Other Specials -- 3

Southern California constructors also created the two entertaining cars below.

  
Starting life with a 1938 Ford frame, MGTC front fenders, and flathead Ford power, the Fubar Special, seen here at Santa Barbara on Sept. 2-3 1961, provided its owner & driver, Dave Dunbar, with years of fun racing.

Dave Dunbar, Jr., has restored the car.

See it as it looks today!

From racing historian Ron Cummings:

"Boy, did we root for that thing!"

  
(12-1-08)  From Charles Greenlaw:

"I ran across your website this morning, searching for FUBAR Special items.  Dave Dunbar was my brother-in-law. 

He bought the car from Cannon Engineering in North Hollywood.  It had been started by one of the McAfee brothers and finished by Ford Robinson (or vice versa).  I remember the day he picked it up.  It had languished outside the shop for some time under a tarp.  We towed it home and worked at trying to start it.  The original engine was a flathead, as you note.  I don't recall the exact specs but it was a stroker with a Mercury crank. Dave got it running and cleaned up enough to start racing it in local SCCA races -- Paramount Ranch, Goleta, and Riverside are some that I got to go to with him.

He blew the flathead engine eventually and replaced it with a Buick nailhead he bought from Max Balchowsky. I think he replaced the transmission with a LaSalle as well, keeping the torque tube driveshaft.  I was in the Navy by this time and didn't get to see him race this combo.

When this engine came apart, he parked the car and never touched it again; I have no idea why.  When he died (in a small plane accident) his wife and son decided to resurrect the car and put it back on the race course.  The drivetrain is all new -- 351 Windsor engine, 5-speed, 9" Ford rearend -- but the body remains the same.

It is titled as a 1938 Ford Roadster.  The frame and (original) runnng gear was 1938 Ford.  The front fenders were MG-TC (as you observed on your website), the rear fenders were Model-A.  The grill shell was from a Franklin -- the grill insert from a refrigerator. The rest of the car was fabricated.

Thanks for preserving these memories. Racing with Dave was one of the high points of my teenage years."
 

(12-1-08)   From  Ron Cummings:

"The McAfees were not related.  I am pretty sure that Jack McAfee had nothing to do with the Faber but it is quite possible that Ernie McAfee's shop may have worked on it.  Ford Robinson was a friend of Big Jack McAfee and that may be causing some of the association with Jack."
 

(12-1-08)   From Pete Van Law:

"Gotta jump in here.  Neither Jack nor Ernie were into Specials, but Ted Cannon and Jim Sealy were. Whether or not Ford Robinson was involved, I don't know, but he used to hang around Jack's place, especially in '54, prior to the fifth running of the Carrera PanAmericana, when I worked there. 

I thought he'd been involved with midgets and possibly sprints, but big bore Specials I kind of question, although he and Jack were good friends with Ted and Jim. 

I used to make periodic trips to Cannon Engineering, hauling parts back and forth, but other than the Cannon Specials languishing in the yard - 1st the CR1 and then the Offy coupe - I don't remember enough space to build anything else, especially inside.  Of course, the Fubar could have been outside, under cover, while the Cannon cars never were.  Regardless, that was a long time ago, and my memory can't always be trusted."

 
Eric Hauser, a well-known driver, was unable to qualify the "Sorrell-Larkin Special" for the "L.A. Times Grand Prix" at Riverside on Oct. 15, 1961.

New!  Mike Larkin sent me another photo of the Sorrell-Larkin car.

Also New!  Mike Larkin & Ron Cummings recount the Story of the "Sorrell-Larkin Special"!

 
At Riverside on March 4, 1962 the Sorrell-Larkin Special crashed and burned spectacularly in Turn 1.

The driver, Bob Johnson, was unhurt.

 
New!   (5-2-14)   The Sorrell Special will return to the racetrack!
 

 
Next:  Santee Sports Car

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