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Name that Car: Aluminum Mystery Racer


After the success with the Adler, we thought we had better give this one a shot. Reader John G. contacted us quite a while ago about this aluminum race car he found. He doesn’t know much about its origins, but is confident that our readers can help him piece together the puzzle. He would also like to know who built it because it is currently titled as a Corvette kit car and he is not able to insure it in Canada. If he can prove that it was a production car, he could then get it retitled. We have included some tips from John’s own mouth below. Good luck with this one guys…


I own a full aluminum race car that I am trying to identify and was hoping your loyal followers might assist. I believe the car was factory built because of its pressed dash, floor, and inner panels. The aluminum body has a full tubular aluminum skeleton frame (one inch +/- hollow aluminum tube frame work). The car’s frame is not original and there are no serial ID markings. The car has always been left hand drive. There is a large single door hinge (the only steel component on the car). Note: the front grill is not original.

It was suggested by a couple of car collectors, that my car might have been the work of John Tojeiro (England) where he fabricated custom order race cars for both European and North American racers before or during his involvement with the Jaguar racing division or the A.C. Ace? The spayed front fenders resemble the early Jaguar C & D cars. Based on design cues (hip rear fenders, splayed front fenders, parrot’s beak nose, “butterfly” dash, etc.), I would guess the car dates to the early 1950s or maybe late 40’s?

Thank you in advance!


  1. scot

    ~ best of luck, John. can’t be of help on this but i look forward to another cool story.

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  2. elchoppo

    Was a vintage Peavey amp grate used for the grill?!!

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  3. Albert

    Don’t Know what it is but the Headlight Design Looks like a Nash, the Hood or bonnet looks like A Healy, The Dash Looks Vette, your Guess is as Good as Anyone’s

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  4. Glenn Barnett

    I have owned lots of AC’s (Aceca, Greyhound, AC Cobra’s too) and to me this doesn’t look like another Tojeiro example. I do know that we would love to get it in our garage and rebuild it and get it into someone’s registry – of CVAR or SVAR by next spring.

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  5. Peter

    A few questions – what type of engine is it running? Can you post some shots of the chassis/undercarriage? I see the AC pedals, is it an AC chassis? And is tahat a single exhaust pipe coming out of the rear center of the car???

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  6. Paul R

    Looks very Mk1 Elva or Arnolt Bristol to me but probably neither.

    http://allcarcentral.com/Elva_pix-2.html – green car about halfway down page


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  7. Your Name

    I’m an older guy and something back there is telling me Chrysler and/or Healey from an old 1950’s car magazine feature.

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  8. John

    Good morning all,
    I am the owner of this aluminum car and wanted to add a few comments; namely:
    The original frame and motor have been replaced years ago;
    The current frame is a custom steel ladder type with Corvette C3 axles / brakes / suspension / posi- differential , etc.;
    The wheel base is approximately 8 inches longer than a C3 Corvette but the car’s length is 15 1/2 inches shorter (alum. car 69 in. wide by 160 vs. C3 Corvette 69 in. wide by 185.2 in.);
    The aluminum side scoops and hood scoop and front grill were my additions;
    The rear end shape of the body and built in curved tail lights are original to the car;
    Headlights: I relocated the headlights into the grill area, when I purchased the car someone had cut square (circa 1980’s) headlights into the front fenders! The car may have had lights in the front fenders like a Jag C or D?;
    There are pressed aluminum floors, pressed dash, pressed inner panels;
    The A/C pedals were added by me as were the dash gauges (original large single gauge).

    I was also told by a few people that the car may have been the work of the famous “metal banger” Jack Sutton out of California or John Tojeiro (England)?

    The car currently is running a aluminum LS motor and 6 speed from a Holden built GTO (400 h.p.);
    Current weight 2200 pounds;
    The exhaust was fabricated by us and the single pipe is an early picture…it currently has dual exhaust off GTO shorty headers with four exhaust tips;

    Thank you in advance for your assistance in trying to solve origins of my car.

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    • Matt

      You might try the guys at jalopyjournal.com then at the top of the page click on H.A.M.B. make a free account then post the pictures. There is a ton of old gearheads on there and it is for traditional hotrods but they know all sorts of stuff.

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  9. scottski

    …seems to me there were either Cunninghams or Allards that looked very similar, sans the “bump” above the grille.

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  10. Mark E

    Great minds think alike, scottski! I was thinking it looks like the offspring of a Cunningham and Jaguar union. The grille & headlights look like Cunningham for certain while the fender lines seem like a Jag. As was mentioned, a few shots of the engine and underneath would be good clues.

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  11. Blake

    Does it have a hood, or does the whole nose lift forward?

