Quin Epperly

Quincy David "Quin" Epperly (March 3, 1913 – January 7, 2001) was an American racing car constructor. He was born in Floyd, Virginia, to John Wesley and Iowa Texas Epperly. After completing a correspondence course in "Theory of Aircraft Construction", Epperly moved to Southern California in 1940 to work for Lockheed and Pacific Airmotive. During the war, he joined the Coast Guard Reserve to spend evenings after work on watch at the Wilmington Coast Guard Patrol Base.

In the late 1940s, he went to work for Frank Kurtis building racing car bodies; this led to a lifelong career in the racing business.

During the mid-1950s Epperly opened his own shop, where he came up with a radical approach in racing car design, by placing the four-cylinder Offenhauser engine on its side, rather than in the upright position, as was the usual custom for the Indy roadsters of that era. Called the "laydown Offy", it allowed for better high-speed aerodynamics and oval-track weight distribution.

He also built the body for the first Spirit of America land speed racer,[citation needed] out of his shop in Gardena, California.

Epperly worked with Nye Frank and Craig Breedlove on the dragster Spirit II in 1964,[1] and with Frank on the Flying Wedge streamliner dragster built for Don Prudhomme in 1971.[2]

Perhaps his most notable restoration was the engine for the Cooper Type 54-Climax, which, in the hands of Jack Brabham, began the "rear engine revolution" at Indianapolis.[citation needed] The restoration earned the car the coveted Monterey Cup at the 1991 Monterey Historic races, when, driven again by Sir Jack, it performed perfectly. It has since traveled to the Festival of Speed at Goodwood in 1993, to Australia in 1995 for the CART Surfer's Paradise race, to Michigan International Raceway in 1996 for the U.S. 500 (where demonstration laps at around 140 mph were made), and to the California Speedway in 1997 for the Marlboro 500.

His last major project was to complete the body restoration of his own Demler Special #99 in 1998. The Demler had finished second in the 1958 Indianapolis 500.

Epperly cars competed in five FIA World Championship races - the 1955, 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960 Indianapolis 500, winning the race in 1957 and 1958.

World Championship Indy 500 resultsEdit

Season Driver Grid Classification Points Note Race Report
1955 Jim Rathmann 20 14 Report
1957 Sam Hanks 13 1 8 Report
1957 Jim Rathmann 32 2 7 Report
1958 Jimmy Bryan 7 1 8 Report
1958 George Amick 25 2 6 Report
1958 Tony Bettenhausen 9 4 4 Report
1958 Jim Rathmann 20 5 2 Report
1959 Tony Bettenhausen 15 4 3 Report
1959 Paul Goldsmith 16 5 2 Report
1959 Johnny Boyd 11 6 Report
1959 Jimmy Bryan 20 33 Engine Report
1960 Paul Goldsmith 26 3 4 Report
1960 Red Amick 22 11 Report
1960 Jimmy Bryan 10 19 Fuel system Report
1960 Wayne Weiler 15 24 Accident Report
1960 Johnny Boyd 13 27 Engine Report
1960 Wayne Weiler 15 24 Accident Report
1960 A. J. Foyt 16 25 Epperly modified Kurtis Chassis-Clutch Report
1960 Jim McWithey 32 29 Brakes Report


  1. ^ Taylor, Thom. "Breedlove Spirit II", in "Beauty Beyond the Twilight Zone", p.34.
  2. ^ Taylor, Thom. "Prudhomme Flying Wedge", in "Beauty Beyond the Twilight Zone", p.37.

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