18-19 August 2017

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Lot 270

1958 Kurtis-Kraft 500 Half Midget

  • Chassis no. 08
  • Engine no. AU-10

Sold for $12,100

Please note that this lot is offered on a Bill of Sale.

  • Race-prepared Continental AU-10 engine with new-old-stock gearbox
  • Torsion bar suspension with friction shock absorbers
  • Originally campaigned in Southern California midget races

Mr. Frank Kurtis of Glendale, California, was the preeminent builder of open-wheel racing cars in the United States throughout the late 1940s and well into the 1950s. Kurtis-Kraft cars earned high finishes in the 1948 and 1949 Indianapolis 500 races before winning the legendary race five out of the next six years. Mr. Kurtis leveraged his success on the biggest stage to sell versions of his racing cars to would-be Indy competitors in various USAC Midget races around the country.

This Half Midget is a genuine example of the Kurtis “Indy 500 Series.” These cars, according to period advertising, included some of the “best features” of the Kurtis Indianapolis winners such as adjustable four-wheel torsion bar suspension and friction shock absorbers. On this example, the hand-built fiberglass body rides on a tube steel frame and is powered by a race-prepared Continental AU-10 engine mated to a new-old-stock gearbox that has also been fully prepared. The car currently rides on Ingersoll slicks in the rear and Carlisle “Double Indian” tires up front. Originally campaigned in Southern California, this impeccable Half Midget offers a glimpse of what it was like to drive one of Mr. Kurtis’ legendary Indy cars.

Beautifully restored in black and gold livery, this 1958 Kurtis-Kraft 500 Half Midget is ready for show or for vintage competition. Given the reputation of Frank Kurtis’ race cars, the new owner may yet have a chance to test the old adage that, “It takes a Kurtis to beat a Kurtis!”

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more