Lost Car: More Information Surfaces on the 1952 Sportstar Special

Hi Gang…

Recently, more information surfaced on the Sportstar sports car company of San Diego, California.  We’ve written about the Sportstar Company before – a company founded in 1952 and whose first car, the Crosley-based “Torrey Pines”, debuted in a race at Torrey Pines, California in December, 1952.  For those of you who want to get up to speed with our stories on the Sportstar company, click on the following link:

Click Here To View All Stories on the Sportstar Associates Sports Car Company

A Funny Thing Happened…

As they say….”a funny thing happened on the way to the forum…”  In this case, the “forum” was an “antique store” in the San Diego, California area and the person at the antique store was a friend of Don Anderson.   In previous stories about the Sportstar, I introduced you to Don who is the son of one of the founders of the Sportstar company – Art Anderson.

Some time ago, a friend called Don and shared that he had seen a magazine at an antique store that had a photo of the Sportstar in it.  Don made arrangements to get to the store in short order and the owner of the store and Don looked thru items for quite a while but soon found out – it was true.  Don did find a rare magazine called “Special Design” that showed his father’s car and lo and behold…..the story was true.

“Special Design” magazine was published by a San Diego company for just 2 issues in 1959.  An advertisement promoting the magazine appeared in the July 1959 issue of Road & Track as follows:

Let’s check out the cover of the magazine with a photo of the Sportstar on it:

The following was published on the “Contents” page: Cover: The Class H Crosley Special built by Dean Patterson of San Diego Battles a stock Triumph around a fast turn. Additional photos of the car are presented on pages 6 and 7.

Photos Inside:

Although the Sportstar was built and debuted on the race track in late 1952, here it appears in a 1959 magazine.  That little sports car must have had some legs!  And indeed it did.  Don Anderson has researched racing history in California in the 1950s and found that his father’s car and driver/owner Dean Patterson (one of the builders/founders of Sportstar), appeared in several races.  Here’s are the photos that appear inside the magazine:

These two photos appeared together with a caption. I’ve enlarged both photos and posted them individually below.


So where is the car today?  Don believes he saw it last in the mid 1980s on the streets of La Jolla, California – in the San Diego, California area.  Maybe it’s hiding in a garage?  Maybe it’s stored in someone’s backyard?  Do you know where it is?  If you’re in the San Diego area you can help and join in on the hunt for the Sportstar.  What a great find that would be 🙂

Click Here To View All Stories on the Sportstar Associates Sports Car Company

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…

The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.



Lost Car: More Information Surfaces on the 1952 Sportstar Special — 4 Comments

  1. Thanks, Geoff, this is an interesting little car as so many of the Class H specials (mostly Crosley powered) were built by Don Miller I think that he kept pumping them out so that he had a field to compete with.

  2. Geoff,
    Many Thanks for all of your terrific work keeping the special cars recognized.
    It was my dad Art Anderson who deigned the Sportstar cars, and worked on building this prototype.
    As a Vintage race driver, I have searched for the Sportstar for years. Unfortunately, I did not leave a note on it when I saw it on the street in downtown La Jolla in the early 1980s.
    Rod, I am a SCCA Cal Club member since 1975, and have asked if anyone knows of the Sportstar. It
    Was listed in many Southern California race programs as a Crosley Special driven by Dean “Pat” Patterson. John McKnight is a good friend and long time SCCA San Diego member, and has spread the word looking for it. I also have the Crosley Club looking for it.
    If you or anyone else have any possible leads, I would appreciate your contacting me.
    Don Anderson

    • Off topic but I have a copy of the other issue of Special Design. I never realized that there were only two. Great little magazine. Really nothing else like it back in the day or now. Off and on over the years I looked for other copies but never had much luck. Now I know why. Thanks.

  3. Love the story! Somebody local to San Diego should talk to one of the “seasoned” members of the SCCA region (Cal Club) and ask about it. I have many old Torrey Pines event programs, I’ll try to take a look and see if there is anything more that we can learn with those. Thanks again for the story.

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