|From historic racer Dave Seely:
"The Leonard car has an early Kellison
J4 roadster body. I substantiated this with Jim Kellison before he died
by email and telephone. Also, the car ran a Ford V-8 early on, but by this
time was running the y-block according to a friend of Tom Leonard's. I
am hoping to get more information on the history of this car.
Please feel free to put my contact information
on your website for any lurkers that might have some info on this car.
We have pieces to the puzzle but not much else."
From Tom Leonard's brother Mark: (4-25-16)
Allen Kuhn sent me a link to your web site with pictures of my late
brother and his race car. Tom died in 1975 in a motorcycle accident,
so any details about the car are a bit stale in my memory.
The current owner of the car is Rick Cannon. He’s restored it to running
condition, and I believe has run it in some vintage car races.
Your web site indicates that eventually someone put a different engine
the car, but as far as I know Tom always had a flathead Ford in it.
This was the series that was introduced as 85 horsepower, later
with a rating raised to 100 horsepower.
noted, the car had a Kellison fiberglass body, attached by 3 or 4
bolts so it could be removed easily. The frame was of steel
tubing, which Tom welded to make the frame. In front it had
a straight beam axle, and it had swing axle independent rear
suspension. Most of the drive line and suspension parts were
of the same vintage as the 1947 Ford he drove on the street. It
had inboard drum brakes in back, with the differential, brake drums
and universal joints packed very close together, inside the roll
bar supports. Needless to say, the Ford rear axle hardware
required extensive machining to change to a swing axle.
However, the unsprung mass was quite low.
a funny story about the roll bar. Some years earlier there had
been a fatal accident when a car’s roll bar failed during a
rollover accident. The roll bar was found to have been made
of exhaust tubing, and SCCA officials insisted that a small hole
be drilled in every roll bar so they could verify that the roll
bar tubing was thick enough. Tom resented that they would
require him to prove his roll bar was strong enough, so he drilled
a bit larger hole and welded in a piece of steel tubing as long as
the diameter of the roll bar. He carefully ground down the weld, so it
looked like he’d drilled the required size inspection hole all the way
through a solid steel roll bar.
The little red front bumper was another joke, which he wasn’t allowed to
have in place during competition.
don’t have any contact information for Dave Seely, so if he’s still
around and you know how to contact him, he might like a copy of
what I’m sending you.