Fronty Ford Model T Racers

Once upon a time Chevrolet made parts for Ford cars — Ford racing cars, that is. Louis Chevrolet and his brothers formed the Frontenac Motors Corporation in 1916. The company was named after the 17th century governor of France’s North American colonies, in order to hide the fact that the Chevrolet brothers were doing something other than making Chevrolet cars, especially with the competition’s chassis! The Frontenac race cars they produced were nicknamed “Fronty Fords”.

The Frontenacs enjoyed numerous victories during the 1916 and 1917 seasons before the suspension of racing activities for World War I.

1921 was the last Fronty win at Indianapolis and Chevrolet went on to make heads and valve assemblies for Model T dirt track racers. His engines were virtually unbeatable, and were raced across the country well into the 1940s.

Ford Racing At Indianapolis Speedway

In the early 1920s, Frontenac found themselves in the company of the world’s finest racing machines. In 1923 L.L. Corum took a Fronty Ford to fifth place, winning $3,000.00 in prize money. These racers proved that they were among the finest and fastest cars in the world.
On May 30th 1924, Henry Ford acted as official referee of the Indianapolis 500. Before the race, Ford posed for this photo in a Fronty Racer built by Arthur Chevrolet.

During the 1924 race the Fronty Fords kept up a steady pace with top speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour on the straightaways. This race was the fastest ever run at Indianapolis, up to that point. By the end of the race, all three Fronty Fords were still in the field, running smoothly. Even though they didn’t win, they had all bettered their qualifying times, and finished with times faster than the previous year’s record speeds.