Old Cars

Unique1953 Sorrell SR-100 Old Car

American aviation pioneer and inventor William “Bill” Sorrell created the 1953 Sorrell SR-100, a rare and highly sought-after aircraft. Despite its potential, the SR-100 was not a financial success, and only a small number of the aircraft were produced. It is still a fascinating part of aviation history, and people remember it for its unique style and reasonable price.

The SR-100 was a single-engine, high-wing monoplane built for both private and commercial usage. It was intended to be a flexible and affordable aircraft. Sorrell thought farmers and small enterprises would find it especially enticing because it was designed to be a cheap alternative to other small planes on the market.

Its straightforward and durable design was one of the SR-100’s distinguishing qualities. The wings and fuselage of the aircraft were covered in fabric, and it was mostly built of aluminum. Pilots who sought a dependable aircraft that they could operate on themselves frequently chose it since it was meant to be simple to maintain and repair.

The Continental A65-8 engine of the SR-100 produced adequate power to propel the vehicle up to 110 mph. With a 500-mile range, it was appropriate for short- to medium-distance flights. The aircraft had a maximum luggage capacity of 200 pounds and could accommodate up to four passengers, including the pilot.

The SR-100 has developed a reputation as a collector’s item over time, and many enthusiasts have brought the aircraft back to its pre-restoration state. A labor of love for many aviation enthusiasts, restoring an SR-100 may be a difficult and time-consuming undertaking. It needs access to difficult-to-find components and materials, in addition to in-depth knowledge of the aircraft’s design and construction.

Despite the difficulties involved in restoring an SR-100, many enthusiasts are intrigued by the plane’s distinctive history and design. It is a testimony to Bill Sorrell’s brilliance and tenacity and serves as a memory of the thrilling early days of flying.

Sorrell’s SR-100, which debuted in 1953, is a fascinating and distinctive aircraft that continues to be adored by aviation enthusiasts all over the world. It is evidence of the ingenuity and tenacity of its maker and serves as a memory of the fascinating early years of flight.

California’s 1954 Sorrell-Manning Special will cross the street

Bob Sorrell worked in aluminum and fiberglass to create automotive bodies from his two-dimensional mechanical drawings. Sorrell created a fiberglass-bodied version of his aluminum SR-100 sports racer after its debut at the 1953 Petersen Motorama. The 1954 Sorrell-Manning Special, which Sorrell preserved for himself, will be auctioned in Santa Monica, California, in July.

Sorrell established a reputation as a man unafraid to tackle obstacles while working with his father in Inglewood, California. In the 1960s, “TV” Tommy Ivo engaged Sorrell Engineering to make the aluminum bodies for his top fuel dragsters. Sorrell once bought the wreckage of a Lister Chevrolet that had crashed and burned at the 1960 Los Angeles Times Grand Prix, aiming to build a winning car. Sorrell-Larkin Special’s fiberglass body and red, white, and blue livery were remarkable.

Sorrell relied on others’ talents early in his career, according to Forgotten Fiberglass. California Metal Shaping built the first Sorrell aluminum roadster in 1953 and mounted it on a Kurtis 500 KK chassis. Sorrell Engineering promoted it as “coming soon” and began producing fiberglass or aluminum SR-100 bodies in roadster or gullwing coupe designs. Mickey Thompson used a Sorrell body in the 1956 Mexican Road Race.

Sorrell relied on others’ talents early in his career, according to Forgotten Fiberglass. California Metal Shaping built the first Sorrell aluminum roadster in 1953 and mounted it on a Kurtis 500 KK chassis. Sorrell Engineering promoted it as “coming soon” and began producing fiberglass or aluminum SR-100 bodies in roadster or gullwing coupe designs. Mickey Thompson used a Sorrell body in the 1956 Mexican Road Race.

It’s unknown how long SR-100 manufacture lasted, although seven bodies were made. Six were sold, while the seventh stayed at Sorrell Engineering. Laster and Pollard’s fiberglass roadster SR-100 was based on a Chuck Manning ladder-frame chassis. Like a funny car, the removable body was hinged at the back to ease access to vital components and systems.

It’s unknown how long SR-100 manufacture lasted, although seven bodies were made. Six were sold, while the seventh stayed at Sorrell Engineering. Laster and Pollard’s fiberglass roadster SR-100 was based on a Chuck Manning ladder-frame chassis. Like a funny car, the removable body was hinged at the back to ease access to vital components and systems.

Today, the car is blue with a Chrysler Marine Hemi V-8 fed by four Zenith carburetors on a Cunningham intake manifold. The corroded Borrani wire wheels have been replaced by Halibrand replicas with knock-off caps, and the engine-turned dash with period-correct Stewart Warner instruments show attention to detail. Since its 2010 premiere, the automobile has been in the Petersen Museum’s “Fantasies in Fiberglass” display and won best in class at the Amelia Island and Keels and Wheels Concours d’Elegance.

Though the Sorrell-Manning Special lacks celebrity ownership or competitive glory, it is a notable piece of Southern California automobile cultural history. Auctions America predicts the Ferrari will get $175,000 to $225,000 in Santa Monica.


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