contact: Bill Bottorff
Carrera Panamericana type Race Car, built in 1956 by Cecil Funk of Springfield, Illinois
We would like to contact anyone who knows anything about any of these cars or the people who built and raced them. My brother Jim Bottorff met a guy in the grocery store parking lot in Winfield who had a friend in high school in Massachusetts who had one of these cars. There must be others who know something.
Write to Bill Bottorff
From Cecil Funk II (Phone conversation Aug. 17, 2007) From Gary Ori (email 10/22/2012)
Cecil Funk circa 1958. Cecil Funk & Joe Ori 1967
Cecil Funk was the chief body man at Bates Chevrolet in Springfield. (Bates later became Friendly Chevrolet.)
The car in these pictures was built starting in 1956, about two years before these pictures were taken.
This car was purchased in 1967 by Joe Ori who was a Service Writer at Bates Chevrolet.
Joe sold the car to Steve Skipton, another Springfield car guy, in about 1982.
My guess is that Steve painted the car before racing it. Then it got it's current paint when it went into the museum.
This is how the car looked when I bought it in 2001.
Another car was built and sold as a rolling chassis to Wally Troy in 1958.
Troy put a Chevy Corvette 283 engine in it. It was featured in a Hot Rod Magazine article in October 1960 (we are looking for this article). The Troy car had an aluminum frame and an aluminum body which was very unusual for a hot rod in that time period. Cecil Funk was the only guy in Springfield that was build aluminum cars in the mid fifties.
This car has been restored by Bill Hebal of Stephens Point, Wisconsin who showed it at the 2003 International Route 66 Mother Road Festival and Car Show in Springfield, IL. Cecil Funk II reports that he saw this "Cecil Funk Special" at this show and that it was in show willing condition..
Cecil Funk was born in Funkhauser, IL in June of 1919 and served in the Rangers in the South Pacific in WWII. He saw action on New Guinea and in the Phillipines. After the war he worked as a strip miner in Rushville and as a house painter before taking up car body work. He was acknowledged to be one of the best body men around who could fix anything, or build it from scratch if necessary.
Below are Cecil Funk, his family and his car. Pictures were taken at the Cecil Funk home in 1958. Note Cecil Funk II in shorts with his Mom Marjorie and his sister Cecilia in the car with her Dad.