1957 Monsterati Special
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The car was used as a road car and as a racing machine. It was used in SCCA competition, which, after one race, he had qualified for a national SCCA license. The rules were more relaxed for SCCA competition in the 1950's. During the national competition, challenging such marque's as Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes, and Shelby, and battling for position against more experienced and polished drivers, proved to be a challenge. The car was raced in hillclimbs, but it continued to find itself chasing the competition. More power was needed. The popular choice at the time was the small-block Chevrolet unit. With the assistance of three two-barrel carburetors and a four-speed Chevrolet transmission transplanted from a Corvette, the Monsterati was again ready to race.
The new engine and other mechanical changes proved to be the solution needed to run at the front of the pack. It began setting the fastest times at hillclimbs, such as at the Louisiana Hilltop Raceway, where it ran the course three times, each time besting its previous lap record.
The car was sold in the early 1960s, and its resume in racing was continued by the subsequent owners. As the years progressed, engines and mechanical components were constantly changed on the vehicle. Improvements, which were sometimes very detrimental, were made to the car. One such change was to the aluminum, where one of its owners had used a cutting torch on the delicate metal.
During the 1980s, Janowski began searching for his car. It took a few years, but it was located in Texas. Janowski was able to purchase the car and began a frame-up restoration. When completed, the car was entered in historic competition. The car is currently in the care of Bill Janowski and is a frequent competitor in historic competition events.
When Bill got the urge to race the car, it was converted with a small block Chevrolet and 4-speed transmission. The Monsterati first raced in June 1957 at Eagle Mountain, Texas, and then throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. The car was very fast but unreliable and was sold in 1962.
In 1984, Bill located the 'monster' in Balch Springs, Texas, and he restored it in 1986-1987. The Monterey
Historic Race in Monterey, California, was the Monsterati's first race after restoration. It has since been raced at over 75 vintage events. The complete history of the Monsterati has been included in two recent
books: Road Racing Specials and Vintage American Road Racing Cars, 1950-1970.
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