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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Help us identify this mystery race car

The Hagerty Community never fails to impress, as our fans have a diverse and passionate appeal for all things automotive. (And motorcycles too, 'natch.) While we can often find an answer amongst ourselves, this mysterious race car was posted today on the Hagerty Community, and its current owner is seeking help to determine its provenance.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/help-us-identify-this-mystery-race-car/
63 REPLIES 63
Sajeev
Community Manager

Testing, Testing, Testing

CJinSD
Advanced Driver

https://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z16658/dolphin-america.aspx

I think this car is a Dolphin. They were powered by any number of engines from different manufacturers.
stvstb
Pit Crew

I do have more photos but I don't seem to be able to add them to a post. Saajeev, THANKS for posting this - could I perhaps send a file of more photos directly to you to add?
The front and rear bodywork are fiber-glass; the rest of the body (and the FLOOR) were thin aluminum. I have most of the old bits. There is a brace that bolts to the top of the roll bar and goes back to the rear frame for support. If it has any provenance, I would like to see it preserved - might even restore it myself when I finish the Bugeye Sprite I'm working on.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Sure thing @stvstb you can email me at smehta@hagerty.com or you can try this tutorial to add photos: https://community.hagerty.com/t5/community-help-and-guidelines/community-help-how-to-attach-a-photo-...

Grace
Hagerty Employee

some fiberglass kit car?
Kyle
Moderator

Yep, looks like a car to me.
Nathan
Hagerty Employee

I'm getting small Can-Am vibes here...
PhillipThomas
Pit Crew

Looks like some kind of Fiero with a body kit
lotus78s1
New Driver

Based on the wheels and general shape I'd say it's a Lotus 30
E63Todd
Pit Crew

Looks a bit like a miniature Maserati Tipo 61 Birdcage to me. Oh, and wouldn't that be a 997 Cubic Centimeter BMC motor/transmission setup? Not cubic inches ;>)
SAG
Detailer

ever seen a Tipo 61

I have, ?

ky
Pit Crew

I heard they were clearing out some more Elvis stuff. Is this his Viva Las Vegas car? Nice American 200S wheels added.
Lee
Pit Crew

Viva Las Vegas had real race cars. Only an ametuer would interupt the bottom rails of a frame by welding them to other pieces of tubing.
GomBoo
Pit Crew

I also tagged the wheels...

They were about the only thing that vibrated the memory cells... sorry.😪

KenO1
New Driver

Looks to me like a 'Devin' - possibly a 'C' model - made in the mid 60's!
And since I'm that old that I owned one, my memory could be so wrong!
https://www.devinspecial.com/uploads/2/9/1/9/2919428/1962-devin-c_orig.jpg
61Rampy
Advanced Driver

The 4 bolt wheels make it seem like an early Devin. I'm thinking early Corvair based front and rear suspension. It also looks set up for a mid-engine, wonder if it was a mid-engine Devin, Corvair, Porsche, or VW powered. Then again, someone said Lotus 23C, and thats a strong possibility, too. Just looked at a pic of a Corvair-Genie, it's not that. Also, not a Cheetah. Now I'm more confused than ever! More pix would help a lot.
topside
Detailer

Great body lines, looks like one of the junior-class road racers of the '60s. Reminiscent of the Coopers. May have had side-hung fuel tanks. I don't see any triangulation of the rollover hoop, and the triangulation of the dash bulkhead between the upper & lower longitudinal tubes is not properly done, but that wasn't uncommon back then. So, not necessarily home-made.
Too cool to cut up & destroy - hopefully there's some paperwork yet to be found ?
JagManBill
Intermediate Driver

one photo?...or am I missing a link somewhere?
KS
New Driver

Honestly it looks like Penelope Pitstops car from Wacky Racers minus the umbrella top. Just saying.
Davidb
Pit Crew

Ever see Steve McQueen in the movie "Thomas Crown Affair"? He and Faye Dunaway rode a dune buggy around the beach. It was NOT your ordinary dune buggy. The first thing I thought of when I saw this issue's photograph was that machine. Looks just like it. Gotta watch the movie tonight too see.
Air_and_Water
Detailer

No, that car sold recently at auction for a lot of money. Because McQueen.
61Rampy
Advanced Driver

Trust me, it's not. McQueens buggy had a rear engine Corvair 140, with basically a Meyers Manx body.
gld98
New Driver

Looks reminiscent to George Follmer’s Porsche powered Lotus 23 of the mid-sixties.
Tomwas
Intermediate Driver

Some type of lola
Air_and_Water
Detailer

The bolt pattern and the large castle nut on the back axle make me think VW. It also looks a lot like a Vokaro kit car. Without the relatively tall VW engine back there the back may have been cut down, whether it's a Vokaro or something else. Some kits were VW based and some had their own tube chassis with VW components so they weren't limited to the archaic 1930s VW suspension.

