Barry Watkins Automotive, Motorcycle and Journalism Background, page 2:
1974 Ferrari Dino "One-Off":
In the late 1970s we designed and built the alloy body work by hand, a One-Off Ferrari Dino GTS Spyder from a rolling chassis. This unique car was powered by a Dino / Stratos 280 HP four valve-four cam 2.4 litre motor with a Colotti 5 speed close ratio transmission. This car was faster than all street V-12 Ferraris on road courses such as Laguna Seca Raceway. This motor would turn 8,000 RPMs in fifth gear when the V-12s were turning about 4,500 RPMs at the end of the same straight-aways. Total dry weight, with the alloy body was about 2,480 pounds.
Watkins Racing Big Rig Race Car Hauler:
The goal was to design and build a race car hauler with a full-size class-8 cab with a bobtail body to haul the race cars. The goal also included being able to do so with a street drivers license, no trip tickets at the border, no exorbitant insurance fees and a user friendly driving features.
We teamed up with Freightliner Corporation and the completed project solved all of the goals plus gave us the fastest truck on the hill and 10 MPG fully loaded. The Freightliner included aluminum frame rails, a Caterpillar diesel motor that would tow the Queen Mary, a beaver tail rear loading ramp door, aluminum and composite body and storage bins and the ability to haul a large family in great comfort. The truck is now owned and operated by Kiwi Indian Parts, Riverside, California and is used for cross-country hauling of Indian Motorcycle parts and accessories to shows across the country.
1959 Scaglietti Corvettes:
In 1959, Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby were racing with and against Ferrari and were frustrated with the expense of maintaining the Italian powered race-ware. The idea arose to build a light-weight American powered V-8 and join it with an alloy body. Carroll Shelby went to Ed Cole at Chevrolet with the idea and three rolling chassis were ordered which were sent to the Italian coach work builder, Scaglietti, who was also the Ferrari body builder at the time. The idea of the first Cobra was underway, but a combination of factors, including Shelby's retirement as a race driver due to his heart condition, Chevrolet's withdrawal from racing and the delays of receiving the finished cars back from Scaglietti, all caused the racing demise of these beautiful cars.
One of the cars was owned by Jim Hall, one by Carroll Shelby and one to a Texas oilman collector, Gary Laughlin. Barry Watkins acquired the Hall and Shelby cars and presented them in back to back years at the Pebble Beach Concours D'Ellegance. Shelby's frustration in the delay of the project led to his effort with Ford and the Cobra. I believe some of the frustration in dealing with the Scaglietti body production led to fuel some of the fire for the Cobra-Ferrari Wars of the mid 60s in which Cobra and some American Hot Rodders eventually won the FIA World Makes Championship for Cobra.
Without a doubt, these cars, which look nothing like a Corvette, were the most beautiful Corvettes and one of the most beautiful sports cars ever made.
Three photos of the Scaglietti Corvettes at the Pebble Beach Concours D'Ellegance.
To Watkins History Page 3