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Thread: Horst Kwech

  1. #1
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    Horst Kwech

    When I read about early Trans Am stories and then DeKon Engineering I kept seeing the name of Horst Kwech.
    As one quote said"If you mention Horst Kwech to most Australian race fans you'll get a blank stare. But to American Trans Am and IMSA fans, he's an Aussie legend."

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    Horst was actually born in Austria in 1937 and some of his family had to emigrate to Australia during WW 11. He grew up in Cooma, NSW and studied mechanical engineering and raced a A/H 100/4 and then built a custom sports car the RM Spyder powered by a Holden straight 6 motor with a Buchanan body.
    Horst Kwech RM Spyder Bathurst Easter 1960.
    Name:  Horst Kwech. 1960.jpg
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    ( Ken Hyndman )

  3. #3
    He also raced against Frank Matich, I'm not sure if it was in the Healey or the TC...

    John Medley's Bathurst book has more detail.

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    Horst Kwech Monza and Lola T332
    Attached Images Attached Images   

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    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khyndart in CA View Post
    When I read about early Trans Am stories and then DeKon Engineering I kept seeing the name of Horst Kwech.
    As one quote said"If you mention Horst Kwech to most Australian race fans you'll get a blank stare. But to American Trans Am and IMSA fans, he's an Aussie legend."
    Ken, there was a good article on Kwech in Australian Muscle Car a year or two back, and yes well known in IMSA, and Trans-Am, racing mainly for Ford teams. Must dig it out and re-read !!

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    Horst sold the RM Spyder to pay for his move to the US in 1961. He became a lead mechanic at the Knauz Continental Motors, a Alfa Romeo dealership in Lake Forest, Illinois. He began racing in a sports car he designed using Alfa Romeo engines called the AUSCA Mark 2. 1963.
    Name:  Hors Kwech AUSCA.jpg
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    Horst's logo showed how proud he was of his Aussie heritage.Name:  Kwech AUSCA logo.jpg
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    In 1966 his Alfa Romeo GTA also showed his pride in Australia.
    (Check the door and the helmet )
    Name:  Kwech in1966..jpg
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    (Ken Hyndman )

  8. #8
    A later connection with Australia was that he won the 1968 Riverside Trans Am event in a Shelby Mustang.
    This car was subsequently bought and raced by Bob Jane.

    There was a great article on Kwech in issue 61 of Australian Muscle Car (April 2012). Also covered Moffat's and Firth's involvement in those early Trans Am races.

    This site has details of most of the cars Kwech raced in US:
    http://www.racingsportscars.com/driv...Kwech-AUS.html

    See also this forum thread:
    http://forums.autosport.com/topic/11...h#entry4049766

    Suggest you Google:
    "Horst Kwech"
    "Horst Kwech Mustang"
    "Horst Kwech Alfa GTV"
    In each case click on images for great photos.

    If you have gone through all of that you should know all about the guy.

    PS. I'm not sure why the poster of post#3 raises a question he appears to have answered over 10 years ago......

  9. #9
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    So I now ask the question, do we continue this thread or leave it to the previous mentioned sites which were described as ;
    " If you have gone through all of that you should know all about the guy." ?




    (Ken Hyndman )

  10. #10
    Continue with the thread Ken. Well worth talking about.

  11. #11
    As the photo above shows the Ausca Mk 2, was he involved with the Ausca styled from Maserati?
    Last edited by Oldfart; 07-12-2016 at 06:25 PM.

  12. #12
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    In 1966 the SCCA started a national manufacturer's sedan championship called the Trans American Challenge (Trans Am ) both for over 2 liter and under 2 liter (U2) cars. With Alfa Romeo providing works GTAs from Italy and supporting privateers such as Horst's team they proved a winning combination that year. (Horst at speed in his winning Alfa Romeo GTA.)
    Name:  1966. Horst Kwech. Alfa Romeo..jpg
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    The final race at Riverside between a young Alan Moffat in a Lotus Cortina and Horst in his Alfa where they changed positions 25 times was considered an instant classic at the time. Horst Kwech clinched the first Under 2 Liter Trans-Am Manufacturers' Championship with this drive.
    Here is the field that day and you will note that the under 2 liter field is where the excitement is.
    No factory teams yet in the over 2 liter field.
    Frank Gardner drove in place of Ray Parsons that day so Australia was well represented.
    Name:  1966 Riverside field..JPG
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    Host Kwech preparing to race.
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    The best racing of the day.
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    A 1966 poster by the late George Bartell depicting the 1966 U2 SCCA season.
    Name:  1966 Under 2 litre SCCA.jpg
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    ( Ken Hyndman )
    p.s. Thanks Steve.
    Last edited by khyndart in CA; 07-12-2016 at 07:26 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by khyndart in CA View Post
    So I now ask the question, do we continue this thread or leave it to the previous mentioned sites which were described as ;
    " If you have gone through all of that you should know all about the guy." ?

    (Ken Hyndman )
    Sorry Ken, badly worded.

    iInstead of "know all about" should have been "will tell you a lot about the guy"

    Keep up the photos please Ken.

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  15. #15
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    Great stuff Ken. Keep it going.

    Cheers
    Bruce

  16. #16
    Well, Terry, the poster of post 3 wasn't aware he'd asked or answered any questions about Horst ten years ago...

    He's currently embroiled in some very hot US desert weather and maybe he's not thinking too well.

    All the same, he sees that the Alfa is RHD and wonders how this came about.

  17. #17
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    Can you two PLEASE find another venue!!

  18. #18
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    Ray,
    That is an interesting point regarding the RHD Alfa Romeo here in the US races. I can understand the Lotus Cortinas.
    Perhaps Horst felt more comfortable driving like he did in Australia.
    The artist's poster has it as LHD.
    All opinions are welcome on this.


    ( Ken Hyndman )

  19. #19
    Vintage Motorsport did an incredible multi-part series on the Trans-Am series back in the mid-1990s. They covered the series from its inception in 1966, through to circa 1974, by which time it had all but fallen to bits. If someone has a copies, it gives a breakdown of each main car that raced in the series, including the small bore cars which were the backbone for the first couple of years. My copies are in storage, but I thought these might provide details on why the Alfa ran RHD.

  20. #20
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    I don't have the accurate figures of production but Alfa built approximately 500 GTA 1600/1300 cars between 1965 to 1969 so one would presume it was you take what was avaliable.

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