Kurtis Cars -- 2
Bob Edmison sent me this photo of a Kurtis that he drove at Palm Springs in 1959.

Bob Engberg sent me info on the very interesting car #62 following Edmison:  It's a Veritas, of all things!  (See below!)

(Photo by Bill Norcross)

The Kurtis at sponsor Airline Auto Sales before the Palm Springs race.  L-R in both photos:  Dan Whitz, Bob Edmison, Mike Koslosky.  These photos were taken for an article in a local newspaper.
Bob Edmison on driving the Kurtis:

"Don't have too much more on the Kurtis.  Lozano and Bill Stroppe had a hell of a race at the Torrey Pines race in '54. 

I only drove it one time.  Blew the engine on the first lap at Palm Springs. Did a spectacular spin on the front straight, past the stands.   Almost hit the ambulance.  I remember that every time the B&M Hydro shifted, my helmet bounced off the roll bar."

Bob Engberg sent me this photo & info on the #62 Veritas:

"The car trailing the Kurtis at Palm Springs is a Veritas owned and driven by Walter "Watsie" Roach.

The  car had been purchased by San Diegan John Biehl around 1950 when John and his wife were in Europe. John drove it around over there and then shipped it home to San Diego. Sometime in the mid-50's he sold the car to Walter. 

I recall watching Watsie, John and my then brother-in-law spend the Thursday night before the Palm Springs race stuffing a Fiat V8 into the car. The Veritas overheated during the race and I believe, DNF'd. 

Watsie parked the car in his La Jolla garage and the last time I saw it (around 1980) it sat with cardboard boxes draped over it. The original BMW engine sat next to it.

After Walter died his wife sold the Veritas and I think it was restored and now races in Germany.

I knew John Biehl pretty well.  He was racing in the 1950s when I was a kid.

He had a story that, when in Europe, the Veritas was cutting out during a rain storm because the distributor of the BMW engine sat high and was shorting out on the car's aluminum hood.  He used one of his wife's "feminine products" to wedge between the distributor and hood and voila, the car ran fine. 

John raced a Moretti at Torrey Pines and lost it at turn 9 in the 6-hour race, hit the power station's fence and crumpled the car into a little ball. Later he ran it as a "Moretti Special." 

I interviewed him around 1980 when he was bed-ridden with emphysema. He passed away shortly thereafter. Walter Roach died about five years ago."

Next:  Kurtis Cars -- 3

Back to:   Kurtis Cars -- 1

Back to:   New  Homepage