Pikes Peak Special
1948 Brazier Championship Car
The heart of American racing before WWII was the dirt oval. Regional dirt tracks peppered the country and attracted huge numbers of fans to this most spectacular and dangerous form of racing.
The cars used for these races evolved over the years from home built machines to highly refined professionally made cars. Specialty shops like Frank Kurtis', AJ Watson's and, in the case of this car, Brazier's produced well built and highly competitive machines.
This car was built as a Championship car by Brazier in 1957-58. The frame was made from the lower wing struts taken from a de Havilland Beaver. Steering was through a Franklin box, front axle was from a '33 Plymouth. The car was clothed in all metal hand fabricated bodywork capped off with an attractive Curtis-type nose.
The car was adapted and engineered to tackle the infamous, hotly contested Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The Brazier was outfitted with a powerful Chevy 348 that was linked to a heavy-duty three-speed SS gearbox that would allow the gear shifting necessary on the hill climb. A double set of coil over shocks were fitted to keep the rear wheels planted allowing as much power as possible to get to the dirt.
In this configuration the car proved competitive at Pikes Peak and finished respectably among some fierce competition. In 1960, the Brazier was driven to a 10th place finish in at The Peak. In 1965, Vern Root finished 13th in the premiere Championship Car category just one place and second behind Louis Unser. In three starts, Root would eventually produce a 12th place finish.
The Brazier was subject to modifications and a respray to its current livery by third owner Vern Root. At that time a 283 Chevy, sourced from a Chris Craft for its favorable hill climb cam, was installed. The motor was fully rebuilt and prepared for competition use. A quick-change rear end was installed to give the car the flexibility to compete in hill climbs and track events.
After its racing career ended the car spent 20 years on display in a private museum collection. The car was then subject to the comprehensive restoration it is seen in today.
In modern times, these racecars have proven to be versatile and competitive in many forms of vintage racing. As a hill climb car, this racer has a clutch and transmission making it usable on a variety of tracks including Laguna Seca. The car participated in many historic events in recent years including the Mt Washington Hill Climb and this NHIS Historics. The car includes tires and wheels for both street and dirt, as well as a variety of rear end ratios suited to different tracks.
When not on the track vintage racing, the car has shown its mettle on the show circuit, having received an AACA National First Prize at Hershey at Hershey in 1998. This is important as the AACA's knowledgeable committee strictly scrutinizes competition cars history and authenticity.
This is an interesting and authentic Champ car with good racing history. Full restored and actively campaigned in recent years, the car today represents an excellent value in a complete, and highly usable, vintage racing machine. Offered on a Bill of Sale.
- The engine number for this vehicle is F0217D.