Kurtis-Kraft: World’s Largest Builders of Professional Racing Cars – And Smaller “Midget” Race Cars Too!

Hi Gang…

Here’s how Frank Kurtis opened up in the sales flyer in today’s story and introduced his company to potential customers:

“The Frank Kurtis Company, world’s largest builder of professional racing cars for over 25 years, maintains leadership through genuine performance – speed with safety – engineered designs – quality construction – dollar value – first throughout the years with all types of engines and racing.  Kurtis Kraft cars have dominated Indianapolis, Midget, Half and Quarter Midget events with consistent “firsts”; now a new Indianapolis factory insures superior Eastern service.  Don’t experiment with unknowns – it takes a Kurtis to beat a Kurtis. Dealers, Kurtis sales agents, racers – get that “Kurtis Kraft out front look” now!!!”

Successful companies often look to diversify their product line to keep themselves profitable in all times of business.  It’s not surprising that Frank Kurtis took this approach too.  He built race cars, sports cars, and other items such as what we are discussing in this story.  Today’s article focuses on a sales flyer I recently found which promotes three different types of small racing cars built by Kurtis-Kraft:

* The famous “500” jr. Quarter Midget

* The larger Half Midget – characterized as “sport competition” for the entire family

* And the newest in the line-up: The Kurtis Kart – what we would call a traditional go-cart in every way.

This sales flyer is interesting in that it captures the moment when “carting” was moving from traditional bodied midget racing cars to the newer carts without bodies – streamlined in the sense of all extra weight being removed.  Pricing is also shown for all 3 model cars and varies from a low price of $195 for a basic “Kurtis Kart” to a near $700 price of a fully optioned “Half Midget.”  Let’s have a look at the flyer:




It’s neat to see that Kurtis had expanded sales to beyond just his California location – something I didn’t know before.  As shown in the sales flyer, locations in Denver, Colorado and Indianapolis, Indiana were in place.  I’ll have to do some digging and see what other locations may have existed, where they were, and for how long.  As always, research continues.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and until next time…

Glass on gang…



Click on the Images Below to View Larger Pictures



Kurtis-Kraft: World’s Largest Builders of Professional Racing Cars – And Smaller “Midget” Race Cars Too! — 17 Comments

  1. A question for Chris Kurtis: The William S. Hart Park in the Santa Clarita Valley (old Newhall) has obtained a Kurtis~Kraft Midget and is looking for information. It appears to be a vintage 1947 or ’48 build and has been cobbled a bit over the years. I’m trying to find any information regarding Chassis No. F039SW36 as stamped into the Kurtis~Kraft, Inc. dash plate with “Los Angeles, Calif.” and the Serial stamped as above. Is there any information available which can help us identify the year, the build, and “Fully Assembled” or “Kit”, and any other information regarding who sold to, date sold, etc. Thanks for any help you might be able to provide.

  2. I own the 1947 Kurtis Midget that Johnny Moorhouse to the 1953 URA Championship. It still runs events & is a groud favoorate. Mostly on the west coast but has been to Belleville KS. John was a great friend!!

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  4. Hello, i have a midget of some sort i found this in a salvage yard in Tn.i can not find identification on it..there is not alot of it left..appears someone has cut it behind the drivers seat…it has independent front suspension.and what looks to me as a rype of rack & pinion steering..the bodyhas louvers on each side and a small hood scoop ..also has chrome side bars and chrome bumper..the body looks alot like the Kurtis Kraft

  5. Dear friends,
    I try to vectorize some logos of famous F-1 and Indy-500 commands. Now I works with Kurtis-Kraft logo. The best picture of logo I have found on the net archives is on above published price-list. =) Unfortunately, I can’t recognise what the word is placed on central banner below “KURTIS-KRAFT” company name? There’s, I guess, 9 letters — or 7 letters and two asterisks. What do you think about it?

  6. Chris kurtis …I am doing a restoration and would like some clean body parts …if you know of any ..it would be much appreciated …thanks..Bill

  7. I’m with my Father on his final days and reviewing his photos from the late 40’s and early 50’s. He was crazy about Midget racing. Looking at several of his pictures from the WI State Fair Park and the Midget races, cars and drivers. He also has a decal (Red print) from “Kurtis-Kraft, Inc Racing and sports cars. The decal is a midget #1. What a great time for racing.


  8. i have a kurtis 1/2 midget that my dad bought at ralph potters shop in indy in 1958 that i raced in the mid west until 1961 . then moved to calif. and raced in LA area . the car was sold in 1965 to tony simons dad . I got it back in 1990 from tony where it sat at tonys house . it is missing some parts if any has parts please e-mail me and ill get back to you . thanks butch h.

  9. I seem to remember as a child getting to drive one of these and thinking it was about the coolest thing I had ever seen…

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