1960 Sorrell Larkin Special

Bob Sorrell was an automotive designer and builder of the 1950s. His work includes building land speed racers, show cars, drag racers, hot rods, customs and tether cars. His fiberglass creations were outrageous and memorable, the earliest being the SR-100 roadster. It was a Sorrell original design that was unique and creative with its unified fender-to-body expression and envelope-design.

The Sorrell-Larkin SR-200 began life as a Lister-Chevrolet. In 1960 it was involved in a tragic accident at the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside. The wreckage was acquired by Bob Sorrell and had it brought back to his shop, where he and Jim Larkin shared space. The car required extensive modifications to the frame and many other mechanical components. A fiberglass body finished in patriotic colors was carefully and expertly crafted, and based on past Sorrell designs (the SR-100).

After the work was completed, the car returned to the track, albeit without the desired competition success. It was involved in another crash at Riverside in 1962, close to where the Lister had come to a rest in 1960. This time, an extensive fire transformed the wreckage to ash. The car was totally destroyed. The blaze was so intense that track works had use a skid loader to cover the flaming wreckage in dirt. It is unclear if the Sorrell was later removed from its buried resting place.

The car that exists today is a recreation created by brothers Mike and Jim Larkin. After a decade, and using photos as reference, the work was completed. It was given a Chevrolet 355 cubic-inch engine offering 360 horsepower and mated to a close-ratio four-speed transmission.


By Daniel Vaughan | May 2019

Sports Racer Vehicles



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