Whether it's applied to comic books or cars, class is a word that can be stretched to embrace a remarkable range of examples, and this unusual monoposto roadster makes an excellent case in point. Inspired by the open-wheel machines competing in the Indianapolis 500 races of the late 1930s, the Boattail was created by Mike Larkin and Milt 'Pee Wee' Thomas, two Garden Grove, California neighbors with extensive motorsports backgrounds.
The duo decided they wanted to participate in The Great Race, an annual cross-country vintage car rally covering vast distances on public roads, and decided further that a pre-WWII Indy car would make an entertaining entry. Acquiring an actual Indy 500 veteran capable of making the trek was beyond their budget, so they set about building a replica of their own. The design that emerged takes some liberties with Depression-era Indy car tradition and includes many components machined from scratch. But it also incorporates a number of pre-WWII parts gleaned from various sources, including a 1936 Buick straight eight engine. The engine determined the model year that Larkin and Thomas assigned to the car, but they actually began working on their dream ride in 2003 and completed it in time for the 2007 running of The Great Race.
While purists may debate the world classic in connection with this Larkin-Thomas creation, there's another descriptor that's inarguable: unique.