Phil & Kathy Laursen live in Gilroy, California (the garlic capital of the world, in case you didn't get wind of that), where Phil describes himself as a recovering High School teacher, after having spent 35 years teaching youngsters the finer points of psychology and World Studies. During that time Phil and Kathy have had a wide range of interesting vehicles, not the least of which is this Zipper roadster. Darryl Zipp founded the Zipper Motors company, where they produce ready to assemble components that come together as funky little roadsters, or coupes, that can be individualised with your own drive-line, paint and trim.

Phil's Zipper was treated to a fairly distinctive power plant to begin with - a GM crate engine, of the 350 ZZ4 kind. These have 4 bolt mains, 23° Fast Burn alloy heads, and a lumpy cam, which combine to produce at least 430 hp at the flywheel. There are some outstanding finishing touches to the assemblage; the paint is a custom combination of DuPont with clear over base, with some very fine pin striping and artwork applied by Real Ralph, a well travelled artist who tours the US, visiting various car show. The interior was fitted by none other than Hot Rod Hall of Fame upholsterer Howdy Ledbetter, another well known character in the California hot rod movement.

How low can you go? The Zipper truly hugs the ground, spelling doom for all but the skinniest of local snakes.

The flowers, and verdant Nor-Cal forest are in perfect harmony with the tones of the little trackster.

The most successful of the early tracksters were out & out race cars, therefore drilled axles were the norm.

In this angle the dark woods provide a nice contrast to the top of the yellow body.

Not visible here is the 700R4 automatic overdrive tranny, which allows the roadster to cruise at 70 mph, while ticking over at just 1900 rpm.

A dab hand at photography, Phil photographed his own Zipper, with Nor-Cal vineyards as a backdrop.

The wheels are amongst the very last of those sold by Halibrand - 15"s in the front and 16s on the Jag style rear.

The rear end is derived from a Jag, though the bottom control arms are individually adjustable, as a video in the Zipper site points out. Note the period correct friction shocks that are used front and rear.

Sure, you can personalize your Zipper in a multitude of ways, as the striping and red headed wood pecker illustrate.

The Golden Gate never looked better, enhanced by this view of Kathy, the roadster, and the cars of friends.

The old-timey saloon is a great backdrop to the topless trackster, given the outlaw connection to early tracksters.

Phil is particularly interested in driving events, in the company of friends and fellow enthusiasts.

Another roadside shot shows the Zipper off to great effect.

Accreditation: The Editor,
details and photos by
Phil Laursen.
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