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Unicorn Chassis

H Modified


This car is an interesting combination of things. It has a Crosley engine with an Isky cam, good for 65 bhp. The transmission started as a Fiat Topolino, then was later changed to a 4 speed from a 1968 Pinto. The rear end is from a 1938 Simca, while the brakes are from a Fiat Topolino.

The car has an interesting history, including running the first race at Laguna Seca back in 1957.

The Unicorn was owned by John Murphy for a long time. John eventually tired of the ever stricter rules applied to vintage racers and retired the car.  He sold it to Joe Puckett who kept it for a while and eventually sold it to Mike Nickels.


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This photo was taken at a VARA race at Riverside in the early 1980s.  It's significant because it shows John Murphy, the long time owner behind the wheel. On the left is Bob Carson, the Crosley guru, and on the right is Joe Puckett. At this time the car was using a Pinto transmission and Bob was having trouble with the throwout bearing adjustment.


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The top photo and the one immediately to the right were taken at the Escondido hill climb in May of 1984.


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Classified Ad

Description seen in a classified ad on Race Cars Direct on June 11, 2004.

1952 Simca-Crosley H-Mod Race Car  $7,500 USD

This car is known as the "Unicorn". It is a well known west coast car with many runs with VARA, SOVREN And Monterey Historics. Ex Joe Puckett. Twin Tube, Aluminum Bodied and early post-war. West coast hot-rod to road racer. Technically complete but needs restoration.


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Name Email Telephone Country
Mike  Nickles 360-825-8248 USA

Further Description

June 11, 2004, Rich Campbell reports ...

"The car has been out of commission ever since it spun a bearing a few years back. The engine has been shipped down to Oceanside to be worked on by a guy named Willie Mueller. It's described as a combination sports car / hot rod, something that was unique to the California scene in the early 1950's. I think it looks like a mini-Lotus 7.

I'm pretty sure Unicorn is just its nickname."

Revised: August 12, 2004.

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