1957 Townsend Typhoon MKII

The Townsend Typhoon's, also known as the Townsend MK1, were built by Frank Townsend, his brother Robert, and his friends. Frank's background included hot rodding and racing which soon led to modifying and creating his own race cars. The Typhoon's were fitted with an Oldsmobile V8 engine that had their carburetors sticking through the hood. The cars had fiberglass bodies, a space frame chassis, four-speed gearbox and four-wheel drum brakes. An independent suspension was used in the front and a live axle in the rear.

A total of three cars were created for racing and road use; two additional bodies were sold to customers. a second version of the Typhooon soon followed, the MK2, which was used for SCCA competition. Power was from a fuel-injected Pontiac powerplant placed in a new spaceframe chassis. The chassis comprised of tubing from surplus airplane parts. It measured 102 inches and when finished was clothed in a fiberglass body and painted in a very vibrant purple paint scheme. It was given the nickname 'Purple People Eater' after the song.

Three more versions of the Typhoon followed, the MK3, MK4, and MK5. All were built to keep pace with the competition.


By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2008
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