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Lee Dykstra


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#1 Beejay17

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 05:09

Following on from the Horst Kwech thread, I was wondering if our American friends can help with more information on the career of engineer Lee Dykstra.

I do know a bit: he was originally a General Motors man, starting work with the Cadillac Motor Company. He graduated in the top 15 percent of his class with a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering from the General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan. He joined Ford’s racing program in the mid-sixties, where, at the age of 26, he was involved in the Ford GT40 program. In ’68 Dykstra headed up the design team on Carroll Shelby’s Trans Am Mustangs. Later he transferred to Kar Kraft as a senior project engineer, doing the suspension design and development work for the ’69 Trans Am cars. When that part of the Ford empire closed down, he was appointed to research and design on Ford’s ESV safety vehicle and after-market race packages.

Dykstra later began supervising Horst Kwech’s efforts racing a Capri V6 in the U.S., with the result that he was invited to Cologne to pass on a few of his findings to the European factory racing team. When Allan Moffat took his Aussie Falcon to the States, Dykstra and other former Ford engineers worked on the development of the car.

Later he and Kwech began designing and building the IMSA Chev Monzas at Dekon Engineering.
Dykstra apparently then spent several years doing engineering work for CART, Can-Am, IMSA and Pikes Peak projects including the Group 44 Jags. He became Chief Engineer for the Player’s Forsythe team working with Patrick Carpentier, the late Greg Moore and Bryan Herta before joining CART itself as Director of Technology and Competition.

Brett

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#2 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 17:24

I have the following designs credited to Lee Dykstra :

CAC-1 and CAC-2 CanAm cars (1980-1981)
Jaguar XJR-5 and XJR-7 IMSA GTP cars (1982 and 1985)
Fabcar/Porsche 911ME IMSA GTS2 car (spaceframe clone) (1995)

And on the picture below the Mazda RX792P IMSA GTP car from 1992.

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#3 petefenelon

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 17:51

Originally posted by Beejay17
Following on from the Horst Kwech thread, I was wondering if our American friends can help with more information on the career of engineer Lee Dykstra.

Brett


I seem to recall that a Dykstra (probably Lee) has been involved with designing cars for the Pike's Peak hillclimb - there's been several Donners on the hill (a bit like the Unsers) in Donner/Dykstras.

pete

#4 Allen Brown

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 19:12

All Dykstra's paper, designs, etc are now in the Watkins Glen library.

Allen

#5 Don Capps

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 20:16

Allen beat me to it! I have briefly looked at Dykstra's materials at the IMRRC and plan to make time on a future trip to examine them more closely. In the book on the IMSA prototypes, Dykstra shows up more than a few times.

#6 Beejay17

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 22:54

Originally posted by Allen Brown
All Dykstra's paper, designs, etc are now in the Watkins Glen library.

Allen


The Watkins Glen library is on the other side of the world for me :

So anything, snippets or whatever, would be greatly appreciated, especially details of his time with Kar Kraft.

As for the Pikes Peak cars, I understand they were done for one of the Millens.