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.