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Copyright 2018 - Copyright 2015 Stefan Vapaa

Fire!

The most recent competitive outing for the Quantum One resulted in a rather alarming end.

We took the Quantums One and Two to the VSCCA's Mount Equinox Hillclimb in Vermont during the second weekend of August last year. It must be said that H-Modified cars are not really that well suited to hillclimbing. They are designed as momentum cars, with their primary purpose of efficiently maintaining what little speed their small displacement engines can produce. Hillclimbs are their kryptonite. Still, we weren't last and we did get a chance to look around at the countryside on the way up the mountain a bit.

On Sunday morning, Dad was driving the Quantum One down the mountain after another successful run when he noticed an engine fire. Thinking that it was a carburetor fire, he attempted to suck the fire down into engine by opening the throttle. Unfortunately, it turned out that a fuel line had come free from the carburetor and was pouring fuel all over the engine. We suspect that a backfire ignited the spill. At that point, the rubber fuel lines caught, as well as the wire insulation and anything else flammable. He made it to the nearest corner worker station and they emptied a couple of fire extinguishers on the problem, effectively putting it out. However, by this time, a lot of damage was done.

 

I am happy to say that as of this writing, the car has been repaired and is ready to race again.

Quantum I at Thompson (in period)

In April of 1960, the Quantum One competed at an SCCA race at the Thompson race course in Connecticut. It is likely that this was the first competitive event for the car, since the photo caption from the Sunday Globe indicates that it was taking part in the SCCA's annual school for new drivers.

 

 

This next photo is also appears to be from Thompson, but based on the flora it can not be from April. Grasses would not have been that high and the shrubbery and trees would not have so many leaves on them. It looks more like a summer photo to me. Also, it appears to me that the car is carrying a different competition number in the two photos and in the one below, lacks the aluminum panel filling the roll bar hoop. So it is likely from a later event in 1960.

 

Additional photos from Walter Kern's scrapbook show the car competing at Thompson again at a later date. While we are unsure of the year, these photos show that the Quantum One competed and won 1st place in the H Modified category while finishing in 6th overall. Since the car has the second generation bodywork in these photos and the date is recorded as May 21st, this would probably be be at least the third time it competed at Thompson and is probably 1961.

 

 

Driver and attendee unknown

 

Driver unknown

 

This photo shows the engine configuration when raced. Identifiable are a 750cc eight bolt engine block, GT cylinder head with custom water outlet, Solex PII carburetor, and SAAB tuning kit air cleaner. Also notable is the diagonal engine bay brace, which has gone missing in the intervening years.

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