Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The "Chuck Manning Special".

This car belongs to Dan Margolien in the United States and I'm really only showing it to you because to me it is just so similar to the Ford V8 specials that were popular in Australia and built mainly before and after WWII. It wasn't just the V8s either I guess. There were also GP cars as well as sports cars that were built around side valve Hudsons and Dodges and even a Jeep powered GP car, not to mention the Maybachs, powered by engines from captured German army tanks. Anyway, we in Australia certainly had our share of Ford V8 powered specials in one part because the Ford V8 was around in reasonable supply but also in their day it was easy horsepower to be had.

Anyway, Dan's car is the Chuck Manning Special, an historic racing car fabricated by his father, David Margolien, in approximately 1951. (I don't know where Chuck Manning comes into it). It was built in Southern California for sports car racing of the time. It has a '48 Ford flat head with Isky cam and the familiar three Stromberg 97s, Offy heads and manifold, Merc crank and '39 Merc front and rear axles. It has a fibreglass nose and tail, formed in moulds which still exist. The rest of the body is aluminium. It would seem to me that fibreglass must have been introduced to America a bit earlier than Australia.

This car was rebuilt in the mid-80s except for the engine to exactly as it was raced through 1953. Dan believes his dad built at least 3 and possibly 5 of these vehicles for others. A unique feature of the car are the "copper flow" brake drums in which David developed a process to braze copper fins to the drums for improved cooling.


Colin said...

What sort of chassis John? Seems very Bollie Mk 1 but way more developed - guess the builder was older and more racing experience at the time. Looks a bit like "Old Yella MK !"

Colin said...

The Kurtis Kraft 500S was introduced in 1953 based on a similar variations of motor but with a tubular space frame. could use ford front and back ends too. Hugely successful in club racing. Also drag racing.

dan margolien said...

Chuck Manning was an airframe designer at Douglas Aircraft. He designed the chassis and layout. It is a set of 4" think wall steel tubes set in parallel down the sides with cross members. It is extremely rigid and light.