Kurtis 500 Coupe

1955 Kurtis 500 Swallow Coupe by Allied

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Ft. Worth, Texas | May 2, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Frank Kurtis began building race cars in the 1930s. They were midgets and the first one he built was for himself. But he was good at it – and people recognized that. His cars were so good that Frank Kurtis was the first non-driver inducted into the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame. After WWII, he tried his hand at fiberglass road cars and would go on to build five Indy 500-winning roadsters.

The Kurtis Kraft 500 was a racing car – an Indy Roadster. They built a (barely) fendered road version as well. What we have here is a KK500 racing chassis. The body is by a company called Allied that built bodies, specifically near-copies of the Cisitalia 202. It’s a short-wheelbase car and uses a 5.2-liter V-8 from a Lincoln that has been tuned to make 257 horsepower.

The car was built to compete in the legendary Carrera Panamericana, but the 1955 race was cancelled. It would, however, get to compete in the 1990 version of that race and some other vintage events as well. It’s one of only two Allied-bodied Kurtis cars known to have been built and should sell for between $140,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $220,000.

Update: Not sold, Bonhams Scottsdale 2020.

Swallow Doretti

1954 Swallow Doretti

For Sale at Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California via Gstaad, Switzerland

1954 Swallow Doretti

So what’s with the location above, you ask? The car is located in Switzerland, currently, but is being sold by Fantasy Junction in California. So if you swing by the dealership in Emeryville wanting to check this car out, they will just send you down the street… to Switzerland. No big deal.

The Doretti was the only model manufactured by Swallow – a subsidiary of Tube Investments Group. The name Swallow came from Swallow Coachbuilding Co Ltd – which is the same company that spawned off Jaguar. Jaguar sold off the coachbuilding aspect of their business in 1945. When Tube Investments took over, they put the Doretti into production.

Based on the Triumph TR2, the car uses the same 2.0-liter straight-four making 90 horsepower. The body is unmistakably 1950s-vintage British. Performance was good, the car capable of 100 mph and a 0-60 time of 12.3 seconds. It cost about £200 more than a TR2. Only 276 were built before Jaguar, who was a significantly larger player in the British auto industry at that time, complained that the car’s production was driving the cost of materials up, and Tube Investments being an automotive supplier, shut it down before their customers got mad (more or less). In a way Jaguar was responsible for this car’s birth and death. This one has been in the same ownership for over 30 years. It is for sale for $62,500. Click here for more info.