Historic Race Car

The British Car Swap Meet has proven itself to be a valuable event for those looking to find that missing bit for their car, or the elusive part for their restoration project. But it has also provided the opportunity fol those in the British car hobby to meet new businesses who provide the automotive services one may be looking for. One such business is Historic Race Car, located in Woodstock, Illinois.

Established ten years ago by Yves Boode, Historic Race Car was initially founded to provide service, repair, and preparation of historic and vintage race cars. The business expanded to include classic street cars, which is now about 90% of their business, with a special expertise in Austin Minis and Renaults. In fact, the rarer and more obscure the car, the more they like it. Yves is a native of the Netherlands, who learned the ropes as a race car mechanic. He came to the United States 18 years ago, working in New York at first, then relocating to the Chicago area four years later. Co-owner Rich Range is a retired electronics engineer who has a knack for debugging automotive electrical gremlins. He also is an expert with the Mini.

Yves was kind enough to give me the nickel tour of the three units that comprise Historic Race Car. In unit one, the Office is typical of a business of this sort. The walls ate adorned with racing and automotive photos and posters, while all of the flat surfaces are covered with a mixture of shop manuals, auto books, and parts and supplies. The shop in back contains two auto lifts, and machines of the trade to repair or fabricate various bits, such as a lathe, mill, surface grinder, etc. Unit two is where engine assembly takes place. Any precision machine work is farmed out, but HRC has an engine test stand and a dynamometer. Unit three is storage for cars that are in process.

Yves showed me his current project, a 1954 Fiat Siata, which he is busy preparing for the Mille Miglia regularity event for classic cars being held May 11-15th. In fact, this car was an actual competitor of the famous Italian road race in 1954. Another ongoing project is a 1935 MG-P, being restored for exhibit at Peoria’s Wheels O’ Time museum.

Of particular interest to Lotus owners is the expertise that Yves has with Renault engines (used on S1 and S2 Europas), and Renault transmissions (used on all Europas), as well as the Ford-based Lotus Twin Cam engine. In fact, HRC is happy to work on any of the older, classic sports cars. “If it has a computer, I don’t want to see it” says Yves. He is also experienced in fiberglass repair and mold making, although he does not do auto painting.

You can learn more about Historic Race Car on their web site: www.historicracecar.com, or you can contact them at info@historicracecar.com, or telephone 815-337-4001.

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