LMC is very proud to offer for sale this 1950 Kurtis Sports Car
Frank Kurtis needs no introduction to anyone in the American racing world. His Kurtis-Kraft cars dominated American oval racing for decades, winning on everything from local dirt bullrings to Indianapolis. His race cars proved to be highly influential and from 1950 until 1964 as every winner of the Indy 500 was either built by him or at least heavily influenced by his designs. While Kurtis was building his successful Midget, Sprint and Indy car business, he kept his team busy in the off season by building Hollywood movie cars and one-off specials. In 1948, he built a unique sports car based on a wrecked ’41 Buick, and the car caused such a sensation that he decided a production version would be the perfect way to expand his business into a new market. The Kurtis Sport Car was a product of the astonishing explosion of automotive creativity after the economy enduring a grueling war, Americans were ready to celebrate as the booming economy provided jobs and prosperity. All this would have undoubtedly got him thinking: Perhaps there was a market for this new type of sports car — something that combined easy American power with more responsive, European-style road manners and fresh, modern styling.
In 1949 Kurtis began building his iconic Sport Car and formed a partnership with his St. Louis Kurtis-Kraft race car dealer Ed Walsh to create Kurtis Sports Cars, Inc. and set to work designing and developing a sports car that could be put into production. Adding to its already amazing history, the first production model went 142 MPH at Bonneville in-period while also appearing on the cover of the very first Motor Trend magazine around the same time.
This 1950 Kurtis Sport Car offered here is described as the last that was built in Frank Kurtis’ famous Glendale, California race car shop and originally belonged to Indy Car owner Jack Hinkle. The subject of a beautiful concours restoration, the body was taken down to bare aluminum and every panel fitted to better than when it was new. Following the metal work, the body was painted to a concours quality having been wet sanded and polished. The trim has been polished and straightened and bumpers re-chromed. Underneath the frame and suspension have both been powder-coated. Power comes from a 331ci Cadillac V8 and a Cadillac 3-speed gearbox that drives the rear wheels. This particular car was used in the famous movie “Johnny Dark”, a movie released in 1954 that illustrated the sports-car craze then sweeping the country after WWII starring award winning actor Tony Curtis.
Official Kurtis Kraft records indicate that 16 Sport Cars were built prior to “Madman” Muntz taking over and moving production to Illinois under the name Muntz Jet . With such low production, provenance and unique history this 1950 Kurtis Sports Car is great piece of automotive history.