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1932 - 1963

Frank Curtis was well known for his exceptional Indianapolis roadsters and Championship cars, but he also built a number of sports cars for street or racing.  Before he started building racing cars in 1932, he had rebodied several old Fords and Buicks with 'street roadster' coachwork and sold them to make extra money.  In the late 1940s Kurtis built 38 sports cars with sleek, rounded lines and Ford 'Flathead' V8s.  Earl 'Madam' Muntz bought the project from Kurtis, stretched it out to 4 seats, substituted Lincoln or Cadillac V8s and renamed it the Muntz Jet.  In 1952 Kurtis decided to cash in on the popularity of kit cars by selling the 500KK, a sports version of his K500 Indy car chassis.  Approximately 35 to 40 were built.  The next street car was the 500M of 1955.  In order to finance production, Kurtis sold his company to a group of businessmen who drove it into bankruptcy after about 25 cars had been built.  Kurtis went back to his first love, racing cars, and no more Kurtis street cars were built.

Source: Nick Georgano / The Beaulieu Encyclopaedia of the Automobile

Models produced by Kurtis




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