Vintage race cars at the Sloan

A special exhibit at the Sloan Museum Auto Fair this past weekend showcased an era when cars were expected not only to go fast, but to look great doing it.

At Motor City Garage, we certainly aren’t the first ones to notice that aesthetically, the race cars of the ’30s to the ’50s represent a sort of golden age in American motorsports..Truly, these are some of the best-looking race cars ever built.

In modern race cars with their space-age materials and wind-tunnel aerodynamics, function trumps form. But back in the day, cars were engineered on the theory that if it looked good, it was good. A quality race car was a well-turned out race car, with careful construction and detailing. If you appreciate machinery, these cars remain a treat to the eye to this day.

 

A few of our favorites at the Sloan Museum show: Dave Schleppi’s immaculate 1960 Chenowth Special (right), a typical offset Indy roadster of its time but for the fact that it was designed from scratch around a Chevy V8 rather than an Offy; and Butch and Alice Fork’s 1946 Kurtis Kraft-Offy midget. To add to the speedway flavor, the Sloan people invited several Indy 500 pace cars to the show. These cars and others from the exhibit are included in the slide show gallery below.

 

Butch Fork 1946 Kurtis Offy detail trailing arm
Fred Johns 1958 Kurtis Offy Midget Roadster
David Olds 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Z11 pace car
Lance Brookshire 1948 Kurtis Kraft Falcon Midget LF
Jerry Nemire 1974 Grant King Champ Dirt car
Bill Davis 1964 Watson-Ford Wynn's Special
Pete Marriott 1955 Conklin Chevrolet Sprint Car
Mike Barry 1920 HCS Special Series 2 Roadster
Bill Davis Watson-Ford engine detail
Robert Sirna 1958 Kurtis 500H D-A Lubricant Special
Pat Pillars Kurtis stretch Midget Chevrolet Sprint Car
Butch Fork 1946 Kurtis Kraft Offy Midget
Butch Fork 1946 Kurtis Kraft Offy Midget LR
Lance Brookshire 1948 Kurtis Kraft Falcon Midget
Robert Sirna 1958 Kurtis 500H steering detail
Jerry Nemire Grant King Dirt Champ car suspension detail
Dave Schleppi Chenowth Chevrolet Indianapolis roadster
Pat Pillars Kurtis stretch engine detail
Lloyd Ganton 1959 Buick Electra 225 Convertible

Butch Fork 1946 Kurtis Offy detail trailing arm

Fred Johns 1958 Kurtis Offy Midget Roadster

David Olds 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Z11 pace car

Lance Brookshire 1948 Kurtis Kraft Falcon Midget LF

Jerry Nemire 1974 Grant King Champ Dirt car

Bill Davis 1964 Watson-Ford Wynn's Special

Pete Marriott 1955 Conklin Chevrolet Sprint Car

Mike Barry 1920 HCS Special Series 2 Roadster

Bill Davis Watson-Ford engine detail

Robert Sirna 1958 Kurtis 500H D-A Lubricant Special

Pat Pillars Kurtis stretch Midget Chevrolet Sprint Car

Butch Fork 1946 Kurtis Kraft Offy Midget

Butch Fork 1946 Kurtis Kraft Offy Midget LR

Lance Brookshire 1948 Kurtis Kraft Falcon Midget

Robert Sirna 1958 Kurtis 500H steering detail

Jerry Nemire Grant King Dirt Champ car suspension detail

Dave Schleppi Chenowth Chevrolet Indianapolis roadster

Pat Pillars Kurtis stretch engine detail

Lloyd Ganton 1959 Buick Electra 225 Convertible

 

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2 thoughts on “Vintage race cars at the Sloan

  1. Just beautiful Mac, what camera do you use and how in the heck do you get all of people out of the way…….makes me crazy, the unmitigated gall and brazen audacity of these people who look at cars whilst I’m trying to get a clear shot with my iPhone. 😀

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