Updated: 09/20/2008

HELP! Do you have information regarding this car's race history?

Please contact Ian Spencer

This SII Alpine was built the week ending 9/30 of 1960. After a life of track use it has landed in the care of Ian Spencer, from Dayton Ohio, where it now awaits a full restoration. Plans are to vintage race the car with the SVRA. Documentation of Ian's work will be listed on this page as time allows.

Race History | Overview | Previous Owners | Restoration Log

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Race History

Races known to date:

Bob entered all Mid-Ohio races from 1962-65

        • 1961, July 23 - Car # 19 - Meadowdale - National - 9th
        • 1961, Sept 9 - Car #? - Road America 500, Elkhart Lake - 18th?
        • 1961 Car #? - Meadowdale
        • 1962, June - Car #7 - Road America - ?
        • 1962, August 18-19 - Car #71- Mid-Ohio regional race
        • 1962 - Car #? - Meadowdale
        • 1964, January - Greenville, Ohio - Autocross (Pictures in Gallery)
        • 1964, April - Car #71 - Indianapolis - DNF
        • 1964, June 14 - Car #75 - Mid-Ohio National - DNF
        • 1964, July 12 - Car #? - Mid-Ohio Divisional - 5th
        • 1964, July - Car #71 - Road America
        • 1964, October 18 - Car #? - IRP - 4th
        • 1965, June - Car #71 - Mid-Ohio - DNF
        • 1965, July 10 - Car #71 - Mid-Ohio National
        • 1965, August - Car #71 - Mid-Ohio
Information needed on these locations:
        • Lawrenceville, IN
        • Nelson-Ledges
        • Lexington, KY
        • Bellefontaine, Ohio - Hill Climb ( Video obtained)

       

    Overview

      I purchased this car in 1986. It is now undergoing full restoration and will be put back to the way it was when Bob Kimes raced it (see picture above). I have been able to make contact with Bob's wife Carolyn who says she will be gathering up all the papers and pictures of this car and Bob's racing career. She also still has all his old trophies! Carolyn explained that She and Bob drove this car in their wedding and Honeymoon. However, she denies that the Wedgewood Blue color was picked because of the Wedgewood china they selected out for their wedding... "it was Kimes blue!" she explained.

      Bob Kimes campaigned this car after buying it new in the Winter of 1960. He parted ways with this car sometime after the July 1965 Mid-Ohio Nationals. I'm still in the process of gathering information regarding the history of this car and who all raced it after Kimes passed it on. The last known drivers were J. Hunt and B.Vandesant. They have been identified from the names being painted on the door.

      I've gathered that Bob Kimes was very well liked in the WOH SCCA region. I've been told that he was very helpful and was a true class act. In the early 60's he was one of the first to drive truck and car on trailer to the track. Remember, this was a time when people were still driving their cars to the track and sleeping in tents. This was also a time when cars didn't have sponsorship. Bob, however, owned a company called "Kimes Cutaway" and his wife's father owned "Dayton Wire Wheel". Both businesses catered to the automotive industry and most likely sponsored Bob as he became more serious in later years. Bob's Alpine was one of the better prepared cars on the track as a result.

      Bob died in 1995 from a sudden heart attack. My father, Rex Spencer, tells me that it was a very sad day when Bob died and everyone was deeply affected by his death. I gather that he was very well liked because he was a good person who loved to help other people.

      Some interesting details regarding this car.

      1.) Exhaust pass through in frame. This has been very nicely done allowing the exhaust to pass through the x-frame and exit on the drivers side just in front of the drivers side rear wheel.

      2.) Traction bars were added with nicely made brackets on the frame in front of the leaf spring.

      3.) 3.89:1 Limited Slip Differential... See below.

      4.) 15/16" sway bar with Rootes competition springs that lowered the car all the way around. Armstrong competition shocks.

      5.) Fuel tank was raised by removing the 4" spacer ring.

      6.) Bob raced this car with a special set of 72 spoke Dayton wire wheels. These wheels are no longer with the car.

      7.) Factory steering wheel was wrapped with string and covered with varnish for better grip.

      8.) Rootes Stage I and Stage II competition kits.

      9.) Overdrive transmission that worked in all 4 gears.

    Previous Owners

      Nancy Frost (1966 - 1970) - Location unknown. Campaigned car in Kimes Blue. until sold in 1970.

      Unknown  (1970 - 1974)

      Jack Beason (1974 - 1980) - Jack purchased this car in 1974 for 2600.00. Jack tells me that he drove the car in a lot of autocross events, but only 3 road races. One of which was Waterford where he took 3rd place. "That was a fast car!" he said. He also told me about the limited slip, a Detroit locker, having a tendency to break rear axles.

