1960 Dolphin Formula Junior MKI news, pictures, specifications, and information
- From Dolphin Engineering Company

The Dolphin Formula Junior, designed by John Crosthwaite, formerly with the Cooper Works and the Lotus Race Team, and built by Crosthwaite and Robert Hull of La Jolle, California, is one of the first true production road racing machines built in the United States. It offers rear engine placement, four wheel independent suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, fiberglass body, space frame and combining the best of European and American design.

The body, using fiberglass and aluminum, is aerodynamically conceived and features a cockpit of large dimensions suited to the American driver. Utilizing an unusually deep stress section, the straight tube space frame offers maximum rigidity and driver protection. Dolphin Engineering has designed and constructs it's own magnesium wheel, weighing under nine pounds and acting as an air pump to assure cool brakes at all times. The production car uses the successful Fiat 1100cc engine, highly modified with dual S.U. 1.5-inch carburetors, Crower-Schneider camshaft, high compression head, electric fuel pump and the specially designed Dolphin intake manifold and headers. The center mounted gas tank, complying with USAC regulations, is aluminum alloy wrapped in fiberglass to give maximum fire protection. Steering is through Dolphin Engineering rack-and-pinion, 1 3/4 turns 'lock-to-lock', and using a Derrington 24-inch high wrapped steering wheel.

The independent rear suspension, by coil spring/shocker units, is completely adjustable and may be varied to suit the driver and circuit.

The Dolphin may be purchased as a raceable car, or as a kit in any stage of construction. The car is complete down to balanced wheels, safety belt, Derrington racing mirrors, customer's choice of color, owners manual and spare parts list. Spares, incidentally, are as close as your phone, with everything available from frame to instruments.

Dolphin Engineering plans to campaign extensively this year with a team of three works cars. They will race first on West Coast circuits and then most across country to try their hand against Eastern cars. If success warrants it, the team with then go to Europe to make an attempt on the Formula Junior Championship next year. The team drivers will be Robert Hall, John Biehl, and Warren Boynton. In addition to the works cars, four other machines are under construction, three being sold to San Diegans Lou Khapik, Frank Fortune and Ed Erickson.

The first outing of the car at Examiner Grand Prix at Riverside met with failure due to broken half shaft on the starting line. However, World Champion Jack Brabham and Porsche exponent Ken Miles drove the Dolphin during practice and had high praise for the car's handling.

The complete car will sell for 3895.00 F.O.B. El Cajon, California, and include all equipment necessary to go directly to the track. Options on carburetors, tires, fuel tank sizes, magnesium wheels, pistons, etc. will be offered at a nominal cost. Dolphin Engineering will also arrange financing, insurance, and will accept trades on both production and racing cars.
Dolphin Engineering was formed by Bud Hull and John Crosthwaite. Crosthwaite was an English race car designer whose resume includes names such as Lotus, Cooper and Jay Chamberlain. Hull was an aerospace industry craftsman. The company was formed with the intent on creating suitable racers for the newly formed Formula Junior racing series. Their design was based on a space frame chassis and powered by a Fiat 11cc engine. The future models of the cars continued to evolve and the design was perfected. In the hands of drivers such as Ken Miles, and Kurt Neumann, the vehicles enjoyed moderate success.

By 1960, Hull and Crosthwaite were busy designing and building a mid-engined Formula Junior car that could compete in the exceedingly competitive FJ-Series against the mighty Lotus and Cooper cars. This FJ racer was meant as a stepping stone into the world of Formula One, meaning the same basic design was some day meant for F1 car. Their FJ racer had a wheelbase that measured 85-inches, had mid-engine placement, had a fiberglass body and a space frame chassis. The front and rear suspension was independent via coil springs with unequal-length A-arms in the front. Double wishbones were in the rear. A Dolphin-designed rack-and-pinion system was used to steer the vehicle.

