Sports . Racer . Net

T.M. Special

Page 1

F Modified

New Wheels

by Cutis B. Thews

"It sometimes will occur to those of us who are interested is sports cars that possibly it would be possible to build a sports car that could be faster; corner better; stop quicker; and possibly even win a race or two in its lifetime or our own ..... So we gather together what little knowledge we might have, call on all those friends that have any talents that are usable in the building of a car ...... and, while in their presence, make a few remarks such as: "I think I'll build a sports race car." (This is known as the direct approach tactic.) or "Would you be interested in spending a few hours on such a project?" ..... What you're really saying is: "If we get serious about this thing, and all goes well, none of us is going to get any sleep, see our friends or family, and it may interrupt our food --- not our alcohol --- consumption somewhat for the next six months.

So, if we were all sane at this point, we would make a big decision to give up sports cars and take up golf or something; but, being one of those people who long ago caught the incurable affliction of running toward any loud obnoxious noise (contrary to all natural instincts) that sound like an internal combustion engine peaking out at 6,000 RPM or more; it would now be impossible to quite before the crime is fully committed!

So, at this point, a victim is chosen! The body is plucked from the frame, leaving a chassis as a basis to start with. In our case, a 750cc DKW was chosen for this kind of car slaughter. The DKW chassis was chosen for its light weight, strength, inboard front brakes, and availability at a reasonable price.

The engine is to be an 850cc -- derived from stealing 2 pistons, 2 rods, 2 jugs, 1 carburetor, and 1 head from the right or left bank (depending at which end of the engine you stand) of a Porsche Carrera; leaving the other two to run on in any manner they see fit in this sort of divorced condition. Eeegads! -- what a cheap way to get your spare parts, too!

At this writing, this engine has not yet been tried .... and it is my understanding that Martin Tanner -- even though faced with the possibility of never getting to carry the checkered flag again -- is going to continue racing!

However, in the meantime, yours truly found a real live Weber-throated, four-lunged, quad-cammed, car-pusher (better known as a G.T.S. 1600cc Carrera engine) -- sold to him by a man in San Antonio who said he was making a small concession to his wife's nervous condition. --first Texan I ever heard say small when he really meant BIG!

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The photos above are
"courtesy Hillview Dairy"1

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The photos above are
from the Pit Board1

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This engine was installed to pacify our nervous condition, and scare the competition by erupting with large noises while leaving two big (Texas style) black rubber marks on the pavement so that on can tell where it has been .... This tactic worked quite well at Bellefontaine Hill Climb ... until it decided to go cougar hunting in that part of the woods where the trees were tall, thick, tough, ..... and, right in the way, too!

So, it's with the task of stripping, straightening, welding, re-fitting, re-adjusting, that I lay down my pen and pick up my high-priced tools (2 small end wrenches and a screw driver), thus putting an end to my literary talents, of which I'm sure you are relieved. I wish to dedicate this account of the first episodes of the T.M. Special to Charlie Spurgeon, Norm Lefebvre, Walt, Crowel, John Powell, and Llyod Loring, without whose help there would be no T.M. Special.

Our next event: Martin Tanner's "For buzz bombs only" .... Does anyone know where we can buy NoNods by the case wholesale?"1


1Cutis B. Thews, Pit Board (July, 1963), New Wheels p1-4. This article was scanned and provided to the Sports Racer Network by Mark Powell.

Revised: January 18, 2005.

Sports Racer Network