1950 Kurtis Sports Car

Frank Kurtis was an American racing car designer who began working with fabrication when he was hired by Tom Lee and Willet Brown to modify Don Lee Racing Team's midget car bodies. Kurtis Kraft was started when he began building his own midget car chassis in the late 1930s. In 1941, prior to the outbreak of World War II in the U.S., he designed a car named The Californian for Joel Thorne. Glenn Gordon would later be inspired by the design and use it to create his Davis D-2 Divan.

Most of the Kurtis built racing cars were midget cars, quarter-midgets, sports cars, sprint cars, Indy cars, and Formula One cars. From 1949 through 1955 he built glass-fiber bodied two-seaters sports cars under his own name in Glendale, California. About 16 or 17 examples of the Sports Cars were constructed when the license was sold to Madman Muntz who built the Muntz Jet.

The first prototype Kurtis Sports Car was built in 1948 and built around a wrecked 1941 Buick. Its design was well received which spawned the car to be built under the Kurtis name in 1950. They were given the 331 cubic-inch Cadillac V8 engine and Cadillac three-speed gearbox.

The first production model topped 142 mph at Bonneville and made the front cover of the very first Motor Trend magazine.


by Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2019
Vehicle Profiles
1950 Kurtis Sports Car vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: KB016

This Kurtis Sports Car is the last of the 16 examples built by Frank Kurtis and is believed to be the only one still in existence with the original brass firewall Kurtis VIN plate. When new, it was acquired by IndyCar team owner Jack Hinkle, who loan....[continue reading]

Roadster
Chassis #: KB016 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Kurtis
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)
1948Chevrolet (696,449)Ford (430,198)Plymouth (412,540)
1947Chevrolet (671,546)Ford (429,674)Plymouth (382,290)
1946Ford (468,022)Chevrolet (398,028)Plymouth (264,660)

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