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  12. Simon

    Front grill opening looks like a Fiat 500c Corsa Barchetta.

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  13. Sean Smith

    Body looks to rough to be a factory car, I think it was someone’s back yard special.
    Where did the car come from, has it live it’s life in Canada or is it from the U.S.?

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    • Foxxy

      If this was constructed in a back yard they must have been body builders. The aluminum work has its dents and bangs but the work involved to build and aluminum body and frame took more than just back yard experience. He didn’t say anything about what the original frame was set up for , drive train wise, so it’s really hard to figure, and then with all the changes made we might never know what the origin is. I’m never heard of an aluminum kit car myself. I didn’t see any mention of numbers either, if it was a factory build wouldn’t it have a number somewhere. I do know one thing, I like it, and that light body with LS power is must be a crowd pleaser for sure. -peace-

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  14. Don Andreina

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and offer the opinion that this is a US made special and not a British one. The tail does not share the tucked-in style of Listers, A.C. or Tojeiros. It looks like the first Corvette influenced it. The front end has more of a Cunningham feel, the close coupled headlights similar to Allard, but this feels like a one-off special. Hopefully the insurance issue for John is not series production, but that it came out of the ‘factory’ in a constructed state. Good luck John.

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  15. Livermoron

    It looks like it originally had it’s headlights farther apart – maybe? Reminds me of an Also, in one shot the steering wheel is a much larger than the shot of the dash straight on. The larger steering wheel looks very familiar and wonder if it is specific to a certain make. I was thinking 1954 Arnolt Bristol until I reminded myself of what they really look like.

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    • Livermoron

      Missed the comment earlier about him relocating the headlights – sorry.

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  16. Blake

    Have you checked Tamsoldracecarsite.com? Full of 50’s/60’s road race cars. Also a place to post your car as a “mystery ” car.

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  17. Frank

    Mid to late 50s; possibly Sutton or Troutman & Barnes body. Any idea what the original frame or running gear was?

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  18. Sunbeamdon

    What a wonderful mystery; not many aluminum panel beaters out there. The repositioning of the head lights confuses the issue. I take it the original frame is MAI. Usually there would be a car/chassis number on it – vis-a-vis the AC Cobra’s on the left engine mount and also on the trunk, doors and hood hinges.

    By the way, the Kirkham boys are still building full aluminum bodied Cobra replicas.

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  19. Darel

    I would have said Arnolt-Bristol but there’s so little left to go off of…

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  20. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Looks like a Bocar to me. Google it… Unfortunately, the Bocars were fiberglass, at least from what I can read. Maybe the second one, a prototype? I know the X-1 (first one) has been located, but the X-2 hasn’t.

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  21. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Whoops! XP-1 and XP-2, not X-1 & X-2.

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  22. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Nope…was right the first time. Looked it up now. X-1 and X-2. The XP-5 was the most common Bocar. Just as good looking as I remember (now that I’ve looked them up).

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  23. Sunbeamdon

    The Bocar looks like an interesting conclusion, and a hell of a car! However, I see too many inconsistencies between them and this present critter. Plus this one has too many changes to do a good forensic analysis – maybe needs an archialogical (sp?) dig?

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  24. Simon

    Bocar looks close but dash and rear tail lights don’t. This has driven me mad all day lol.

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  25. john

    Good morning (car’s owner here)
    To field some questions;
    The car is not a kit car but was registered ,by the previous owner, as a 76 Corvette based on the 76 C3 front & rear axles employed in the build of the replacement frame.
    The original frame is MIA (missing in action).
    The car was discovered in Ontario, Canada near the Mosport Race track.
    The pressed inner & outer panel lead me to believe that the car was a small run production vehicle or a prototype?
    There is a hood as the front end does not tilt forward.
    The firewall had to be moved forward by about 4 inches to accommodate myself at 5 ft. 10 in.This leads me to think that this race car was custom built for a race car driver of small stature?
    The car is thin wall aluminum with a small hollow tube aluminum skeleton frame. The car had a thin layer of old fiberglass on the inner fenders to protect them. I think all the lumps and bumps in the aluminum body panels were a result of its racing history not poor or amateur workmanship. The fiberglass may have been added later or it may be a clue to the cars dater of origin (early 50’s based on the invention of the material).
    Others have commented that the Parrot’s beak nose of the car is Aston Martin like?
    Thanks again for for assistance in trying to unravel the mystery of this car.

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  26. Connor

    From the windscreen backwards it reminds me of the old Aston Martin DBR1 or the Jaguar D-type.

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  27. Simon

    This is still bugging me lol. I had a look at 54-55 Maserati’s and similar body lines. Were any crashed in the 50s in the states and body put on a corvette chassis?

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  28. tom999p

    It’s an Almquist.

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