HWM Chev – the “Stovebolt”
“Built in the woods by Squirrels,” said the unusual and attention-getting plaque on the side. If so, these squirrels had good taste, for this car is probably the most attractive special ever to come out of the northwest, although not the most successful. The background of this car is fascinating. It started out as an English Formula Two racer (which did also compete in Formula One races) and was driven by none other than Stirling Moss among others. Employed in the movie The Racers, the car was apparently wrecked, but it was all done by special effects—albeit clumsy ones—and the car was unhurt and intact. Tom Carstens saw the movie and wanted the car, having to buy all of the cars in the cast to get the one he really wanted. The others went from Tom to different homes, but Tom saw the HWM chassis and frame as the perfect way to take advantage of American engine performance and hopefully duplicate the success he had enjoyed with his Cad-Allard hybrid. A Vic Edelbrock race-prepared 5-liter Chevy V-8 was installed, and the suspension and body prepared with help from Eddie Kuzma, at the time one of the country’s top Indy car builders. The resulting car looked and sounded great, and the engine was extremely powerful, but the chassis and running gear proved too delicate to dominate the competition in the manner Tom had foreseen. Despite a great deal of effort and money from Tom it never quite ran up to expectations and went through a series of hands, most notably Ralph Ormsbee, before being retired in the early 60s. Today it is owned by Simon Taylor of England and is one of the prized entrants in vintage racing events.