1952 Kurtis 500A news, pictures, and information
Chassis Num: KK500A/355-52
AAA downsized the engine rules to 270 cid and Frank Kurtis modified the engine to conform. He entered three cars; two Wolcotts and one Belanger. The No. 25, driven by George Connor, was the first alternate at 135.239 mph in 1953.
1954 - 8th place at Indy, driven by Joe Russo, Ansted Rotary Special
1955 - Did not qualify
1956 - 17th place Indy, driven by Duke Dinsmore, Shannon Bros. Special.
This car, one of four 500As built, was assembled as an experimental machine by Herb Porter and Frank Kurtis in the spring and summer of 1952, under the auspices of Indianapolis Chrysler dealer Roger Wolcott and the Chrysler experimental engineering department. It was to be entered in the 1953 Indy 500 under the contemporary AAA Championship stock block rules allowing 340 cubic-inch engines. It was originally fitted with a factory experiment 'A-311 program' 331 cubic-inch, fuel-injected Dodge 'Firepower' HEMI engine, putting out about 410 horsepower. Wolcott and Porter took it to the Indianapolis Speedway in the fall of 1952 for testing. Driven for several days and about 200 laps by Joie James and others, the car ran over 137 mph (faster than Bill Vukovich in the previous 500) and immediately impressed all who witnessed the tests. When the word got out, other Indy entrants complained and the AAA lowered the stock block displacement requirement to 270 cubic-inches. Chrysler extensively modified the engine and supplied it to Wolcott and Murrell Belanger for the 1953 Indy 500. Unfortunately, due to the loss of torque and internal strain on the pushrod engine running at 7,000 RPM, none of the entrants were able to make the show. Chrysler chose to withdraw the cars rather than accept the change.
This #335-52 is almost a completely original Kurtis 500A fitted with an early stock block Chrysler 331 Hemi 'Firepower' engine.
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