      When asked about the history of the car he told me that he bought it from Nancy and didn't know who bought it from him. A buddy had arranged the sale of the car and he never met the buyer. His buddy came over one day with a trailer and that was the last time he saw it. When asked about Al Costner selling the car to Nancy he replied... "well, that's possible. Nancy and Al knew each other and that just might be." I'll just have to make contact with Nancy next. Jack also confirmed that an overdrive unit had been installed to the car prior to him obtaining it from Nancy. He believes Kimes had installed it in the car. Bob Kimes' son Jeff Kimes also worked on his racing crew while he owned the car. Jack was a friend of Bob Kimes.

      Jack tells me that Nancy Frost was very successful racing the Alpine. She campaigned it in the same color schemes as Kimes (Wedgewood Blue w/ dk. blue stripe). Jack repainted the car to dark Marine Blue which was the color scheme on the car when I found it. Jack was the last person to seriously campaign the car.

      J. Hunt / B. Vandesant (1980 - 19??) - Location unknown. These names are painted on the doors. The original doors are still painted in Jack Beason's Marine Blue color with these names painted on the drivers door. One can only assume that they purchased the car from Jack Beason's buddy and sold it to John Fox. I don't think these guys were serious about racing it. Most likely the only track use it saw was local autocross.

      John Fox (19?? - 19??) - Have not made contact yet. Hopefully John will be able to provide me with the name of the person he bought it from and who he sold it to. John is well connected in the Dayton British car community. He may also have information on this cars racing history.

      Unknown Owner (19?? - 1986) - I remember this seller telling me he had purchased this car from John Fox. He was a young guy at the time, living in Huber Heights, Ohio. I bought the car and all the parts for $500.00 cash. He had a single car garage pack... yes, packed... full of all the racing parts.

      Ian Spencer (1986 - 1993) - After purchasing this car I kept it in storage for 5 years before selling it to my friend Bob Pecce. I remember the day I brought it home. My father saw the convertible top cover still painted Wedgewood Blue with dark blue racing stripe and immediately identified it as Bob Kimes' old race car.

      Bob Pecce (1993 - 1999) - Bob's intentions were to restore it as a race car for his girlfriend Sandy, which he started to do. He stripped most of the car to bare metal and started to prep the body for paint. Bob sold the car back to me after he and Sandy moved to Florida.

      Ian Spencer (1999 - Present) - I once again purchased this car, this time with the plan to restore it back to the way it was when Bob Kimes owned it. I'm now beginning the restoration and have completely dis-assembled the car.

    Other names associated with this car

      Doug Jennings at Tiger Auto has been helpful in tracking down some of the history of this car after it changed hands from Bob. Since Doug has worked on this car for almost every owner since Kimes in one way or another, he was the perfect first person to start with. Dough was able to provide me with the names of the previous owners listed above.

      Doug also tells me that the 72 spoke Dayton wire wheels were replaced by Jack Beason with Minilite center lock wheels that he still has in his shop. I've made a deal with Doug to obtain these rims. I also learned that Carolyn Kimes's father was the owner/founder of Dayton Wire Wheel Company. That explains how he got his custom made wire wheels!

      Mike Egerton who now works for Dayton Wire was a friend of Bob's and tells me that Nancy Frost was most likely the second owner after Kimes. It's possible, however, that Al Coster could have bought it and owned the car for a short period before Nancy got it. Al started racing Alpines in Ohio in 1966 after moving from Long Island where he was known for racing a white Alpine. We know today that this car ended up in Indianapolis and was owned by Roy Stetina up until recently. The 1966 time frame works out with the estimated time that Kimes sold this car. Mike Egerton was a good friend of Bob's and often pitted for him. Mike is still very involved with SCCA today.

      FM Achor was a teenager who hung out with the local SCCA racing crowd in the early 60's. He's currently the Parts Manager at the local Land Rover dealership here in Dayton. FM remembers hanging around Kimes and Egerton and has been active with WOH SCCA since. He has been very helpful with pointing me in the right direction.

      Jack Innman - Jack had a sports car tuning shop in Yellow Springs, Ohio and tuned and repaired the car while Nancy Frost raced it. Jack is unfortunately deceased. Oh the stories he could have told!

      Gary Weber - Gary is the former owner of Performance Imports in Tipp City, Ohio. Gary's shop was a Rootes dealership and provided Bob Kimes with the factory parts he needed. Gary provided me with the folder he kept on Bob Kimes that contained receipts for parts.

