Now we’re talking!
A Sorrell SR-100 with a powerful GMC six cylinder….Kurtis 500KK chassis….flip front for easy access….who could ask for more? Not many. And I’m sure this would have been considered an idea build in all the right ways and inspired countless young men across the country to press forward with their dream of building their own fiberglass bodied sports car.
And….it’s a “magazine cover car” too. Bob Sorrell was at the top of his game when this article appeared in the Fall of 1955.
Bob’s first fiberglass body debuted in ’53 and here it was late in ’55 and he already was on the cover of a magazine. In fact, as you’ll read below, Car Craft Magazine used Bob’s work and expertise in the creation of another article – one that appeared over 3 issues of Car Craft starting in October 1955 – and we’ll feature that series of articles in the future here at Forgotten Fiberglass.
Now….onto the eye candy for the day – the Sorrell SR-100 sports car built by Dick Lane.
Go get ’em gang!
GMC Under Glass: Car Craft, October 1955
Racing Chassis, Hot Rod Power Plant and Modernistic Styling Make Up Dick Lane’s Fiberglass Sports Roadster
Photos by Bob D’Olivio
When we gathered together all of the material for the “Building a Fiberglass Car” story which starts on page 18, we decided that it would be a good idea to show just what kind of results could be obtained using a fiberglass body. Since the above mentioned story is a start to finish operation on Bob Sorrell’s body, we went to Bob and asked him where we could find a good completed car using his body.
Bob sent us over to see Richard Lane of Los Angeles and we had to admit that his car was good – in fact, it was sensational. Dick used one of Frank Kurtis’ 500 KK tubular frames with full torsion bar suspension. The 500 KK frame is, except for size, the same basic framework which has been under the winning car for the past three years at Indianapolis.
In keeping with the Indy theme, Lane used knock-off hubs, magnesium wheels and spot brakes made by Halibrand Engineering for race cars. The torque tube rear end also has a Halibrand quick-change center section with a 3.78 ring and pinion.
In the engine department, Lane took a 302 cubic inch GMC, bored it 1/8 inch and left the four inch stroke stoke so that it totaled about 320 cubic inches. A special twelve port Fisher-Horning aluminum head with large valves was bolted on and the compression checked out at 8.5:1.
Frank McGurk ground a billet cam and also took care of the piston, tubular push rod and flywheel department. Six Amal carburetors on the left side of the engine and the six chrome headers into a large collector tube on the right side give the engine an unmatched potent appearance.
Unfortunately, the engine was never dyno tested so no figures can be given but to quote Lane, “It really scares you when you get on it.” Future plans for this roadster call for competition at some of the Southern California drag strips and also a little closed course competition in sport car events.
We bet that this car will also be seen in a lot of automobile shows in the next few years. It’s a beauty.
Pictures From The Article:
There were so many pictures in the article, it was hard to squeeze them in the story, so let’s look at each below. These same pictures also appear in our photo gallery below. And now…for the pictures:
Mike and Jim Larkin were good friends with Bob Sorrell and may be able to add some of their thoughts in the comment area below. I’m sure they have some great stories about Bob and his sports cars.
And…what’s great about the Dick Lane Sorrell SR-100 is that it was recently found – in great condition – and the owner is part of our group. Hopefully we’ll get some photos of what it looks like today, and I’ll share them here with you at Forgotten Fiberglass. Should be neat!
Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…
Glass on gang…
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