A few weeks back, I did a small feature on a 1955 Kurtis KK500. You can read that here. Anyhow, that feature lead to email correspondence with a man named Jake Delhomme. Jake lives in Prescott Arizona, has no time for technology, and has owned a 1953 Kurtis 500S since the 1980’s.
“What you have to understand about these Kurtis cars is that they were designed with a singular purpose – to be fast around a race track. There was very little compromise for any other objectives. It’s not comfortable. It’s not quiet. And it’s not particularly good at anything else, but it’s so good at being quick that your brain has problems comprehending that you are driving an antique car.”
“I also own a 1965 Corvette track car that has been a race car since it left the dealer in 1964. The Kurtis handles better, brakes better, and is faster around just about any track because when it was designed and built (a decade earlier mind you) it wasn’t handicapped by the same concessions the Corvette had to give towards production.”
“You can write about the Kurtis all you want, but you will never truly comprehend it unless you drive it.”
Short of flying out to Arizona and car jacking Jake, I have no plausible prospects of driving a Kurtis… Even so, I sure do yearn to experience what Jake is preaching. So much so, that I decided to get on Youtube this morning and see if I could find any vintage footage of a Kurtis in action. I found plenty, but what really interested me was a casual ride-a-long in a 1952 500S that was posted a few years ago. Check it out