This car was constructed in the amazingly short period of six months (beginning October 1937), in a cost-is-no-object effort to win the Indianapolis 500-Mile race. The collaborators in this project were an unlikely pair. A brilliant, self-taught engineer, Art Sparks and a highly eccentric, wealthy, Joel Thorne. With Thorne's unlimited backing, Sparks created two start-of-the-art racing cars with ideas he had gleaned from many years of racing experience. Built to the specifications of the day, the cars were powered by double overhead camshaft supercharged 180 cubic-inch engines mounted in rail-frame chassis with leaf spring suspension. From the moment of their arrival at The Speedway in May 1938, they were contenders. Unfortunately, they both broke down due to problems with their superchargers and valve springs.
Improved and re-entered in 1939, the number 10 car of Jimmy Snyder showed its true potential, qualifying on the pole for the '500' at a record-setting average of 130 miles an hour - a speed not equaled at Indy until 1948. A dispute between Sparks and Thorne, following Jimmy's death in a midget race, meant that neither of the two cars ran in 1940. However, Art again entered Snyder's former Number 10 in 1941 for National Champion Ted Horn, who drove it to an excellent third.
After the war, Joel Thorne sold number 10 to a private entrant named Bob Flavell from Los Angeles who ran the car at Indianapolis for the next three years. His drivers included Harry McQuinn, Mel Hansen, & Sam Hanks. Its last appearance was in 1949 when talented Tony Beltenhausen failed to qualify by less than 3 hundredths of a mile an hour. Flavell kept it untouched in his garage in Orange County until his death. This car passed through 4 other owners until purchased by its present owner in 1998, the car still in original condition. Beginning in 1999, Phil Reily & Co of Corle Madera, CA, completely restored the car. It had its modern debut at Laguna Seca Historic Races in 2001. It won the Monterey Cup, the Phil Hill Award and the Hulman Trophy at Pebble Beach.Also photographed at :