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Durant 8 cylinder race car?

Back in the 20's there was a race car made from a Durant that was made out of putting two 4 cylinder Continental motors together to make an 8 cylinder. Later I believe Jeff Cromeens or someone reproduced the same car and tried it out on a great race or something. What ever became of the car? Who has it now? Does anyone know of what happened to the first 1920's car?

Do You own a car built by Durant? Almost

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

Hi Mike:
The first car, was made in Oakland in the factory and owned by the Gen Manager, Clarence Rose? It was made on the chassis of a 1923 A22, had two W4 engines mounted back to back, with a welded crank and pinned camshaft. He drove it for several years in and around California. Whereabouts today, not known.
In the 1990's , Jeff Cromeens of Mesquite, Texas made an copy of the car. There is a write up in one of the old Durant Standards. Jeff drove this car, with his son as Navigator in several "Great Races" He won several awards, and came in 2nd in his class one year. I have driven the car, both here in Canada and also in Mesquite. Jeff still has the car, and I believe his son Gary will keep the car.
It was because of this car, that the Ontario group of Durant enthusiasts was formed. We met with Jeff at the end of the "Great Race" in 1996 which terminated in Toronto, Ontario. Jeff let everyone who wanted to drive the car have a go at it. It was superb.
Jeff is still a member and is living in Texas. At one time he had over 17 Durant products. They were sold by Auction around 1998. He did not realize near the value that the cars sold should have brought.
Gord

Do You own a car built by Durant? Frontenac

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

Thanks Rick for posting that picture. It was taken on July 1st, 1996. The car had finished the Great Race which ended in Toronto on June 30, 1996. This was the first gathering of Durant enthusiasts in Ontario and Jeff was the drawing card. The event took place at the home of Reg and Marilyn Bent, of Carlisle, Ontario.
This year will be our 12th anniversary of that event, and we have a planning meeting set up for this Saturday. Watch for further announcements.
Gord

Do You own a car built by Durant? Frontenac

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

I would like to add that I have looked at this car in person and the sound developed by the engine is unlike that of any other straight eight, or any engine for that matter. It has the most impressive sound of authority that you can imagine. It kinda makes the hair on your back stand up!!
Don

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

He originally had two crankshafts pinned together one-quarter turn apart. That may account for the "different" sound. Other straight eights have a two plane crankshaft from front to back. I got to ride in it when he came through Minnesota. I sold him a bunch of Durant 75 parts, but never heard if he built anything from them. Much of his collection had gone up in smoke at the time.

Do You own a car built by Durant? yes

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

Hi everyone. Yes Jeff’s car is a marvel to see and hear. Sounds just like a real race car. It had the exhaust on the outside of the car when Jeff and his son came through La Mesa, Ca. in one of the Great Races where I was a greater and got to spend some wonderful time with them, can’t remember the year. Maybe 5 to 6 years ago. Some interesting things about the car was Jeff was running only one stock original water pump on the rear engine only and it cooled just fine with a connector tube over to the front engine. Jeff is a very fine machinist and did all the machining himself. He did have trouble with the crankshafts breaking apart from one another. Jeff is a great guy.
Later Lance

Where Are You From? www.lancedurant.com

Do You own a car built by Durant? Lots of them.

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

I saw this car when Jeff had it at the Durant meet in Freemont, Nebraska (Omaha area)in 1994. I don't remember the first race he was in but I believe that was the one where he had cranksaft troubles. If anyone has a copy of the 94 Durant Standards I believe you will find a complete article on the car that Jeff Gillis wrote.

Bob

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

I think I have a copy of the article in one of my old editions of the durant standard, (Jeff Gillis's magazine) If anyone is interested I could look it up and print it Just let me know .
Ken

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1930deluxe rumble seat coupe model 614

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

I believe the first race Jeff was in was either 1992 or 1993 and Jeff was 72 years of age. That is why he picked #72 as his entry number. He was having problems with the welded crankshafts breaking so he had a crank and a cam shaft made for the car No more problems.I visited Jeff in Mesquite in 2001 and he turned 80 while we were there.
His wife Elaine passed away and Jeff has since remarried. Good for him.
Gord

Do You own a car built by Durant? Frontenac

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

Yes, Jeff took the time to fire up that Speedster for me when we made a whorlewind trip through Texas about 6 years ago...The Star had been setting for a while so we need to charge the battery for a couple of minutes, but man when he hit that starter and lite that thing up I think I jumped back about 6 feet...That thing snorted like it was on streight nitro...Jeff had mentioned that he had had problems breaking crankshafts where the two cranks were welded togather and that he had a one piece crank machined..I asked Jeff if it was casted of how it was made and he said it was machined out of one square block of steel.

Re: Durant 8 cylinder race car?

The build was detailed in several articles in the Durant Standard. I belive I have copies of all of them if we would like to republish them.
Jan

 

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