1959 Huffaker Mark 1

PRICE: $55,000.

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1959 Huffaker BMC MK1 Formula Junior, Chassis #2

Constructed by Joe Huffaker, Sr, of the Competition Department of British Motor Car Distributors LTD., San Francisco, CA. Kjell Qvale, President of BMCD, was convinced Joe could apply his hot rod experience to building a purpose built, open wheel racecar to compete in the then new Formula Junior class. Approximately twenty-five cars were built during 1959-60, with this car being chassis number 2. Documentation suggests this car was known as the “mule”, or prototype, where new ideas were tested and then incorporated into the current construction specifications. The car was first tested at the old Vacaville racetrack, by Joe Huffaker and Jack Dalton, who was a local hot shoe on the West Coast. The car first raced with SCCA Formula C, in April of 1959 and was victorious on its debut.

The car was innovative in Formula Juniors of the time: Short wheelbase; minimum weight to the rules limit; many off-the-shelf parts; low center of gravity by offsetting the engine at an angle of 35 degrees. to allow the drive shaft to go down the side of the car opposite the driver (à la Indy Car Roadsters); fully independent suspension with coil overs at all 4 corners; with drum brakes, as required by rule. Joe substituted aluminum for the cast iron drums as permitted. The car was ordered ready to race from BMCD for $3,995.00.

Jerry Titus did a track test of the then obsolete car you see for sale here today. Writing for Sports Car Graphic magazine in 1961, he went on to say that the stellar race results from 1960, spoke for themselves: 14 races entered; 9 first places; 2 second places; and 3 DNF’s, all caused by minor part failures. Not a single engine failure, a reflection of the care given this project by Mr. Huffaker. Unfortunately, the success was short lived, as the movement in formula racing was to rear-engined cars, and the Mark 1 could then no longer compete with the next generation of Juniors from Lotus, Cooper, and Lola.

This car has had seven owners from new, and it underwent a frame up restoration in 2009. The engine was built by Barry Sale of PHP Race Engines, along with invaluable guidance in the fabrication of all the bits and pieces necessary to bring the car back to its current state. Paul Dietzen, of Bodyshop of Barrington, is responsible for the beautiful finish on the fiberglass bodywork.

  1. BMC Chassis 12, interpreted as MK1, production #2, acquired from Guy Frost, in non-running condition as shown, August 4, 2007.
  2. Completed disassembly and inspection including crack testing, Winter of 2007-08.
  3. Rebuild of engine by PHP Race Engines, Mr. Barry Sale, Wauconda, IL. 2008.
  4. Rebuild of all four corners: bearings; brakes; rod ends; bushings, etc.
  5. New brake shoes by Porterfield.
  6. Rebuild BMC differential by Ken Baurle.
  7. Rebuild Sprite gearbox with new English gears by Quantum Mechanics, NY.
  8. New Minilite style wheels.
  9. New Dunlop tires 9/15/14.
  10. Paint and body 3/15/2009, includes extra nose and tail.
  11. Original Huffaker wheels painted to match, not to be raced.
  12. New ATL Fuel cell 2009, new fuel pump.
  13. New 5 lb. Firebottle 2015.
  14. New Tilton pedal assembly 2010.
  15. New Tilton clutch assembly and flywheel 2012.
  16. New gear reduction starter 2012.
  17. New oil cooler 2014.
  18. New aluminum radiator.
  19. New Stewart Warner gauges.
  20. New aluminum dash signed by Joe Huffaker, Sr.
  21. New exhaust pipes.
  22. Current safety restraints.
  23. Spares: Ignition parts; distributor; master cylinder and pedals; suspension arms; bodywork; original gas tank; original oil cooler; original sway bar; brake drums.
About John Starkey
I started racing in an Elva-BMW in British Hillclimbs a long time ago; After spending all my parents’ and my friends’ money on this lark (which I thoroughly enjoyed), I settled down to marriage and two kids until age 30. An XK120 Jaguar just begged to be bought and so I promptly equipped this with a roll-over bar and damn read more...
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JOHN STARKEY CARS
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