In the late 1950's, a gentleman by the name of Frank 'Duff' Livingston had the audacity and nerve to enter a quintessential American hotrod vehicle, a Model T usually built for drag racing, onto competing on road courses against European sports cars. But his car defied that wisdom and beat some of the finest sports cars in the world.
Brock Yates acquired the car in the 1990's and also campaigned the car in vintage exotic sports car races with much success.
The Eliminator was a fixture in California sports and oval track racing in the mid-1950s. It was assembled in 1950 by Sherman Oaks, California, rodder Jay Chamberlain for California Roadster Association (CRA) short track racing. It was given a 1924 Ford Model T-bucket body with an early 1920's chassis and running gear. The front nose was fabricated by Indy car body builder Emil Deidt. Before the race car was completed, it was rendered obsolete when CRA short track rules were changed to allow tube frames. Chamberlain sold the rolling chassis to Frank 'Duffy' Livingstone, who with his partner Paul Parker installed a Ford flathead V-8, Cadillac 3-speed and Bendix-style front brakes to race it as a sports car.
Mr. Livingstone replaced the flathead with a new 265 cubic-inch small-block Chevy engine, which engine builder Tim Timmerman built up and fitted a Borg Waner T-10 4-speed gearbox. Running in both SCCA C-Modified and Formula Libre, the Eliminator began competing with and beating more modern race cars.
At the 1959 Los Angeles Herald Examiner International Grand Prix at the Pomona County fairgrounds, it qualified 19th in a field of 57 cars. It ran as high as 8th place and finally finished in 11th.
As the 1950s came to a close, The Eliminator was placed into storage and eventually sold. It passed from one shop to another over the next two decades, most of the time residing in the Arizona climate. In 1996, it was acquired by Brock Yates after reading an advertisement in Hemmings Motor News. He purchased the partly restored car from Tom Murphy of Phoenix and turned it over to Pete Chapouris' SoCal Speed Shop. With assistance from Duffy Livingstone, SoCal performed a minimal restoration to prepare the Eliminator for the 1997 Monterey Historic Automobile Races. It was later upgraded for vintage competition by Riter Restoration in East Rochester, New York.
The Eliminator spent several years on the vintage racing circuit before it was retired to the show circuit. In 2003, it won its Road Racing Hot Rod class at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2017