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Interesting looking car

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  • Interesting looking car

    http://www.autotraderclassics.com/cl...rsationId=1116

    Found this browsing around, and liked the look of it. Much heavier than our cars, but good looking lines, and I'm sure much less drag than ours with similar narrow body and wings.

  • #2
    Wow. A very good catch.

    The Chuck Tatum Special is a fairly well documented car in the world of American road racing specials. After WWII, road racing specials were a fairly popular thing, especially on the west coast. You can think of them as hot rodders going road racing instead of dry lakes or drag racing. Another way to look at these cars is to imagine Colin Chapman as an American who had American junkyard parts to work with instead of old Austin 7 and Ford Anglia parts!

    One of the more famous guys to build his own cars was Max Balchowsky. Max built a series of cars named Old Yeller. Here's a pic of Old Yeller II that I took at last year's Goodwood Revival:


    American road racing specials are covered briefly with a chapter of their own in Dean Batchelor's book, The American Hot Rod. The Tatum car is highlighted there. Batchelor was an early SCTA guy who went on to design the SoCal Special belly tank for Alex Xydias and the SoCal streamliner that raced at El Mirage and Bonneville. He also was editor of Road & Track for a number of years. Here is the SoCal belly tank on the lawn at Pebble Beach:


    Here is the SoCal streamliner at the SEMA show last fall:


    Other specials were built by guys who went on to become pretty famous as drivers. Ken Miles, the Shelby team driver and Ford GT development ace started racing specials in the U.S. up at Pebble Beach in about '53 or '54. His cars were mostly small bore cars based on MG hardware.

    Guys like Tatum & Balchowsky were taking on the big guns like Ferrari, Maserati & Jaguar with their specials. The specials were a low cost way for an amateur to go road racing on an equal footing with the established European marques in those days.

    As the SoCal scene evolved, guys like Troutmann and Barnes started building specials for the more well heeled amateurs like a Texan named Jim Hall. The Chaparral 1 of '61 was just such a car:


    Eventually the specials evolved into their own class as they became more capable. This group of sports racers eventually morphed into what the FIA came to recognize as Group VII, or as we knew it over here in the U.S., the CanAm.
    Last edited by escondidoron; January 12, 2012, 12:15 AM.
    EscondidoRon

    '62 Lotus Seven
    '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
    '14 Evora
    '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

    "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

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    • #3
      Very nice cars. Here's another one from the same era that I spotted near downtown Los Angeles.



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      • #4
        An interesting combination of aircraft and automobile. Sort of the opposite of a flying car?
        EscondidoRon

        '62 Lotus Seven
        '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
        '14 Evora
        '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

        "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the history, Ron. Very interesting!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by sdcat View Post
            Thanks for the history, Ron. Very interesting!
            Thanks for the find. It brings back a lot of memories.

            If you find this kind of thing to be of interest you should check out the Batchelor book I mentioned. It's a very good read. It is a large format book and has many photos from the period, both Batchelor's and those of other period event participants. It turns out that Batchelor had an old Kodak Brownie camera that he took with him almost everywhere as a kid growing up in L.A. Whenever he spotted an interesting car he would take a picture. After the war he could afford better equipment so the picture quality improved. The book was a sort of scrap book for Dean and a lifetime ambition. A true labor of love. He worked on it in earnest after he retired. He had a heart attack and passed away the night after he completed the final edits of the manuscript.
            EscondidoRon

            '62 Lotus Seven
            '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
            '14 Evora
            '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

            "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

            Comment


            • #7
              Speaking of Troutman & Barnes, the last car they built, 1964 Scorpion, is for sale at $1.2m. They also built the first Scarabs.

              This website has tons of pictures of cars from the good ol days.

              http://www.tamsoldracecarsite.net/HomepageNew1.html#6th target

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sevenhead View Post
                Speaking of Troutman & Barnes, the last car they built, 1964 Scorpion, is for sale at $1.2m. They also built the first Scarabs.
                Back in the day I was fortunate to have visited their shop several times. On a couple of occasions I saw this car in their shop:


                The 2nd time I saw it was in the early '70's. They were doing a freshening of the car. It was painted a dark metallic brown at that time. IIRC the car was built for the wife of a Porsche dealer down in Texas.

                To my taste, it is a much nicer looking car than the Panamera!
                EscondidoRon

                '62 Lotus Seven
                '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
                '14 Evora
                '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

                "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by escondidoron View Post
                  To my taste, it is a much nicer looking car than the Panamera!
                  Yeah, well, how hard is that? :D
                  Chris
                  ------------
                  A day you don't go a hundred is a day wasted

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                  • #10
                    To my taste, it is a much nicer looking car than the Panamera!
                    Agreed! Love the suicide doors!

                    Tom
                    Tom "ELV15" Jones
                    http://PIErats.com

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                    • #11
                      I wonder if they ever made a Phaeton?....Probably Not.

                      vincesf

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                      • #12
                        The car was definitely a one-off.
                        EscondidoRon

                        '62 Lotus Seven
                        '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
                        '14 Evora
                        '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

                        "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Saw this in Sutter Creek today.
                          sutter creek 3.jpg
                          sutter creek 2.jpg
                          sutter creek 4.jpg
                          sutter creek1.jpg

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                          • #14
                            wow!
                            EscondidoRon

                            '62 Lotus Seven
                            '84 Turbo Esprit (x2)
                            '14 Evora
                            '77 Esprit S1 (RIP) :(

                            "A man must keep a little back shop where he can be himself without reserve. In solitude alone can he know true freedom." -Michel De Montaigne 1588

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jeff - I saw that car arrive in the parking lot at the 2011 Monterey Motorsports Reunion. At that time, I was told the owner/driver is an aluminum-beating expert based in San Francisco. It didn't look quite as finished as it does in your photos. If I recall correctly, it has Triumph TR6 underpinnings, but I'm not sure - 60% sure it was TR6; 90% sure it was some kind of Triumph.
                              | | Sean

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