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1955 Stovebolt Special

1955 Stovebolt Special

1955 Stovebolt Special

After undergoing a number of changes, this ex-Formula 2 car was rebuilt in Tacoma, Washington into the Stovebolt Special. Tom Carsten was responsible for the transformation and spared no expense to make sure his car was the best it could be.

In its first incarnation, this car was a HWM with a four-cylinder ALTA engine that was made for Formula 2 races. In this configuration is was driven by Stirling Moss at the start of his career.

Not long afterward it was sold to 20th Century Fox for inclusion into the film ‘The Racers.’ During filming, the car was heavily crashed and that’s when Tom Carsten’s bought the wreck. He recognized the merits of all-wheel independent suspension and the low design from the original HWM.

In 1955 Chevrolet’s V8 had just been released. Since it produced more power than a tuned Chevy-flathead in stock form, it was natural choice. Tom Carsten sent the engine to Vic Edelbrock’s shop where Bobby Meeks bored and stroked the engine to just under five liters. With JE pistons and a hot cam the engine could freely rev up to 7000 rpm.

Once completed the engine was sent to Eddie Kuzma to be fitted in the HWM chassis. He had to push the firewall back and fabricated new rear bodywork with an integrated headrest. It was then sent to Ted Hallibrand’s shop for fitting of his quick-change rear axle and experimental disc brakes.

After receiving preparation from the top shops in the business, Bill Pollack debuted it at the 1956 Pebble Beach Road Races where it took an immediate lead which was subsequently lost due to differential failure.

In 1980 the Stovebold special was restored by John Matherson and appeared at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours.

Sources & Further Reading

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

In Detail

type Racing Car
released at 1956 Pebble Beach Road Races
built at Tacoma, Washington, USA
coachbuilder Ted Hallibrand
engineers Eddie Kuzma
production 1
engine Edelbrock-Tuned Chevrolet V8
position Front, Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
block material Cast Iron
valvetrain Pushrod OHV
fuel feed 3 Holley Carburetors
displacement 5000 cc / 305.12 in³
compression 10.5:1
engine designer Bobby Meeks
redline 7000
body / frame Aluminum Body over Ladder-Type Steel Chassis
driven wheels RWD w/Halibrand
front brakes Hallibrand Discs
rear brakes Hallibrand Discs
transmission Jaguar 4-Speed Manual