Chuck Manning

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Chuck Manning's 1939 Ford Coupe. Before building the Chuck Manning Special in 1951, Chuck also built and raced this customized coupe. Photo courtesy of John Manning, provided by Joel Driskill of Chuck Manning Special Build Blog.

Charles "Chuck" Manning was an aerospace engineer that built his own race car using old Ford parts. Known as the Chuck Manning Special, Chuck's race car beat the best sports cars of its day including Ferraris and Allards among others.[1]

Chuck grew up in Utah. Later on he moved to California where he began to work as an aerospace engineer. Chuck worked primarily at Douglas Aircraft, but he also worked for the likes of North American and Aerojet among others. Chuck made it a hobby of his to use his engineering knowledge and apply it to racing cars. Chuck constructed a very light and rigid frame/chassis set up for the [[Chuck Manning Special]. After building the car, Chuck wrote several articles for Road and Track and other magazines about how to build your own race car. As many people asked for plans, he supplied these for $2 each. According to Chuck's friends, enough people sent him $2 in the mail that the authorities questioned if he was running a scam. Chuck wasn't running a scam, instead he was arming the special builder with the framework to compete against the big boys in racing at low cost.[2]

Before building the Chuck Mannins Special in 1951, Chuck customized a 1939 Ford Coupe that he used for daily transportation. Chuck's coupe featured a lot of the same tricks that that he used on the engine for the Chuck Manning Special race car. He made his own twin coil and fit them both with dual point distributors. The coupe was also used for racing, and a photo of Chuck racing the car at the Sandburg Hill Climb in late 1951 was printed in Motor Trend Magazine.[1]

Chuck died in 1959.[1]

Chuck Manning's Cars

Chuck Manning's 1939 Ford Coupe
The Chuck Manning Special



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