Tuesday, 29 July 2008

K8 Racer from New Zealand

Prismacolor pencils on gray archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2008

Peter Leversedge Collection

Peter Leversedge is a friend from Christchurch, New Zealand, who I met on the Atlas F1 Forum. Pete told me of his vintage “K8” racer No.77, and sent me a photo; I decided to do a sketch of him racing it.

Pete's vintage racer was built in New Zealand in 1949 by John Jacobson & Neil Stuart based on “K8” plans, originally US short dirt
track cars that later evolved as sprint cars.

Here are some of it's technical details:

Ford Flathead V8, 286 cubic inch

3-speed Ford

Front and rear end:
'39 Ford

Front '39 Ford; Rear Model T

'39 Ford

cut-down Essex

Steering box:
Chrysler 70

Top speed (recorded):
115 MPH

Between 1949 and 1965, it was raced by John Jacobson & Neil Stuart at the Aranui Speedway and several road-type circuit races; Bill Harris Jr. used it in beach racing and Peter & Alec Rattray in road-races.

Pete has owned No.77 since 1965, racing it in road-type circuits, hill climbs, beach racing and later vintage racing events; he won the New Zealand Beach Racing Championship Race 3 times.
While he owned the car, it was also raced by Bob (RW) Stewart, Neil Stuart, Brian Hepburn and John Armstrong on occasions. The car was well known as a ''Ford V8 Special'' in the South Island of New Zealand.

While looking into the “K8” racer, I actually found copies of some original plans.

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