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by Jay Traugott
Driving purity at its finest. Too bad it was never mass-produced.
There was a time when the youth of America were all about speed. Everything from Corvettes, home-built hot rods, and above all, horsepower dominated a growing and passionate car culture. While those traits continued to exist in one form or another throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, that golden era of motoring that really got into gear after World War II may soon come to an end. Some further proof? It says it all in a newly released annual survey conducted by the Deloitte consulting company.
It claims that people who were born beginning in the 1980s, often referred to as 'Generation Y', prefer for their cars today to be hybrids loaded with high-tech features. Automotive consultant Craig Giffi who managed the survey has stated that "This could be the generation that leads us away from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles." According to the survey, 59 percent of these consumers, aged 19-31, replied that they prefer an "electrified vehicle" to other types of cars and trucks. They also want touch-screen controls with smartphone applications.
Yeah, we know. We're now living in an era of smartphone, hybrid loving sissies who don't know how to drive manual transmissions (with the noted exception of CarBuzz readers, you're all cool). Back in the late 1950s, however, a man named Wally Troy had a vision to build a true European influenced street legal race car that was free from all unnecessary weight and creature comforts. He was also the first official Jaguar dealer in the state of Illinois. In addition to being a smart businessman, he was also a talented craftsman who made his passion come alive. He achieved this in 1959 and the Troy Roadster pictured here was the result.
And sadly enough, it was the only one ever built. It featured a carefully handcrafted aluminum body, a tubular frame and belly pan, and was originally powered by a 283 4.6-liter Chevy V8 with 195hp. In 1960, the car was featured in Hot Rod magazine as well as a period comic book. For several years the car's location was unknown, but in 1975 it was found and bought by the current owner. It was stored for nearly 20 years before a full restoration was started. That was when the current engine was installed: a 350 5.7-liter Chevy V8 with over 300hp.
It has all period correct components, such as a Corvette manifold and 4 barrel carbs in order to make it resemble its original appearance. In addition, the front suspension is a Ford straight axle with leaf springs while the rear axle is a 50s era Ford 9-inch with parallel leaf springs. The front brakes are Chevrolet discs while the rears are Ford drums. After the restoration was completed, it was shown at the 2004 Amelia Island Concourse. And it's now for sale on eBay Motors, with a current bid of $36,100. However, the reserve hasn't been met and it's possible the seller has a much higher number in mind for something this special.
With just 2,000 miles on the odometer, this one-off street legal racer is only for the true gearhead. It's meant and ready to be driven - without any sort of infotainment system or smartphone app. The engine note and the wind in your face are all you'll ever need. Photos courtesy of 2shores