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Jay Leno Drives the Troy Indy Special, a Tribute to the Super-Cool 1959 Troy Roadster

Jay Leno has been running his "Garage" YouTube series for quite a few years now, and it's usually about iconic classics or the latest supercars. But from time to time, Leno uses his show to showcase lesser-known companies that build somewhat unusual cars. 7fifteen Motorworks is one of them.
Troy Indy Special by 7fifteen Motorworks 10 photos
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage/YouTube
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Featured in the very first Jay Leno's Garage episode for 2023, this small company from Three Lakes, Wisconsin, was born from the owner's love of a very special hot rod from the 1950s. I'm talking about the 1959 Troy Roadster, a one-off sports car built by Walter J. Troy.

Yes, this name may not mean much right now, but Troy was a top-tier custom car builder back in the 1950s. His first build won an award at the 1952 Indianapolis Custom Auto Show, while his second custom car won first prize at the 1954 Speedorama in Minneapolis. The latter was based on a Buick and displayed right next to the company's booth until GM got tired of continuous inquiries from fans. Word has it that the car also upset George Barris, who made quite the scene after losing the Custom Cars award to Troy.

Fast forward to 1958 and Walter began working on his first-ever sports car. Inspired by an early Ferrari race car that he began restoring at his shop, the Troy Roadster was born in 1959 with custom bodywork, open-wheel stance, aircraft-style windshields, and a 283-cubic-inch (4.6-liter) Chevrolet V8 mated to a Corvette three-speed gearbox.

Introduced at the Road Runner’s Autorama, it took home a first-place trophy and it was then featured in Hod Rod Magazine and in the auto-themed comic titled Hot Rods and Racing Cars. Like most hot rods from the era, the Roadster was sold and changed many owners until it resurfaced as a restored vehicle in the 21st century.

The car is now owned by Robert Kendall of 7fifteen Motorworks, who set up his company to build modern replicas of the award-winning hot rod.

Called the Troy Indy Special (likely because it resembled a classic Indy 500 racer), the modern rendition looks almost identical to the Troy Roadster thanks to precise 3D scans of the original car. It also rides on a tubular chassis, but it employs a modern suspension system with steel pushrods, billet aluminum lever arms, and double adjustable dampers.

7fifteen Motorworks also relies on Chevrolet power, as Troy did back in the day, but it went with a modern LS3 V8 tuned by Pace Performance. Displacing 376 cubic inches (6.2-liter), the mill pumps out 495 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque. It may not sound like a lot compared to many modern sports cars, but we need to keep in mind that the Roadster tips the scales at only 2,200 pounds.

Like most custom-built cars, the Troy Roadster is available with a long list of options, including custom paint jobs and a beefed-up V8 that packs up to 525 horsepower. Pricing obviously depends on these options, but an unpainted Roadster that's in stock as of January 2023 starts from $195,000. Find out more about this unique hot rod from Jay Leno himself in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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