1968 Excalibur SSK Roadster
The Excalibur was a neo classical styled automobile by Brooks Stevens after the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK. The prototype premiered at the New York City Auto Show in 1964 and received a great reception, allowing Stevens to form the Excalibur Car Company to manufacture and market the cars. The standard Chevrolet 327ci 300hp Corvette tune made the Excalibur a strong performer. With the standard 3.31:1 rear axle, acceleration from 0-60 mph took less than six seconds, and the unrestricted top speed was 134 mph. Only a month after being introduced at the New York Auto Show the prototype was shown at the Road & Track Concours in Newport Beach then road tested by Road & Track, Car and Driver, Automotive Quarterly and multiple other publications of the time.
For consignment, an Excalibur SSK roadster (Short for Super Sport Kurtz or “short” built for racing.) – a neo-classic brainchild of famed designer Brooks Stevens. Boutique, retro-style cars produced by the Milwaukee, Wis.-based company. Our example, 1 of 37 units believed to be built for the 1968 model year, came with not a shred of information so this description is fully flown by the seat of my pants.
A long cowl makes its way rearward from the chromed grille and radiator surround with vertical ribs. Cord-esque exhaust pipes emanate from either side of the cowl and go exterior to eventually work their way horizontally through the running boards to the back of the car. The hood and cowl are polished aluminum and the exterior mounted fenders are painted black. Also the passenger compartment and trunk area are in black. A black convertible top is on and shiny chrome bumpers protect chromed wire wheels with knock off hubs. A chrome luggage rack is on the back.
Red red red makes up the interior with red tuck and roll bomber style low back buckets, a rolled red surround on the passenger compartment edges, and stitched red door panels. Walnut veneer is on the dash front, and this sports round black bezel gauges peppering it across the length. A wood rimmed rally style steering wheel fronts the dash. All this floats in a sea of slightly faded red carpeting. In the center hump is a small shaft Hurst shifter.
A circa 1968 327ci V8 is squeezed into the engine bay under the cowled hood. It is original to this car which were typically fitted with these 327ci Corvette engines. There is a 4-barrel carb on top and a Muncie 4-speed manual transmission (ca. 1966/67) on back with a 3.31 rear axle. It is nice and clean with slight patina and light surface rust seen along with shiny valve coverings and a shiny chromed dinner plate open air cleaner covering. Wiring and supple hoses are like new. Note the ribbed exhaust exterior extensions which have glass-pak style mufflers on the dual exhaust.
Fiberglass with slight road splatter but no rust. Structural steel framing is solid and rust free. Independent coil spring suspension is on front, and leaf springs for the back. Power disc braking for the front and power drum braking for the rear are on.
A quick startup, and slight warmup for the 327 cubes and it was off to the test track. Here it performed like a sports car with modern day suspension, tight steering, and bias free panic stopping. All functions were working at the time of the test drive, and it was definitely a bit of a handful with the “vette” engine.
A retro classic offered up from a Corvette Collector who wanted to harken back to the days of his tenure at Studebaker, and make a new/ old appearing race car. Definitely a looker and a cooker, well maintained and ready to go and show. Take it away Charlie.
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Location: Morgantown, Pennsylvania, United States