Mirage in the late 40s. The touching part is hearing from both Spurgin and Giovanine’s daughters and the effort to get the restoration correct proves to be commendable too…

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  5. A video from the folks at "Regular Studio":
    Tim, Nobey, kidcampbell71 and 2 others like this.
  6. A video from our friends at HOP UP:

    TerrytheK, Tim, Nobey and 3 others like this.
  7. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,708

    anthony myrick

    Nothing else to say

    Stogy and kidcampbell71 like this.
  8. Perhaps you (& other HAMBers) can comment on whether or not you think it will meet the reserve ... and if so, how much it will go for ... ???
    Stogy likes this.
  9. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,708

    anthony myrick

    This one is out of my range of experience to judge a $$$$ value
    It is however a window into the past for racing and inspiration for future builds
    Nice to learn the history on this killer ride
    HEMI32 likes this.
  10. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,308


    Thanks for the coverage and heads up @HEMI32...I'm going to say $325,000

    Sleek would be a life altering experience to take that for a run down the former dusty land of speed of its heyday.​
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  11. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,921


    What a great tribute to a great car! Amazing!
  12. Just because a H.A.M.B. thread can never have enough pics ... here's my photos of the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster at Pebble Beach in 2010:

    U-01 (placard).jpg
    U-01 (1).JPG
    U-01 (2).JPG
    U-01 (3).JPG
    U-01 (4).JPG
    U-01 (5).JPG
    U-01 (6).JPG
    U-01 (7).JPG
    U-01 (8).JPG
    U-01 (9).JPG
    U-01 (10).JPG
    Will Kalbermatter (hand on engine) and a sleep deprived Jamie (@Jimmy B) Barter on a cellphone call from Oz

    NOTE: These photos were originally posted in my Lakesters & Bonneville Racers @ Pebble Beach '10 ... PICS!!! thread.

    anthony myrick and kidcampbell71 like this.

  13. @Jimmy B - Care to speculate whether or not you think it will meet the reserve ... and if so, how much it will go for ... ???
  14. RussTee
    Joined: Mar 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,204


    What would you use it for very nice car locked in its history a bit expensive to race or drive build a repro cheaper and thrash it to enjoy
    49ratfink and nochop like this.
  15. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,708

    anthony myrick

    Who knows. The Roth clone brought some big bucks
    I do wonder how they price this. What are they comparing it with?
    Stogy likes this.
  16. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 16,308


    You can't drive a million dollar painting but you can hang it in a gallery and look at it...its nice to see Hotrod/Custom/Race get recognized as what it is Historical Sport that paved a movement. This iconic Resurrected Hotrod has saw some motion and hopefully will continue to see the event circuit in its next part of its retirement from times we still revere.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
    anthony myrick likes this.
  17. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,706

    from Burton, MI

    Dang. To be able to drive a piece of history...priceless.
    Stogy likes this.
  18. Thanks for the thread @HEMI32. It will definitely be interesting to see what it brings as it seems like a number of historic cars have been falling short of their estimates and reserves the last little while at auction. It is certainly a uniquely historic piece so I hope they get everything they want out of it.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  19. Nobey
    Joined: May 28, 2011
    Posts: 1,171


    Nice coverage Hemi32, I would venture a guess at tipping the scales over the 300K mark. The car
    was also at the Hot Rod Homecoming in 2013, it is something to behold in person.....
    HEMI32 likes this.
  20. It is hard to judge what this will sell for as there really isn't anything else to compare it to. Famous Deuces you know will be 200k+ as this is the range they sell. The thing that will hurt this is the fact it is a Chev not a Ford. On the upside it is the third oldest surviving SCTA points champion, Fifth oldest surviving HRM cover car. Has been a Hot Rod since the 1930s. I think the biggest plus is the fact it won the SCTA championship during the Associations biggest year and breaking its own record at every meet.

    Price I feel anything over $200,000 is a win, if you get a few people fighting over it the bidding could be around the $400,000 mark.
    flatheadpete and HEMI32 like this.
  21. RussTee
    Joined: Mar 25, 2008
    Posts: 1,204


    Dont get me wrong I think it is a fantastic car and well done to a certain time it would be nice to see it displayed somewhere for all to see and also attend shows. However the value of it and its historical provinance will mean it is almost unusable this is the problem with this type of car . Nowdays even a replica would have improvements to make it more reliable and safer to drive to race it on the lakes would require so many safety features that it would probably look a different car. In saying that I would love to own it and be able to walk out to the shed and view it maybe even store it in the living room sit in it and watch historic racing flicks on the big screen and dream I hope it stays around for all to see.
  22. If I could afford it I would drive it up and down my street and piss off my neighbor who already can't stand my 36 3 window... good luck with the sale.. hope they get what the auction estimates are listing.. Hot Rod History- Priceless:D
    nochop likes this.
  23. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,869

    from wareham,ma

    One less old racer that's not rotting away in a field is a win ,the dough is a bonus.
    clem likes this.
  24. Interesting that the modified Winfields have been replaced- anyone recognize the carbs that are on the engine now?
  25. xsquiden
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 110


    Mac the carbs in the pics a ways up are s&s super e's I think I remember seeing something about jimmy shine making it driveable so they swap carbs and intakes back and forth for show or running around. I swear I saw something about this but I could be a complete moron.
  26. Yes it is in the Hop Up video posted. Jimmy explains (16:00 mark) that they built a manifold to switch to carbs to run on regular gas and not methanol so it can be driven and then switched back for authenticity.
    HEMI32 and xsquiden like this.
  27. passngas
    Joined: Dec 17, 2010
    Posts: 20


    Someone is going to get a good deal. The price range is fair for all the history tied to this car. I thought it was lite, considering the McMullen roadster didn't sell at 700K. I believe this is a far more significant dry lakes car. It would be a good addition to a collection like the Simeone.
  28. 97
    Joined: May 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,580


    Rusty, There is no room in your living room for a car, too many Ford Speed parts everywhere!!!:D
    Will you be at MCM? Hoping to be there for the Friday/Saturday.
  29. Thanks for the info- I've seen that video, but been so enamoured with the car that I wasn't listening to what Jimmy Shine was saying :p
  30. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,398


    Well it's no different than spending lavish sums on collectible art, right? It is recognition of the historical value of the provenance that drives the price up, right? And HAMBers are a main ingredient in that soup . . . this wonderful forum helps keep the provenance alive and spread the word (right?)

    Lord knows, it is one of my top 5 all time hot rods (wish I was a candidate for bidding!) Hell, I wish @Jimmy B was a candidate! He's one guy who should own this car.
    Thanks for putting these videos, links, and pics in one place Todd.

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