Many FJ cars of the day used Fiat, English Fords, BMC, and DKW based engines. The Dolphin cars used Fiat components, such as the gearbox, engine, and drum brakes. The engine was given twin SU carburetors with a Dolphin-made intake manifold along with other modifications bringing horsepower to around 75.

A radiator was mounted in the front and an aluminum fuel tank directly under the driver's leg. Another weight-saving techniques, along with aluminum, were the fiberglass bodies, and Dolphin-made magnesium wheels that weighed a mere 8 pounds. They were designed to force air to the drum brakes and aid in cooling.

A complete car, including running gear, sold for just under $3,900. Kit versions were available at a reduced price. In total, there were just nine examples of the first series of Dolphin Formula Junior cars created. In competition, they failed to challenge the front runners such as the Lotus 18s and the Coopers. Their bulky designs and mechanical failures were part of their Achilles heal.

A second series of Dolphin FJ cars were created, this time they were lower and built by Troutman and Barnes. Though fiberglass was cheaper, aluminum was lighter - so the first example was given an aluminum body while the examples that followed were clothed in fiberglass. Power was from a Ford 105E engine though the Fiat 600 four-speed gearbox was retained. Production was much higher, reaching as many as 26 units.

Though the second series of Dolphin FJ cars were better than their first series, they still were no quick enough to battle the newly created Lotus 20 cars.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2009
Recent Vehicle Additions

2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label

1923 Rickenbacker Model B

1940 Ford Lloyd Rockey Special

2017 Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer

1925 Ford Eliminator Special

1936 Brough Superior
Inspired by the Eclectic World of Contemporary Music, Kia Partners with RIDES Magazine and Popular Mechanics to Open the Show in Amplified Fashion ◾Five 2014 Souls debut with live mobile performances, featuring a cutting-edge DJ station and a pro-sound-quality, plug-in-ready amplifier on wheels ◾NBC's The Voice and Vans Warped Tour are represented with their own themed Soul urban hatchbacks ◾A rolling music museum Soul pays homage to the art form with memorabilia spanning multiple genr...[Read more...]
1964 Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers: Survive for One Last Victory
During the late 1950s, Richie Ginther would begin a relationship with John von Neumann and this partnership would result in one of the most dominant periods of American sportscar racing in which Ginther and Porsche would be virtually unbeatable. Nearly a decade later, that same combination would again join forces to provide one more moment of glory. By the mid-1950s Porsche had developed its 550. This was a small car more than capable of dominating its class and consistently able to challenge...[Read more...]
Corvette Shines in the Big Apple
All-new Corvette Stingray comes to New York City 60 years to the day after Motorama debut 2013-01-16 Sixty years ago tomorrow, spectators lined New York City's posh Park Avenue, waiting to get a glimpse of the ground-breaking Chevrolet Corvette on display at the General Motors' Motorama show. On Thursday, the Corvette will be back in The Big Apple, marking the historic milestone with the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The all-new Corvette Stingray debuted earlier...[Read more...]
1967 Can-Am Road America: The Beginning of the 'Bruce and Denny Show'
While Formula One will be forever considered the pinnacle of motorsport, from a period between 1966 and 1986 there existed a series that would likely be the closest to 'anything goes' as any motor racing series could truly get. Based upon the FIA Group 7 cars but allowed to showcase unlimited engine sizes and unfettered aerodynamics, the Can-Am cars would have to be considered the pinnacle of motorsport technology and power of their era. And for more than a couple of years there would be one tea...[Read more...]
Carroll Shelby, Ford Family for More Than Half a Century
Carroll Shelby was a member of the Ford family for the better part of 60 years, producing stunning performance vehicles from concepts to production models. He once said his energy and passion for performance products were always strongest when he was working with Ford. Shelby most recently collaborated with the company on the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, the most powerful production V8 in the world. Working with SVT engineers at Sebring and the Arizona Proving Grounds, at times he drov...[Read more...]

FJ Series

© 1998-2017. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.