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Lot 159

2017   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2017

1956 Jimmy Knight Offenhauser Roadster Midget Racer

SOLD $61,600

Estimate

$50,000 - $75,000| Without Reserve

Chassis

277 (AACA Certified Competition Race Vehicle No.)

Engine

1435-E

Car Highlights

Raced by Jimmy Knight from 1956 to 1960
AACA Certified Race Car; Junior and Senior Award Winner
Rare Offset Twin-Cam Offy, Canted 16˚
Featured in Major Racing Magazines in 1956 and 2015
Restored by Classic Craft Motorsports of Springfield, Ohio

Technical Specs

97 CID DOHC Meyer-Drake Offenhauser Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Hilborn Fuel Injection
100 BHP at 6,000 RPM
In-and-Out Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Bell Auto Parts Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Torsion Bar Suspension, Halibrand Quick-Change Rear End
Register to Bid

Midget auto racing swept the country in the 1930s and continued after WWII. The smaller cars were more affordable than full-sized race cars but still provided thrills on the track.

Indianapolis-based racer Jimmy Knight (whose real name was James Miller Randerson) built this Indy Roadster-style car in 1956, using one of Kurtis’ five special tilted Offenhauser engines. For better weight distribution, the engine was offset 5.5" to the left and the driveshaft ran alongside the driver to an offset Halibrand quick-change rear axle. Knight campaigned this car for five years, winning several Midwest feature races. A detailed article on the car was published in the November 1956 edition of Speed Age Magazine.

According to the consignor, race car historian Jim Etter purchased the Roadster at a swap meet in Florida in the early 1970s. The chassis had been lengthened at some point, which was remedied by Etter. Noted collector Bob McConnell bought the midget in 1978 and kept it for over 20 years, during which time he acquired the missing original offset rear end. The consignor, who acquired it in 1999, commissioned a meticulous, ground-up concours-level restoration by Classic Craft Motorsports and had Offy specialist Eddie Bowie rebuild the engine.

This beautiful Roadster, which has been accredited by the AACA and has won coveted AACA Junior and Senior awards, remains a rare example of midget racing history.