The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Joshua Shaw, Jan 17, 2008.
I do not...Maybe that is the reason I never heard from him
Chapman Spl. 1952.
I'm new to this web site so please forgive any inaccuracies. I'm just learning details of my grandpa's racing career, but this is what I've been told: my grandpa, Porky Rachwitz, was the first to drive the first rear-engine Indy car and I have a pic of him driving it in Milwaukee 1963. It was the "Kimberly Special" and I can only see a #3 in the picture so I'm not sure if that was the number or if it was something else with a 3 in it. "Diamond" Jim Kimberly, of Kimberly Clark company, was the owner. I think the engine was from Mickey Thompson, not sure of the details as to whether Mickey built it or what but he was involved with the engine in some way. Porky drove the car at Indy but failed to qualify in it. That's about all I know. And as I said, I'm just finding out details of my grandpa's racing career so forgive any of my inaccuracies and feel free to enlighten me with any info you may have. My dad, Porky's oldest son, has just come into possession of tons of photos, programs, and scrapbooks, etc and has some great info and stories. I'm looking forward to going through them all and posting some of the stuff on this thread.
That's a great picture! Thank you for sharing!
Hey there Porky"s Girl... please PM me as I own the South Bay Auto Body Sprinter that your grandpa drove. I like to share notes!
Deb Snyder, Emory Collins, Milwaukee 46.
Actually there were rear engine cars as far back as 1937, long before the Kimberly Special although that was the car that started the rear engine revolution in the 1960's that led to the current generation of cars. Jack Brabham was the driver when that car made its Indy 500 debut in 1961 and the fact that he placed 9th with a car that was down approximately 200 hp on the Offies alerted others to the possibilities.
My dad and I have had this sprinter since 98. Paperwork showed it originally running with a Studebaker....we have photos of it in the early 50's at MPLS. It had been converted to a 357 Pontiac in the later 50's....it was tired and I replaced it with a 48 59L Flathead.
Rear drive Novi bones.
Those are the best photos I've ever seen of the Rear Drive Novis "undressed". Thanks, Rootie!!!
This photo shows what appears to be two short vertical tubes that are the front engine mounts for the big V-8. One of the tubes is just behind the steering crank setup and the other next to the main frame rail tube on the left. Both of the vertical tubes appear to be slotted on one side so that a bolt can then be tightened to hold everything tight. Smaller mating tubes are apparently mounted to the engine front on the bottom. When when the bolts are out the engine can more easily be either removed or installed. Pretty ingenious setup and I've never seen another one quite like it.
BTW, one of these 1956 rear drive cars was sold soon after the Granatellis took over everything from Welch. I've talked to more than one person who saw it being raced as a supermodified (with a stock block engine) in the middle 1960s in the Salt Lake City area. Somewhere along the line the car disappeared and at last check is still unaccounted for today.
Part of the Ferrari influx at Indy 1952, Johnnie Parsons Grant Piston Rings Spl. JMO but the 375 Ferrari was a pretty ugly car. You would think those vaunted "Italian Coachbuilders" could of hammered out a better looking body.
These two photos appear to have been taken at a road course although I don't recognize the track. Maybe this was an SCCA event? The car really belonged on a road course anyway.
BTW, Art Hoyt (Jerry Hoyt's father) was reportedly a crew member on one of the Indianapolis Ferraris in 1952 although I don't know which one. He was a talented mechanic himself although I believe this was the only time he worked at Indy.
I searched on the Racing Sports Car site but couldn't come up with roadcourse it was at. Notice too that they had changed windshields at some point also.
1941 color indy 500. lots of interesting things, including a fire in gasoline ally that destroyed several cars.
WOW! Thanks glrbird, great to see the 1941 INDY 500 in color. I wonder how many of the cars are still with us? Just saw the Carl Marchese #45 that finished 9th earlier this month, local car guy and HAMB member has it.
I would not call it ugly, just functional. The bare minimum to cover the frame and a large radiator opening to pull air in at the lower speeds common on road courses. The grille detail is especially nice as is the intake on the hood and if you look at 3/4 rear shots the tail has a nice contour to it as well.
Don't come much more functional and beautiful than a basic KK-4000
Yes indeed Rootie!
I agree 100%
^^^Absolutely gorgeous in its refinement and simplicity^^^
It was a KK 4000 that won the last Championship race ever by a Kurtis at Langhorne in 1959. Van Johnson was the driver.
He would perish the next time he drove it!
Needed help from Tommy Nickelson, the Eastern USAC head who black flagged Elmer George, while leading for a smoking tire. George punched Tommy and received a 1 year suspension.
....I really like this car....looks like it could be used on the street from the tag and rear light....would love to see more photos please.....
Don Branson Sacto 1960
...is this the original car ?......hard to know these days....(I know its not the KK 4000)
I think it is a Kurtis 500A. Was driven by Troy Ruttman in that livery in 1954. Kurtis numbered his Roadsters 500A, B,C....
By the common definition, the first KK-500's (such as the Auto Shippers 34) weren't actually "roadsters" they were more like wide body uprights as the engine was centered and the driver straddled the drive shaft. Travers, Coon and Porter used that chassis but offset the motor to the left and tilted it to the right and then offset the driver to the right of the driveshaft and that became what Vuky called a "roadster" and the name stuck.
Yes Rootie, obvious not an offset chassis, but the nomenclature picked up, and Kurtis had to start somewhere different from his upright nomenclature.
photos from when I had it. I bought it from Dave white in Ohio He had it from 1976 t0 2006. The legend was that Kurtis wanted to offset the engine in the Auto Shippers car but the owner Eugene Casseroles ( Auto Shippers owner and the check writer) wanted it centered as he planned on running on dirt also. ?
That car is one of the many beautiful cars banged out by Myron Stevens. It is now in the Tom Malloy Collection
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