This 1965 Koch Chevy Special was the D-MOD National Champion at the 1967 American Road Race of Champions at Daytona, driven by Wayne Koch. When SCCA abolished D-Mod in 1968, this one-and-only mid- engined sportsracer was retired, set aside, neglected, and forgotten. It is now restored and most notably competed in the 2017 60th Rolex Monterey Historic Reunion, Group 7a.
Abandoned for years, the Koch was discovered in the early 80's at Can-Am Cars, Ltd. where it was resurrected, restored, and then raced sporting a Porsche 2.0L six engine and 901 transaxle and maintained by Black Forest Racing. In the early 90's it was sold to Waren Mosler, owner of Mosler Automotive (supercar builder), where it was restored to its unique original configuration with the Chevy II-based 4 cylinder engine and Porsche 356 swingaxle for authentic historic racing. At this time, the chassis was upgraded and set up by Consulier Engineering and raced by Chet Fillip, their head of engineering and factory driver, "I drove the car once at the West Palm Beach street race with SVRA. I started in the back and won. It was a fun car to drive. It had good brakes and I received some complaints about my 'Late Braking' ".
To regain the original weight to power ratio – with the additional weight of the upgraded chassis – the engine was upgraded to a full race GM/Mercruiser 3.0 liter inline 4 cylinder, configured with a roller camshaft, roller rockers, big-bore valves, custom J&E domed pistons, and dual 45 DCOE side-draft weber carburetors producing 246 HP at 6500 RPM and 212 FP of torque at 5000 RPM.
The current owner has owned the racer since January of 2014. Since that time the Porsche swingaxle has been upgraded to a 356C LSD along with necessary race modifications completed by 356 Enterprises. The engine has been rebuilt by Nickens Brothers Racing Engines and the car is now fully sorted resulting in a very competetive and fast car! When it runs in SVRA, it competes in the group with GT40s, Chevron B16s, Lotus 23s, Porsche 910s, Porsche Carrera 6, Porsche 908s, Elvas, Bobsys, etc. It is an eclectic, exciting group!
The current owner had the opportunity to discuss the history with the original builder and driver, Wayne (Cookie) Koch. He was a civil and aeronautical engineer, and a national model airplane winner at 12 years of age, he knew about structural integrity. To determine torsional and structural strength requirements, he designed the Koch frame out of straws – twisting and turning the model and adjusting the design as necessary. After completing the straw model, he built and welded the space frame chassis out of 1 inch mild steel tube. The body was inspired and designed based upon a 7/8-sized Chaparral and built out of aluminum panel and fiberglass utilizing molds crafted by Koch. The build process took about one year to complete. This was truly the height of the home- built era.
Designed as a mid-engine sports racer, the transmission of choice at the time, readily and economically available, was the Porsche 356 swingaxle. A balanced and blue printed four cylinder 153 c.i. Chevy II engine was selected as it was a common and successful USAC midget racing engine, which easily revved to 7000RPM. Two SU carburetors were utilized as Webers were too expensive for this one-off home built, as Koch told me,"They would about doubled what it cost me to build the car!". The custom flywheel was designed and built by Koch and mated to a clutch and pressure plate from a VW Transporter. At about 1050 pounds, the Koch Chevy Special achieved an aggressive weight to horse power ration of 5.5 to 1.
The car originally rode on Firestone tires with 7” wide 15” Triumph rims in the front and 8” wide 15” rims in the rear, which were custom fabricated by Koch out of 3 VW rims cut and welded together to achieve the desired width. After winning the Mid-West SCCA Regional Championships with Firestones, a good friend – a Goodyear dealer – insisted on outfitting the car with Goodyear race tires to attend the 1967 SCCA American Road Race Championships in Daytona.
The Koch Chevy Special was very successfully raced during the 1966 and 1967 Mid-West SCCA division in the D-Mod classification, where Wayne Koch won 7 out of the 8 races he entered. His successes won him the 1967 SCCA Mid-West Regional National Championship, which also earned him the opportunity to attend the 1967 SCCA American Road Race of Champions at Daytona, where he out- distanced the class for an impressive win.
Additional information: Rear: 10x15 aluminum rims with 245/45 Hoosier STTDS Front: 8x15 aluminum rims with 225/45 Hoosier STTDS Front: TR3 spindle and disc brakes Rear: Porsche 356 aluminum drums recently rebuilt by The Machine Shop.
Spares include an Ansen Chevy II engine, with the following Ansen products: Aluminum crossflow head, valve cover, timing chain cover, lifter side cover, intake manifolds mated to Weber 45 DCOE carbs and Joe Hunt Magneto. Engine needs final assembly.
Original Trophy from 1967 ARRC at Daytona.
D-MOD National Champion at the 1967 American Road Race of Champions at Daytona. 2017 60th Rolex Monterey Historics Reunion in Group 7a Race history is known from its discovery in 1982 to present - documented by owners and in log books - as well as its racing history in 1967.
Front Suspension: Custom with TR3 spindles and brakes