1954 Kurtis Indy Car

Location: Indianapolis
VIN #:
Engine:Offenhauser 4

Frank Kurtis (January 25, 1908 – February 1987) was an American racing car designer. He designed and built midget cars, quarter-midgets, sports cars, sprint cars, Indy cars, and Formula One cars. He was the founder of Kurtis-Kraft. Kurtis was born in Crested Butte, Colorado. He began working with fabrication when he was hired by Willet Brown and Tommy Lee to rework Don Lee Racing Team's midget car bodies. Kurtis started Kurtis-Kraft when he built his own midget car chassis in the late 1930s.

He built some very low glass-fibre bodied two-seaters sports cars under his own name in Glendale, California between 1949 and 1955. Ford running gear was used. About 36 cars had been made when the licence was sold to Madman Muntz who built the Muntz Jet. In 1954 and 1955, road versions of his Indianapolis racers were offered.

Kurtis-Kraft created over 550 ready-to-run midget cars, and 600 kits. The Kurtis-Kraft chassis midget car featured a smaller version of the Offenhauser motor. The National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame describes the combination as "virtually unbeatable for over twenty years."Kurtis-Kraft created 120 Indianapolis 500 cars, including five winners.

Kurtis sold his midget car business to Johnny Pawl in the late 1950s, and his quarter midget business to Ralph Potter in 1962. Kurtis died in February 1987.

This Kurtis Indy was driven in 2 Indy 500's by Fred Agabashian. In 1955 the car qualified 4th and spun out early in the race after encountering oil spilled from another car- therefore finishing 32nd. In 1956 Fred piloted the car to a 7th place start and a 12th place finish. The car was entered in the 1957 race but did not qualify. It continued on in other races for a few more years, but the original drivetrain was removed and put in storage.

When the car was restored the origianl drivetrain was reinstalled, so this car has the engine that it ran in the Indy 500 in the mid 50's, The engine was recently rebuilt, so the car is ready to go racing once again- it is in pretty much turn key condition.

This is a rare opportunity to get a period Indy Car that was a contender in its time and was driven by a well known veteran driver.

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