1953 Kurtis 500
Year of manufacture1953
According to an article on file by former Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson, as well as additional research recently completed by Indy Car specialist Ellen Bireley, this Kurtis 500C was raced from 1954-1957 by numerous drivers for its owner Ed Walsh. Highlights from this period include the 1956 Indianapolis 500, in which this car was known as the Filter Queen Special and driven by Rodger Ward, who finished 8th.
After the 1957 season Walsh sold the Kurtis to Fred Sclavi, who hired Eddie Kuzma to rebuild the car using a new Kuzma frame and the mechanical components from the Kurtis. The used Kurtis frame was discarded by Kuzma, eventually coming into the possession of noted Indy Car expert Jerry Weeks, by 1982.
Weeks commenced a restoration of the Kurtis chassis utilizing appropriate period components and new bodywork. Chris Cumberworth took over the project from Weeks, and sold it to Donald L. Weber in the mid-1980s. The restoration was completed in 1987 in its spectacular 1956 Filter Queen livery, and the car remains in beautiful condition today. Marque expert Gary Schroeder has cared for the Kurtis in Weber’s ownership, and recently commissioned Phil Reilly to rebuild the Offenhauser engine, which was completed this year. The car is in running condition, but a proper external starter will need to be sourced by the buyer.
A sight to behold, this historic and exquisitely presented Indy roadster is sure to draw enthusiastic interest from fans of 1950’s Indy Car competition.
*Please note that this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale.