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1954 Troutman -Barnes Special

1954 Troutman -Barnes Special

1954 Troutman -Barnes Special

One of the first post-war American Specials was the Troutman-Barnes Special by Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes. It was their first racing design before they went on to create the legendary Scarabs for Lance Reventlow. The fabrication quality was very high as was the level of engineering used by Troutman and Barnes.

Built in Troutman’s garage in Los Angeles, the new car use a steel space-frame with two-inch steel tubing. This initially supported a Mercury flat-head V8, which was replaced by a Ford Thunderbird unit.

Suspension was unique with custom-fabricated upper front wishbones and a transverse leaf spring. Power was send the read wheels through a shortened Ford live axle that was suspended by transverse leaf springs and used floating radius rods. Braking was supplied by drilled and ducted Ford-Bendix drums.¹

Nine aluminum body panels covered the Special and were fastened used Dzus fasteners for quick removal. Occasionally the car ran with some of the front panels removed to expose the engine. The car was fitted with a tidy wraparound windscreen and Halibrand magnesium wheels.¹

Chuck Daigh raced the car extensively from 1955 through to 1957. He was always in the running for the lead and won the 1957 Paramount Ranch race as well as the 1957 Santa Barbara race.

Afterwards the car was sold to Jimmy Pfluger of Honolulu who fitted a Scarab-Chevrolet engine and renamed it the Fury Special.¹

Since this time the car has been thoroughly restored, making an appearance at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours and at the 2005 Monterey Historic Races as a centerpiece of their Great American Specials display.

Sources & Further Reading

1.Pace, Harold. Vintage American Road Racing Cars. Motorbooks: 2004.

Story by Richard Owen

In Detail

tags americanspecial
submitted by Richard Owen
type Racing Car
built at Los Angeles, California, USA
engineers Dick Troutman, Tom Barnes
production 1
engine Ford Tunderbird V8
position Front, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material Cast Iron
valvetrain Pushord OHV, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Hilborn Fuel Injection
displacement 5686 cc / 347 in³
compression 9.5:1
power 249.8 kw / 335 bhp @ 5800 rpm
specific output 58.92 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 388.18 bhp per tonne
body / frame Aluminum over Steel-Tube Spaceframe
driven wheels Halibrand Magnesium
front brakes Drilled & Ducted Ford-Bendix Drums
f brake size 76.2 x 279.4 mm / 3 x 11 in
rear brakes Ford-Bendix Drums
r brake size 63.5 x 279.4 mm / 2.5 x 11 in
f suspension Upper Front Wishbones w/Transverse Leaf Spring
r suspension Live Axle w/Tranverse Leaf Springs, Floating Radius Rods
curb weight 863 kg / 1900 lbs
wheelbase 2209.8 mm / 87 in
transmission Jaguar 4-Speed Manual