also referred to as Forsgren
--> Page 1 <--
F, G, & H Modified, and C & D Sports Racer
Stabilimenti Forsgrini - left to right:
HM Monte Carlo, GM Monaco, HM Martini, and FM Veloce.
"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."
"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."
Joseph Riolo's 1965 DSR
September 6, 2003
US Vintage Grand Prix
Watkins Glenn. photo by
The same 1965 DSR as
above when previously
owned by Paul Bova.
Pictured here at
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."
"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
Monte Carlo in front
of the Fiat Abarth
Monte Carlo with
trophies in front
|"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."
"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
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."
"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 , 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."
Race Results: 1968 ARRC
A 1968 Forsgrini
Formula B car
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
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 bovaracing.com.
You will find some history on the car, current and vintage pictures and information on the frame up restoration which i just completed." Paul
1965 DSR when owned
by Paul Bova.
Pictured above at Virginia
Chasing another car at
|1James Rice, Vintage Motorsport (September/October
1993), Forsgrinis p26.