1958 Kurtis 500H Racer Up for Grabs as Piece of American Motorsport History

Race car designer Frank Kurtis was once one of the best known names in American motorsport. The Colorado-born, founder of Kurtis Kraft, was responsible for the creation of a wide range of race cars, from Formula 1 machines to sprint and Indy cars.
1958 Kurtis 500H 14 photos
Photo: Mecum
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Having lived most of his life in the glory days of motorsport (Kurtis was born in 1908), not many of his designs can successfully be used in the races of today, but the cars he was responsible for still are a solid piece of American motorsport history: some 120 Indianapolis 500 cars were made by the man, including five that went on to win the race.

The racer we have here is not one of those who have won Indy, but that doesn’t necessarily steal some of its appeal. Of a 1958 build and called 500H, this particular car has seen action in three consecutive Indianapolis, driven by three different people: Johnny Thomson, Duane Carter and Don Freeland.

Still in great shape after all these years, the 500H is on the lot of cars scheduled to go under the hammer this June during the Mecum auction in (where else?) Indianapolis.

Sporting the original Offenhauser 252ci (4.1-liter) inline 4-cylinder and the 4-speed manual that controlled it, the racer comes in bright yellow with D-A Lubricant No. 7 livery on the outside and a black, simple interior.

The vehicle is in working order, but in case anything goes wrong, it is offered with a spare 2-speed Indy racing transmission, and a set of Dunlop vintage racing tires on magnesium wheels (the car is already shod with such wheels, only they come with Firestone racing tires).

Most importantly, the car has the ability to comply with various safety regulations, as it comes with a removable subframe bolted to the original frame that can support 5 point racing seat belts, and a removable roll bar.

Mecum does not say how much it expects to fetch for the model.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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