      Tom Marshall -  Tom and Bob were best friends and both went to SCCA drivers school together. As Tom puts it, "We both got hooked on racing together". Tom started out with a Triumph TR3, and moved on to a Saab and as well as a Turner. Tom's brother John also was involved and can be seen in some of the pictures at this site. My guess it was Tom taking the pictures!

      Tom was also best man in Bob and Carolyn's wedding on 9/15/1962. He tells me the story of how he was responsible for guarding the Alpine after the wedding to prevent Bob's buddies from messing with it. Tom said that there was a "trick' to getting the car started without running down the battery. It came time for him to drive the Alpine to the reception so that Bob and Carolyn could leave for the Honeymoon, but he couldn't get it started! Bob eventually showed up and was able to get it going.


    Restoration Log

      10/2005 - Restoration begins.

      By chance I stumbled across this car while attending a British car show in Dayton, Ohio. I was 20 years old and had been working on Sunbeam Alpines for the past 5 years. During that time, I had involved myself with Doug Jennings at Tiger Auto and most of the local Sunbeam crowd. Doug and most of the local gang had no interest in the "early" Alpines so they would always pass anything like that my way. I had really started to gather up quite a junk yard of early Series I, II and 3 Alpines, which soon spilled over to later Series IV and V Alpines too! It was at the British car show where I met a guy who asked me if I wanted to buy and Alpine. All he was able to tell me was that it was an old race car with a lot of parts. Naturally I said yes and purchased the car for $500.00.

      This car has now been sitting for well over 20 years with very little restoration work. It's now October of 2005 and I'm ready to begin a real restoration, as well as document it's history.

      The the car has been stripped and the body is waiting it's turn at the metal cleaners in Cincinnati, Ohio.


      01/2006 Update - Factory Limited Slip?

      After reviewing the receipts obtained by Gary Weber (Owner Performance Imports, Tipp City, Ohio who sold Rootes parts to Kimes), it was revealed that this car was equipped with a limited slip differential in March of 1965. Receipts show that Performance Imports obtained this unique unit from Baugh's in Utica, Michigan. Baugh's was a manufacturer of Limited Slip and Close-Ratio Gear Sets.

      I successfully tracked down Gary Weber of Performance Imports and asked him what they did to make this LSD for the Alpine.

      Gary Says: "You've got the prototype. Bob Kimes wanted a LSD in order to contend with the Sports Car Forum. (Who had one of the five units built by Doane Spencer) Kimes was very competitive and didn't want anyone to know what we were doing. He was very mad when I (Gary) brought John Panks (Executive Director of Rootes North America) into the picture. We needed funding to make this thing happen and the tooling costs were high, but Kimes didn't want Rootes to make this thing available for everyone as a Rootes option... which was Panks interest in the project. We needed him (Panks) to make it happen. (Gary Weber knew John Panks through his involvement as a Rootes dealer and Gary's in-depth racing career.)

      Receipts and letters show that Performance Imports was notified that the LSD was available for production in January of 1965. Gary says that he sent Baugh's the complete stock rear end from the Kimes race car. In return they were given the LSD ready to be installed into the rear end housing.

      Installation instructions call out Model # GS17 for the Sunbeam Alpine and refer to the factory workshop manual for installation steps. Provided are torque settings and details on changing to 25 spline axles if you have an early Alpine with the 17 spline setup.

      Could this unit be considered a Factory Limited Slip? How many of these units were actually made by Baugh's and who else might have one? If this had Rootes backing, why didn't it make it any further than this?

      John Panks was removed from his role as Executive Director of Sales for Rootes North America and replaced by Brian Rootes and Malcom Freshney in January of 1965 after a major restructuring of the Rootes organizational chart. This date coincides with the date of the letter written to Performance Imports stating that the LSD was ready for production. Could the restructuring of Rootes management been the death nail in the LSD project?

      I will be talking to Gary Weber in more detail about this LSD and I will report back with my findings.

Receipts & Letters from Baugh's


      02/2006 - Trophies

      Carolyn Kimes has been very helpful and offered to allow me to scan all of her old pictured and any documentation from Bob's racing days with the Alpine. She has even allowed me to come over and pick out any of his old trophies that belonged with the Alpine. This is a wonderful addition to the history of this car and a very generous offer by Carolyn Kimes. Trophy photos will be added once I have time.


      03/2006 - For Sale Ad

      Super Alpine racing sleuth Steve Silverstein uncovered this ad from March, 1963 Competition Press.

