Saturday 25th January 1908
Born on this day, Frank Kurtis, American racing car designer, a man with the potential to have become America’s Enzo Ferrari. Besides his highly successful Kurtis-Kraft midget and ChampCar race car production along with Sprint cars and quarter-midget cars, he also built exciting road going sports cars and roadsters with his KSC (Kurtis Sports Car) company from 1949 through 1955. But high production costs and troubled sales efforts forced Kurtis to sell the operation to millionaire Earl William “Madman” Muntz who built the Muntz Jet in 1955 and 1956. Kurtis-Kraft created over 550 ready-to-run midget cars, and 600 kits. The Kurtis-Kraft chassis midget car featured a smaller version of the Offenhauser engine. The National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame describes the combination as “virtually unbeatable for over twenty years.” Kurtis-Kraft created 120 Indianapolis 500 cars, including five winners.