Is this the first article with comments fixed? It makes sense to wait for that capability before releasing this one!
Jake
Intermediate Driver

Sorry, Sajeev, if your friend wants help, They are going to have to offer up a lot more information than that one side view of the car. Views are needed from all sides, top and underneath the body. Do they have the rest of the body panels & if so, what do they look like? What is the wheelbase (it looks awfully short)? What part of the country did they find it? It appears to have front disks and 4-bolt wheels - any idea of what the calipers are? The car has some good lines from the side. It would be a shame to cut it up. To vintage race it in any legitimate series, it appears they will have to upgrade the car fairly significantly to meet current safety requirements, even for vintage races.
I wish them luck. It is a cool car.
GSM
Pit Crew

It's a safe bet that this is just one of the thousands of backyard racers that were built by anyone and everyone, most of which were built on a tight budget and were more-or-less disposable or parted out for their next build. Of course, if some finds a picture of Juan Manuel Fangio sitting in it, I reserve the right to amend my post.
Spud426
Pit Crew

Just spitballing here, but it actually looks like one of the dune buggy kits that you could have purchased from the back pages of Hot Rod magazine back in the 60’s or 70’s and modified to take the Cooper engine versus the VW flat four.
awfink55
Pit Crew

This is a great project. Hope you find the history for the car. Please do a follow-up story so we can keep up with the history going forward.
pruepa1
New Driver

Opel GT
Bobkassel
New Driver

Looks like 1970-71 Opel GT chopped and cropped!
thmcginn
New Driver

May be a Landar. They were a 70's small bore British sports racer powered by a mini powerplant. Team Spreen Racing out of Hackensack NJ had one. Ed Spreen was the 1969 C Sedan National Champion in his Mini. His car now resides at 7 Enterprises in CA
borkman
New Driver

Could be but a landar butdoesn't look quite right in the rear quarter. not sure if there is enough body in the tail for the big rear tires and ithey appear longer and lower slung. This link has some pix if it works for you. Scroll down the list of race cars and you can see a number of Landar 6 & 7 pictures and info.
https://maximummini.blogspot.com/
TonyT
Instructor

Has a strong resemblance to an Elva Mk 75. The steering wheel appears to be on the right and the body could be fiberglass. The roll hoop is missing the diagonal back brace, so it could just be a rough copy of the British racer. Need to see more of it to know for sure.
tee_zee65
Pit Crew

A lot of guessing here, when does anyone remember any car coming out of the factory with a frame like that.
CP66
Intermediate Driver

It's an 88 fiero with a custom body kit.
SAG
Detailer

4 bolt wheels,
Dune Buggy 'tub' on a tube frame.
Home made for sure
SAG
Detailer

P.S
Rear Quarters are 1960 Corvette
hyperv6
Gearhead

As I stated in the other tread this very well could be a one off hybrid.

Many cars of this era were built from other cars often buy racers into their own unique cars. It may take someone from the region this came from to ID it.

Like the Old Yellar racers Max built they were a little of everything.

Also keep in mind this could be a car never completed too.
IBuildemBig
Pit Crew

Those rear tires look way to wide for just a Mini power plant. But I'd be scared to death to put anything bigger in it looking at that flimsy tube frame!!!
inozips79
New Driver

Cheetah?
Quincydubois
Intermediate Driver

Yep, that is a car like my ex-wife. High maintenance, butt-ugly but with a nice interior.
DUB6
Technician

Ouch!

Boomergearhead
New Driver

I agree with the comment a Cheetah.
Lee
Pit Crew

No way that is a Cheetah! That's a homemade piece of crap!
Mke1963
New Driver

It sorta reminds me of a 70's slot car the Ferrari 250 testa rossa but can't really tell from just one side
Mke1963
New Driver

Looks like a 70's Ferrari 250 Testa Rosa
Maestro1
Instructor

The front and rear of the car's body, what there is of it, doesn't look like its integral; in other
words, it looks like to sections of two cars put together. Tires are suspicious, too big. And I
assume the front of the car is sitting on the tires. Or something. It looks like right hand drive
which would imply British or Japanese, but I don't think so.
It's a mystery for sure; there were many American fiberglass/metal independent manufacterers some just making very few of their output while others with stronger financial backing survived for a while. Or had better lawyers. i wish the owner well and the only thing I can think of to do is take the body off what chassis there is and start from there.
Stixx
Intermediate Driver

This might help .''From the SCCA Vintage GCR:

Categories above shall conform to the International F.I.A. Displacement Classes, as modified below:
Class Total Piston Displacement in CC’s
A Over 5,500 cc (must run Unrestricted)
B 5,000 – 5,500
C 3,000 – 5,000
D 2,000 – 3,000
E 1,500 – 2,000
F 1,100 – 1,500
G 750 – 1,100
H 500 – 750
I 350 – 500
J Under 350

This particular body shape recalls to me what I think was D sports racing and they were very fast and raced in some cases in multiple class race configuration depending on number of entries . It was a much larger class and raced amount their own more and the National Runoffs held here in Atlanta Ga. at Road Atlanta. Those were the days , those were the days .