      $1900.00 was a real deal considering all the work that Bob had put into this car. I find this interesting because this shows that Bob was trying to sell this car as early as 1963. It's believed that he last raced it in the 1965 season and he installed the LSD in March of 1965. My guess is that Bob was never really happy with the results of the Alpine and was seeking something more competitive. I know from local stories and the receipts in my folder that Bob was starting to drive Mini Coopers around the 1965 time-frame.


      06/2006 - Dippers & Pictures

      My time in line with our local dippers finally arrived and the body has now been delivered to be stripped to clean bare metal. Should be ready to pick up in Aug.

      Carolyn sent me a pack of wonderful pictures. Great stuff! Included are pictures of his Triumph Spitfire in Kimes blue with signature stripe... makes me wonder if I should paint the stripe on my Wedgewood Blue Harrington and French Blue Lotus? I also think I need to buy a mid-60's Chevy van and paint it up to look like Bob's tow vehicle. Wouldn't that be great! Click on the Kimes Photo Gallery link to see the new pictures.


      08/2006 - Back from the dippers

      Body work can now begin on the freshly dipped body shell. Jan and I were able to mount it in the frame and get the body on it's side so I can begin work on the floors and front valance. Most of the body is very solid and the front valance was gone. I have a new valance to replace the one that was missing. Won't be long before I have the body painted in epoxy primer and ready for body work.


      08/2006 - Trophies!

      Today I spent the morning at Carolyn Kimes' beautiful home in Piqua, Ohio. Carolyn and her family were all very kind and shared stories and allowed me to go through a large box of old trophies that Bob had collected through-out his racing career.

      There are many 1st place trophies along with several plaques naming races from 1960 through 1966. These will look great all cleaned up and on display in a showcase.


      10/2006 - Dipped Body

      With the dipped body now in the frame I can begin prepping the car for paint. First step is to clean the body and remove any extra filler and conduct any weld repair that may need to be done.

      With the body nice and clean it's very easy to see just how much damage there is to the car and what really needs fixed. As you can see... you know exactly what you have to work with. I'm very lucky with this car. Since it spent all of it's life as a race car it has remained very solid. The only repair work will be to the dents from race track abuse. Note the bottom picture of the exhaust pass through.

      I'm now ready to paint the body in epoxy primer. I've tried to pull out as much damage as possible and straighten everything as best I can. I've also attached a new (used) front valance to replace the one that was missing from the car. It's really starting to look like an Alpine again. Picture of the painted (in-primer) body soon to follow.


      01/2007 - Letter from Tom Marshall

      I just received an email from Tom Marshall, who was Bob Kimes' best friend and brother to John Marshall as seen in pictures with Bob in Kimes Gallery. I'm adding Tom and some of his stories to the Other names associated with this car section.


      02/2007 - More Pictures

      Letter from Carolyn Kimes today including more pictures. Thanks Carolyn! I've added them to the gallery. Still too cold out to work on the car.


      01/2008 - Nancy Frost is found!

      An unexpected phone call from Jere Teepen, a family friend of Nancy Frost, has yielded missing history of her racing campaign with the car. Jared is going to put me in touch with her and is making me copies of her scrapbook!


      01/2008 - Bodywork

      The car is now sitting in my shop ready to go to Youngstown, Ohio where my buddy Chris Bell will be making it straight and ready for paint. I stopped doing bodywork on it in August 2007 because it was time to get an expert body man on the job. Chris will do an excellent job! All loaded up on the trailer and waiting on a dry day for me to transport it.


      05/2008 - Chris Bell's Shop

      Here are some pictures of the Alpine being transported to Chris Bell's shop in Youngstown, Ohio. Chris wants to fix the filler work I had started because of my "novice" attempt and he wants to make it better. He will do a better job of making the metal straight before filling.

      The car is now in epoxy primer and in the dusty fill and sand stage. It will be sealed with more epoxy primer after body work is finished.


      09/2008 - Engine, Gearbox & Suspension

      I have all the suspension components cleaned by American Metal Cleaners and resdy for assembly. The front crossmember components are complete with the original Rootes competition springs and 7/8" sway bar. Rear springs were lowered by Kimes and have been cleaned, painted in DP epoxy and are reassembled. The race prepped 1725cc engine that was in the car when I got it has a crack, so I may go back to a correct 1600cc block. I'm undecided on that right now. My first goal is to have all the suspension components assembled and ready to be bolted on the car so I can roll it around after it's painted.

       

      bobkimes.com