Kurtis Kraft’s Coolest Car?


Frank Kurtis and company are best known for producing madly successful midget racing cars. They produced hundreds of customer cars which were competed, and almost always won, at the Indianapolis all through the fifties and into the sixties.

But they also marketed some spectacular kit cars – and notably this aggressive looking roadster, which was based on the KK500.

According to Frank Kurtis himeself this bad boy was “practically an Indianapolis 500 racing car with fenders and lights added”.

This particular 500 was apparently sent to California to be clothed by Jack Sutton, an innovative coach builder who seems to have hailed from England. Sutton — pioneer of applying steel work produced in the style of aviation panels to automobiles — fitted the car with its unique aluminium body.

The roadster featured very small front and rear overhangs and suicide doors — as well as a Plexiglas wrap-around windscreen, a D-type style cockpit bulge and the trademark Kurtis nine-bar front grill which was an integral part of the frame itself.

The car was fitted with a fuel-injected small-block Chevrolet engine and a four speed competition gearbox – and was raced throughout the late fifties and early sixties.

If you’ve associated kit cars with fibreglass bodied Leyland rejects from the 1970s, then think again.

This thing was a true and brutal beauty.