Portola Hotel & Spa
18 - 19 August 2017
Lot 270

1958 Kurtis-Kraft 500 Half Midget


$12,100 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
  • 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
Please note that this lot is offered on a Bill of Sale.

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!”