1972 Ron Granlee’s Record Missile

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This car was raced by Ron Granlee, then owner of the famed Speed & Sport raceway in Lynwood, CA, had used in 1972. Ron was paralyzed and in a wheelchair, barely able to move one finger and slightly turn his head. Ron had asked Philippe de Lespinay to build him a car for an important USRA race and he built two. Keiji Kanegawa painted the bodies, Bill Steube Sr. donated the motors, and Philippe put the things together.

Ron qualified and did quite well, setting a new amateur record at 4.26″. Unfortunately the car was quite damaged during the attempt, so Ron raced the other car in the actual main event.

Philippe retained one of the cars, while Ron kept the other and eventually Dennis Hill ended up with it.

In 2006, Philippe asked Barry Obler to paint a replica of the body and he did a great job. Philippe lettered the body and applied body lines then painted the rear view mirror and its shadow as per Keiji’s original.

The chassis needed a lot of repair work and was somewhat rusty but Philippe managed to save most of it. Fortunately and thanks to the few who have donated material to the museum, he had a correct S25 team Checkpoint-Steube armature and he built a motor from a used C-can in the style of how Bill would have done it then. The car was then assembled, tested (it runs GREAT), and placed in a little showcase with a Photoshop compilation of a picture of the car taken in 1972, part of the very article Ron wrote for Miniature Auto Racing where Ron Granlee describes his qualifying, and a picture of Ron from “The Scale Competitor”, a rare one-issue newspaper published in 1973.
The other car was restored and offered as a gift to Dennis Hill in 2008.