My attraction for American Austin and Bantams started with this car, Pure Hell. Climbing underneath a car to help my dad in the middle of night in my pajamas when I was 5 years old started my love affair with the automobile. While growing up in Livermore, California I was always going over to the neighbors house to help work on a race car they had. I went with them to the races every weekend I could to help and watch. It was at the Fremont Drag Strip (Ca.) that I had my first glimpse of Pure Hell. At that time Rich was running a fuel injected small block Chevy. It was awesome to watch, smoke boiling off the tires, fire coming out of the exhaust and sometimes taking up all of the lane as it rocketed to the finish line. It was very exhilarating to watch! I remember asking a friend of mine at the time what kind of a car they used for the body and he told me it was a Bantam roadster. At that time I thought that was the coolest body around and thought "someday". Sometime around 1968 Rich replaced the small block Chevy with a 392 Chrysler Hemi with a blower. And you thought the car was fun to watch before! Pure Hell moved into class AA/FA and set many drag strip records and at one time was the fastest AA/FA in the world. I really think Pure Hell won the hearts of everyone that ever saw it perform.
When I first acquired my American Austin roadster the first thought I had was this would be a great picture to have of a bone stock Austin pictured with Pure Hell, two cars with a very similar body but at opposite ends of the spectrum as far as performance. I called Rich and asked him if it would be possible to take a few pictures of my car with his. He didn't hesitate and we worked out the details. These pictures were taken in Pleasanton around July 2006. Pure Hell as pictured is in it's 1969ish configuration.
BTW Pure Hell has always had a fiberglass body, never steel.
For more pictures and history on Pure Hell click on the links below.
Jim Sorenson Altered page
Rich Guasco's Pure Hell Racing