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Aardvark Chassis

H Modified


Engine: 745cc Dyna-Panhard, 42 bhp

Builder: John Porter, built in 1952

Current Owner: Don Racine in California

Don Racine reports, "Looking for a fun car for a low price, John Porter designed the car in 1952 for that purpose.  Porter used a standard Dyna-Panhard chassis and engine as the basis for the Aardvark.  Through some crafty home engineering, he reduced the weight of the car and then strengthened it by welding in some small tubes in all the right places.  The little 745cc, 42 horsepower Dyna-Panhard engine could actually breathe a little easier with less weight to move around, and the Aardvark was once clocked at 85mph.

The tiny car was driven around tracks named Torrey Pines, Pomona, and Santa Barbara in the fifties by drivers as obscure as the car itself -- Paul Lee, Faith Towers, Eliza- beth Galbally, Stu Haggart, and Carles Metcalf.  The Aardvark was even raced by a team called Ecurie Fatigue.  The car's successes were mixed, but it often gave larger cars fits with its quick, nimble handling.

If you see the Aardvark Special at a vintage event today, you will do two double takes.  The first one is obvious -- the way the Aardvark looks!  but the second double take will surprise you -- the impressive speed and handling as current owner, Don Racine, tosses the hearty little car around the track."3

"This little machine was no bomb, but it cornered on three wheels, maintaining the same speed as it had on the straight. As a training car it was perfect, setting John up with rudiments of roadracing without getting into trouble, and allowing him to become completely familiar with racing procedure. It was a sad day when John sold his trainer for graduation into a 550 Porsche Spyder.  The ad read: 'Aardvark Panhard. Get into racing in the most reasonable class. This car has worn down many faster opponents with dependability. Two engines, two transmissions, two chassis, 13 wheels and tires. Two new pistons and rings, Amal carburetor, my blessings $2000. REMEMBER: A LITTLE AARDVARK NEVER HURT ANYONE."1

For Sale

The car has been posted for sale with offers being considered. Contact Don Racine, Nevada City, CA at

Tel: 530-470-8300

Click to go to the
H Mod Yahoo Group

Don Racine, 2006
Wine Country Classic
at Infineon Raceway,
Sonoma, CA6

The Dyna-Panhard exposed
in all of its beauty.
Photo provided
by Don Racine.3

Laguna Seca, CA.
Photo provided
by Don Racine.3

Don at the 2005 Wine
Country Classic behind
Bill Perrone's 1953

The three photos above
are Don at the 2001
Monterey Historics,
Laguna Seca, CA4

aardvark1.jpg (13456 bytes)
"Don Racine enjoys his
role as David - slaying
giants with his Aardvark."2

"John Porter, 169, cuts
inside original Aardvark
which he built."1

1Bob Rolofson, Sports Car Specials (Los Angeles, Trend Books Inc., 1958), p 36-37. This book was generously loaned to the Sports Racer Network by Marty Nygard.

2Photo by Art Eastman. Reference source misplaced.

3Photos from Tam McPartland's Tam's Old Race Car Site, are used with his permission, from the Class "H" Modified -- Page 4.

4Photos by John Stimson, are used with his permission, from his 2001 Monterey Historic Auto Races Group 3A photos page.

5Photos by John Plitkin, At Speed Images, are awaiting permission for use from his 2005 Wine Country Classic photos page.

6Photo from General Racing Ltd's - 2006 Wine Country Classic photos page.

Revised: July 20, 2006.

Sports Racer Network