1917 Chevrolet Speedster Race Car
- Location: Bellflower, California, United States
- Condition: Used
- Make: Chevrolet
- Model: Speedster
- Year: 1917
- VIN: 71316
- Color: Blue
- Engine size: 4 cylinder
- Interior color: Black
- Vehicle Title: Clear
1917 Chevrolet Speedster description
This is a 1917 Chevrolet 490 Touring Car chassis which was converted into a "speedster" race car configuration by its owner Clarence B. Ramser of St.
Joseph, Missouri circa 1923. Although there is no hard evidence, the car was reputedly raced on local dirt tracks in the Missouri and Kansas area.
It was sold sometime during the 1930s, disassembled, and stored in a barn near Belleville Kansas. It remained there until it was bought by Keenan Elliott in 2005. We bought it from Mr. Elliott in 2007 and restored it at our shop, J& D Corvette in Bellflower, CA.
Documentation includes an original title dated 1923, photos of the car at that time and a declaration of Mr. Elliott as to facts stated above as related by the woman he purchased the car from. This will be included with the car along with a pit display board showing all of the above. There is an extensive scrap book showing the restoration and early racing of the Chevy which can go with the car.
The Chevrolet received the Gary Byrd Award as the most outstanding prewar car at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion in 2013. It received the Admiral's Cup at Coronado in 2013. It was the VARA Historic class champion in 2013. It was part of the Driven To Excellence award given to our team at Coronado, 2011.
The Chevrolet has a 1928 4 cylinder engine and transmission. The 1928 package is identical in displacement and architecture to the 1917 package except for the addition of a water pump, an uprated cylinder head, and uprated clutch, and some sheet metal shrouding over the previously exposed valve gear. The engine is essentially stock except for aftermarket pistons increasing the compression ration from 4:1 to 6:1. The fact that it is a
1928 engine has been carefully disclosed on all of our entry forms and has never been questioned by RMMR or Sonoma. We do have the original engine which can go with the car at no extra charge if desired. The Chevy has a K.
C. Warford auxiliary gearbox adapted to the Chevy transmission which gives it an overdrive and much more on track flexibility. The chassis is essentially stock with the spring rates slightly reduced to compensate for the reduced weight and handmade period correct friction shock absorbers.
The brakes are period correct heavier duty "Rocky Mountain" units. It has a VARA legal bladder type fuel cell.