Having had a very successful race driving career up until the mid 1930’s which ended only because his wife had discreetly pointed out that over 30 of his former fellow drivers had died at the wheel, 1992 Inductee Jack Smith then turned his full attention to building racecars. Jack was no stranger to fabrication, having constructed cars for other racing enthusiasts in order to help finance his own efforts.
In 1946 following his service in the 2nd World War, Jack began work on yet another new racer, this one financed by local Victoria service station owner Howie Stanley who would be the car’s rookie driver.
Using the aerodynamic body design and rear-engine feature of the highly successful 1930’s German “Auto Union” car manufacturer’s “Grand Prix” racers, Jack added coil spring 4 wheel independent suspension with a cross-mounted 4 cylinder Model “A” Ford engine which had chain drive to the live rear axle. Not having the normal transmission and rearend assembly, this resulted in a car that weighed a mere 1,000 lbs. In building it, not only did Jack hope to win races, but also to prove that his innovations could be used in passenger car production for the increased safety of the motoring public.
At the 3rd race meet of the ’47 season on June 14th, Howie posted fast time and won the helmet dash and this repeated at several future meets along with heat race wins and good finishes. More wins came the following year and in 1949, Jack constructed a similar car for Speedway owner Bruce Passmore who had Vern Bruce as his driver. Jack’s 2nd creation carried Vern to multiple fast times, 4 helmet dashes, heat race wins and 4 main event victories.