sábado, 22 de diciembre de 2007


Artículo orginal escrito por Frederick J. Roth...

Kurtis Kraft Spl. 1949 J.Parsons N 12

Frank Kurtis was born in Crested Butte, Colorado, on January 25, 1908. Frank's dad, Frank Kurtis, Sr., after trying several locations in the Colorado mining communities, established a blacksmith shop in Pueblo, Colorado. It was here that Frank Jr. developed his love for automobiles. The shop was doing both horse and buggy repairs as well as the new automobiles.


The family moved to Los Angeles in 1922 where he, Frank Jr., lied about his age and got a job with Don Lee Cadillac. His first car was a 1916 Ford Model T chassis with a specially constructed body He built and sold many street machines in his early years.


It was in the early 1930's that Frank started in on his love of designing and building race cars. This he accomplished in the four car garage built behind his home in Los Angeles. He built and repaired several race and custom cars throughout the 1930's. It was in 1939 that he first went to Indianapolis, where he was immediately commissioned to do some rework and repairs on some of the race cars.


1941 was the year his first car was built to enter in the Indianapolis race, and was driven by Sam Hanks. It was in late 1945 and early 1946 that the well known midgets were put into production along with the building of two more cars for Indy, one for Ross Page and the other being the famous Novi Special.


1947 brought about many more midgets and several Indy cars, one, a second Novi Team car, and another special designed entry called the Kurtis-Kraft Special, to be Frank's personal entry to the 1948 Indy Race. The Kurtis-Kraft Special was just that, it was a dream of Frank's come true. It was a one of a kind car built exactly the way Frank wanted. It was a combination dirt champ car with the capability of running Indy. The 1948 season found it finishing 9th at Indy and 12th in points. The 1948 season brought it to 2nd place at Indy and 1st place in championship points.

J.Parsons N 12

1949 was the realization of Frank's dream come true; Johnny Parsons wins the Indy 500 in the Kurtis-Kraft entry now called the Wynn's Oil Special. It carried the number 1 on its side while winning the 500. The car was sold to Jim Robbins and finished 2nd again in 1951.


During these years he built a one of a kind custom Buick and started his first production sports car, which was later to become the Muntz Road jet in 1950. The early 1950's saw more midgets and Indy cars of various designs. The first of the ever popular roadster Indy cars was built in 1952 for Bill Vukovich of Fresno. Vuky, teasing Frank, is the one originally calling them roadsters. Twenty-four out of the thirty-three starting cars at the Indy Races, were Kurtis built cars in the years of 1952, 1953,1954,1955.


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