1963 “Super Genie” Mk8. Ex-Dave Ridenour

Chassis #001. USRRC car. Period and vintage winning history.

$130,000

History

This is the ex-Dave Ridenour Genie Mk8, chassis number 001. It is one of eight original “Big Genie” Mk8 cars built by Joe Huffaker for the United States Road Racing Championship (“USRRC”) and SCCA racing. 

These Genies were game-changers. They represented a significant advancement in sports racing cars as they were the first to be designed and produced with the powerful American V8 engines. These were no longer just older European sports cars with V8’s later shoved into them. Huffaker’s Mk8’s changed the sport ultimately leading to the virtually unlimited Can-Am series. 

Ridenour bought this Mk8 brand new from Huffaker in 1963. He sold his front engined Lister to get the Genie knowing that the future was in the new mid-engine V8 cars. His car was powered by a “BOP” (Buick/Olds/Pontiac) Buick V8 engine. These were called the“Big Genies” in comparison to the earlier, smaller, Mk4 Genies that were powered by smaller displacement four cylinder engines. The subsequent Genie Mk8 cars would later be powered by Chevy and Ford V8’s. These cars would be owned/raced by such notables as Pedro Rodriguez, Dan Gurney, Briggs Cunningham, Walt Hansgen, William (“Bill”) Wonder, Joe Huffaker himself, and more. 

Ridenour’s first USRRC race was June 9, 1963 at Laguna Seca. He would finish 16th. The next USRRC round was at Kent, Washington. There Ridenour in his Huffaker entered Genie would come 2nd to Pedro Rodriguez, also driving a Genie Mk8, for the marque’s fist 1-2 finish in a major sports car race. 

On July 28th, Ridenour would claim his first outright win with the Genie at Cotati. He would return to Cotati to take another SCCA win in August. On September 15th, Ridenour and the Genie would capture first place at the SCCA Divisional Races at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. At the 200 mile Riverside race Ridenour would DNF, but Rodriguez would go on to finish 3rd in another Genie. On October 10th, Ridenour would be back to finish 4th at the 200 mile race at Laguna Seca. 

There would be changes for Ridenour and the Genie for 1964. Ridenour would now be sponsored by San Francisco Lincoln Mercury dealer, Jim Wessman. As a result, the Genie would now be powered by a Mercury Comet 289 cubic inch V8. Notice in the photos below the iconic straight exhaust headers standing proud from the engine bay in the now green Genie with the “Jim Wessman Comet Special” livery on the side of the car. 

Ridenour and the Genie would finish 15th at the Laguna Seca round of the USRRC. However, they followed that up with a 3rd in the Kent USRRC race the next weekend in May. 

On May 24th, Ridenour and the Genie won the Players Pacific at Westwood, Canada. They followed that up with another win in the Comet V8 powered car at the SCCA race at Stockton in June. Ridenour would win yet again at the SCCA Divisional Races at Vaca Valley in September. Ridenour would struggle with a couple of DNF’s at Riverside and Laguna, but would finish the year strong with another SCCA victory at Cotati in November. 

In 1965 Ridenour and the Genie would team up for their final season together. They would claim 3rd place at the Laguna round of the USRRC in May, behind Jim Hall and his Chaparral. They would also finish 5th at the Kent USRRC race. In October they would come 5th again at the Laguna 200 mile USRRC race. That would be followed by a DNF at the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside, and a 7th at the 200 mile Las Vegas race at the Stardust International Raceway. 

In 1966, Ridenour changed the body on the Genie to a Fiberfab Aztec GT fiberglass coupe body to race the car as a GT coupe. For more on this fascinating part of the story please see the following links from Tams Old Racecar site.

Dave Ridenour Genie GT1

Dave Ridenour Genie GT2

Dave Ridenour Genie GT3

The Genie was purchased from Johnson in Helena, Montana by John Harden. Funny enough, John was responding to Johnson’s ad for just a 289 Ford racing engine with Webers, but no mention of the Genie. John was looking for a back up engine for Syd Silverman’s Lister Sunbeam Tiger at the time. When he called Johnson, Johnson gave him a price for the engine, but also said that if John was interested, he would give him a package deal for the complete but disassembled Genie too. John had never heard of a Genie, so he flew to Helena to take a look. He wound up buying everything and having it shipped by to his race shop, The Vintage Connection, in Oklahoma City. 

During the next several years the Genie was restored at the Vintage Connection. John would go on to race the Genie to a number of top finishes across the U.S. before selling the car to John “Chip” Fudge. Chip also enjoyed success with the car. Between himself and John Harden, the two of them racked up wins with the Genie at the Brian Redman International Challenge (“BRIC”) at Road Atlanta in 2011. They won again at The Hawk in 2012, where the car was clocked at 177 mph. The Genie won Monterey not once, but twice. It took 3rd at the Sonoma Historic Festival at Sears Point Raceway. It won again at the Lime Rock Historic Festival. That was followed by yet another win at the HMSA Invitational at Laguna Seca, and another at the Mid-America Ford Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Chip then sold the Genie to another friend who raced the car briefly. Unfortunately, he later became ill and passed away. The Genie is now being sold on behalf of his estate. 

The history of this Genie is highly documented with volumes of period newsprint and magazine articles, plus period photographs, and more. The car has been professionally maintained throughout its vintage racing career by The Vintage Connection, Huffaker Motorsports, and Arrowlane of Scottsdale, AZ. The Genie is on-the-button and ready to go.

Description

The Genie is powered by an aluminum block Ford V8 with four downdraft Webers. It has dyno time only on it. The engine produces 500 h.p. at the rear wheels. The ignition was upgraded to an MSD box for reliability, and ease of tuning and maintenance.

The Ford’s power is transmitted through a completely fresh Hewland DG 300, five speed gearbox. The CV joints were also freshened at the same time. The chassis has been completely gone over and checked for any damage or cracks. 

Other things that have been done to the Genie in the past few years include, but are not limited to, the fuel cell being replaced in 2014. The shocks were dynoed in 2020. The car received a new Ron Davis aluminum radiator in 2021. The Genie was also repainted in 2021. The headers were ceramic coated in 2022. 

The paint is in excellent condition. The car is currently geared for Laguna or Sonoma. The Genie was last fully prepped to race at the Monterey Reunion in 2023. However it was not run due to the owner’s illness. The car remains in that pre-race prep condition. 

The Genie would be an excellent entry for not only local and regional historic races, but also premier events worldwide. These would include events like the Monterey Reunion in the U.S, as well as international events, such as Goodwood, where the car would compete for the Whitsun Trophy. This Genie would be not only a bargain entry for the premier events, but also a very popular U.S. built entry for overseas events, and a legitimate threat to win wherever it goes. 

 All vehicle descriptions are accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. Corrections, and supplemental information, are always welcome. Buyers are responsible for confirming vehicle histories, condition, and authenticity to their own satisfaction prior to purchase. Motorsports Market is not the owner of the vehicle and assumes no liability for errors and omissions.

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Photos

Additional photos of the Genie will be posted as they are received.

 

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