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Forsgrini Chassis

also referred to as Forsgren

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F, G, & H Modified, and C & D Sports Racer

Stabilimenti Forsgrini - left to right:
HM Monte Carlo, GM Monaco, HM Martini, and FM Veloce.1


"Northwest sportswriter John Andrews once wrote, 'What looks like a bug, growls like a lion, runs like a gazelle and stands three feet tall?' The answer was an H-Mod. Forsgrini. The event that prompted the question was a race at Canada's Westwood circuit where Lyle Forsgrini's Forsgrini had been the equal of a C Modified Cooper Monaco.

Lyle Forsgren and younger brother Dale got interested in sports cars from Lyle's shop instructor, who took any available student to the races to help lay out communication wires. After a brief stint with an MG TD while in college, Lyle began building, racing and selling go-karts in 1958 after graduation, while working for Boeing. In 1959, Lyle bought a Fiat-Abarth Zagato that he literally had to beat back into shape. It came from an insurance company, after having been the meat in a big-car sandwich. Dale raced the karts while Lyle ran the Fiat Abarth in both H Production and H Modified classes."1

Mk I

"In 1960 the brothers built the Forsgrini Mk I. It was a Renault 4CV based car with a Crosley engine mounted midship. The body was purchased from Almquist, and the tube frame was derived from 'SS tubing' (which was their affectionate moniker fro swing-set tubing) that they bought from a Salvation Army store. Dale put this car deep in the woods in 1961, fortunately without injury to himself."1


Monte Carlo

US_VintageGP_WatkinsGlen_20030906_byAdrianoManocchia.jpg (117398 bytes)
Joseph Riolo's 1965 DSR
September 6, 2003
US Vintage Grand Prix
Watkins Glenn. photo by
Adriano Manocchia

 RoeblingRoad_OntheTrack4.jpg (38424 bytes)
The same 1965 DSR as
above when previously
owned by Paul Bova.
Pictured here at
Roebling Road

LimRock_OntheGrid.jpg (51091 bytes)

LimeRocak_OntheTrack5.jpg (47880 bytes)

LimeRock_OntheTrack3.jpg (46622 bytes)
The three photos above
are from Lime Rock Park

"When the Fiat Abarth became uncompetitive in H Mod about 1960, the brothers built their second car, which they called the Monte Carlo. Like all Stabilimenti Forsgrini car, it carried a very Mille Miglia-ish three-digit race number. The Monte Carlo was FIat-based, with mid-engined 750cc Fiat built to Abarth specs. The body was constructed by Dale. Lyle was almost undefeated with the Monte Carlo in the 1961-62 seasons, winning36 of 49 races entered. He finished second in H Modified with an updated version of the car at the 1966 SCCA Runoffs."1


"Next came the Martini, less Fiat-based and with a Renault Dauphine engine, again in H Modified. Dale raced it in 1962 while a forth car, called the Monaco, was built."1


mote_carlo_fiat_abarth.jpg (56857 bytes)
Monte Carlo in front
of the Fiat Abarth1

monte_carlo_trophies.jpg (142351 bytes)
Monte Carlo with
trophies in front1

"It had an 1100cc Ford 105E engine mated to a Fiat 600 transaxle, and was designed to compete in the G Modified class. All the chassis and suspension parts for this car were fabricated by the Team."1


monaco.jpg (183550 bytes)


"While Lyle was cleaning up in H Mod with the Monte Carlo and Dale was getting accustomed to the G Mod Martini, a fifth car was being built. It was called the Veloce, and carried a 1500cc Alfa engine built by Al Oppie, a friend who proved to be a very good designer and builder of racing engines. With the Veloce, Lyle had an F Mod car of the team's own creation that could run with the best factory cars widely available then, like the Lotus 23. In the 1963 Northern Pacific Grand Prix, Lyle finished second in the under-2.0-liter class."1

The Team

During 1964, a new H Modified car was being built that incorporated all the things they had learned. The two earlier H Mod cars were turned over to the Forsgrens' cousin Darrell Halgrimson and friend Bob Martin. So the team had four cars running in three classes. Well, sometimes it was four cars in two classes. For fun, occasionally they would hook up a small electric fan in Dale's car and point it at the Webers. Thus 'supercharged,' Dale ran in G Modified with Lyle.

One of the outstanding features of the Forsgrini cars was the number of special parts the team fabricated. Dale was the 'artist,' and made the bodies and all of the molds for their metal castings. Lyle machined parts in their basement machine shop: Brake discs and calipers, steering racks and pinions, suspension uprights and spindles, plus rods, pistons, and crackshafts. Such was their ability that the team once made, for a friend, a DOHC 2.0-liter four-cylinder [engine] from a Jaguar 3.8-liter six-cylinder."1

And Beyond

"Lyle left Boeing in 1968 to build Forsgrinis full-time. There was a series of [Formula B], Formula C, Formula Fords and F5000 cars, plus the ongoing development of what became D Sports Racers.

In 1971, Lyle moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to work for the snowmobile racing division of Mercury Marine. He still lives there [as of September, 1993], designing and building home-built aircraft in his spare time. Brother Dale passed away unexpectedly this past April [1993], and it is in his memory that Lyle provided all the information for this article. Several of the Forsgren brothers' creations remain active in vintage racing today, a fitting tribute to their talent and creativity."1

Race Results: 1968 ARRC

1968.jpg (111513 bytes)
A 1968 Forsgrini
Formula B car

lyle_forsgren_formula5000.jpg (114546 bytes)
Lyle Forsgren in a
Forgrini Formula 5000

Dale Forsgren of Kirkland, Washington, placed second in DSR at the 1968 American Road Race of Champions (the SCCA's national championship at the time) in a Forsgrini. Dale finished the race 0.2 seconds behind the DSR leader.

The November 19-24 race was held at Riverside Raceway, CA. The 18 lap race covered 46.8 miles in 32 minutes, 0.9 seconds for an average speed of 88.0 MPH.

Where They Are Now

The Forsgrini DSR, previously owned by Paul Bova, has been sold to Joe Riolo of Riolo Racing.

07/20/2004 "I sold 2 Forsgrini Sports Racers that I picked up in the Seattle area in the early 80s. One car is being currently raced by Paul Bova of Stamford CT." Paul Lane

03/04/2004 "My step-father is a cousin of Dale And Lyle Forsgren, who built your car. Would you like to see pictures and race results?" Steve

08/26/2002 "I am currently racing a 1965 Forsgrini DSR. The car competes in SVRA group 5. If you would like more information, go to my website You will find some history on the car, current and vintage pictures and information on the frame up restoration which i just completed." Paul Bova


VIR_OntheTrack6.jpg (29677 bytes)
1965 DSR when owned
by Paul Bova.
Pictured above at Virginia
 International Raceway

VIR_OntheTrack7.jpg (47755 bytes)
 International Raceway

waterfordhills.jpg (52849 bytes)
Chasing another car at
Waterford Hills


1James Rice, Vintage Motorsport (September/October 1993), Forsgrinis p26.

Revised: March 04, 2005.

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