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Copyright 2021 - Copyright Stefan Vapaa 2016
  • Owner Name: Bill Rutan
  • Location: Centerbrook, CT USA
  • Contact:
  • When did you purchase your Formula S?: 1966
  • Serial #:
  • Body color: Orange with blue stripe
  • Chassis color:
  • Engine: 1963 1 liter Cosworth, 120-136 hp
  • Transmission: Hewland Front Shift MK7
  • Wheel & Tire package: American Racer mags 5.5x13 F, 7x13 R
  • Brakes:
  • Ownership history and / or racing history:
  • Intention to vintage race:

Comments: Bill and this car won the SCCA Formula C Championship in 1967.

 Bill Rutan passed away on April 4th, 2018. I am not aware of the location or condition of his car at this time.



Karl Ludvigsen Photo of Bill Rutan's Formula S in Formula C

The Revs Institute maintains their Revs Digital Library that is available for anyone to browse online. It contains a treasure trove of photographs and documents about motor racing history all over the world.

Here is such a photo.


As described on the Revs site, the photo was taken by Karl Ludvigsen in 1967 at the Bridghampton track in New York, USA. It shows clearly the Colotti transaxle and rear suspension and chassis modifications that Bill engineered. 1967 is the year Bill won the Formula C National Championship with this car, however it had the Cosworth motor installed when he won that race. Here, in this photo, it is clear that the SAAB two-stroke engine is still installed. Bill's recounting says that the Cosworth conversion was completed by July 1967, so this photo must have been earlier in the year.

I know of only two photos of this car, both taken by Karl Ludvigsen. This one is by far the best quality.

Details of Bill's Formula S history

This is a letter from Bill Rutan that he sent to Tom Cox when Tom was putting together one of the Formula S registers back in the early 90's. It summarizes much of the history of Bill's Formula S and the modifications he applied to it.  There are many items of interest tucked away within it.

In my transcription of the letter, I have attempted to clarify some of the abbreviations for better readability. However, in the interest of retaining the tone and personality of the letter, I chose not to edit Bill's personal grammatical style.


Bill Rutan
Centerbrook, Connecticut 06409

Quantum Formula “S”; Formula C Configuration

Chassis Number:

“I couldn't guess, and I must admit I don't know where the no's are stamped. It may be there if I know where to look.”


“F II circa 63/66 1 Liter Cosworth SCA/C.”


“Approx 120 to 136 HP”

Wheel Type & Tire Size:

“As originally Cosworth powered 5 ½” -13” Minilites front (long gone) 7” - 13” American Racing Mags rear (still on car)”

Tire Mfg:

“Firestone / Goodyear”


“As originally SAAB powered used a Colloti (VW based). As powered by Cosworth used Hewland rear shift 5 spd. As powered w/Cosworth SCC (1100cc) used Hewland front shift MK7 trans.”


“Orig red gel coat. Now sick orange with blue striping.”

Racing History:

“First raced Runoffs at Riverside, California 1966. Car started out as kit. Was built up by me 1st w/standard suspension but with my hubs in front w/Airheart calipers and discs with C/V outer rear joints SAAB disc hubs (ft) with Airheart calipers. Same single puck as on front (front should be double). Inner joints of my development using Detroit small Dodge/ply size providing slip. (A very good joint that I still provide for people needing both angle and slip. (No friction))

Engine special 3 carb unit supplied by Sweden offered as 93 HP (I question that). Formula C dictated more power. Next stage Cosworth engine as above w/Hewland gutted VW transmission.

Complete new rear frame from firewall back using more contemporary double trailing double transverse Hiem joint rods. Retained SAAB (front) uprights and brakes as above. This completed by July 1967 then provided me with 5 national wins (I think) and points to go to Daytona Runoffs where I won F/C.

Before going to Daytona front of frame from ankle area forward was re[placed (move 4” tube) along with double leading double transverse Hiem joint rods retaining Quantum front uprights.

After winning runoffs I sold car to H “Wick” Williams of Chattanooga, TN. He ordered complete rework using his Cosworth injected SCC 1100CC w/Hewland MK 7 6 spd gearbox zinc plated ancillary suspension parts chrome plated shift stuff etc. Car remained gel coat red as nearly all Quantums were (there were a few blue gel coat bodies made). Wick campaigned car and qualified car for Riverside California Runoffs, but declined to run.

I ran the car in one N.E. Regional in October 1968 but lost it in practice (wet) at Thompson CT. Did sufficient damage to preclude running on Sunday. I parted car for “Wick” and sold components (repairing my stupid damage at no charge obviously) and gave money to Wick.

I repaired car and sold engine to Howie Fairbanks out in central US somewhere.

Sold rolling chassis less gearbox to Ray Davis in RI. Ray installed Hewland MK 4 gearbox and Cosworth M.A.E. F III engine. Raced car maybe one time or two and parked it.

I bought it back around 1981 or so. It wears a bad orange and blue paint job big American Mags 7” front 9” rear x 13” w/ Goodyear Bluestreaks big enough for Formula “B” cars (no way necessary).

This past spring 1992 I commenced to rebuild car in preparation to run limited historic racing, but as I am presently Hill Climbing in Pennsylvania and New England climbs using my 41 year old VW special w/Porsche Carrera engine (assembled since spring 1958) I have not completed restoration and have re-stored car in loft (on its side) along with 1968 Tecno FII car and 1969 Tecno FIII car, 16 or so moldy old motorcycles etc.

I am constructing new VW based Hillclimb special hopefully for 1993 season but realistically probably for 1994 seasons (when you become eligible for S./S. (and still can't spell) you just don't accomplish as much as you used to.

Please copy and return this rather lengthy copy to me as I don't have copy mach.

Tks, Bill.

PS) The Blue gel coat Quantum w/3 carb prototype dry sump 40mm units on a 903ccm engine went to Bob Woodwards or Woodard who worked for SAAB when they were in New Haven, CT. This car I qualified for Riverside California Runoffs during 1966 and Qualified for Daytona Runoffs in 1965. That was the best running Quantum of any in the country. I think Bob moved either to Ohio or Iowa.

PS II) I have some new rear body sections and miscellaneous parts of Quantums and offer repair service on front uprights general historic race car service and repair specializing in 50/60s formula and sports racers.

PS III) The picture of the Quantum you enclosed in the rear of the folder is my reconstructed car at Riverside California during the 1966 Runoffs. I finished 3rd or 4th in F/C w/obviously the smallest engine there.

(Bravo for your effort !!)

(Written on back of envelope)

“I really need a 1' high stack of non legal size yellow lined pads. That way I could write more to you.”