Spitzer Race Cars Closing Up Shop After 53 Years In Drag Racing – Dragzine

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After 53 years serving the drag racing community, Indiana’s Spitzer Race Cars this week announced it will be closing it doors in 2024, as founder Mike and Karen Spitzer sail away into retirement. Based in Greenfield, Indiana, the company has been a driving force in race car development.

Mike attended the first NHRA Nationals held in Indianapolis in 1961 and dreamed about one day owning a racing team and participating at Indy. That dream later came true. In 1971 Mike built a unique rear-engined C/Dragster in his home workshop, doing so at a time when rear-engined cars were just starting to appear in Top Fuel and nobody thought the concept valid for a Competition Eliminator car. With his brother Jim at the wheel, the Spitzer brother set the NHRA national record for E.T. and speed, and set off a rear-engined revolution in the sportsman ranks. Impressed with Spitzer’s trend-setting designs, her racers sought to have Mike build cars for them, and for the next decade Mike did double-time as an auto-body vocational instructor while building race cars in the evenings.
Mike was eventually forced to decide whether to devote his full energy to building race cars or stick to teaching. Racing won out, And the rest, they say, is history.
In the late 1980s Spitzer Enterprises fielded a four-car team, which included Mike’s son, Dean, driving a unique Super Comp dragster, noted Top Alcohol Dragster campaigner Keith Stark, and Comp standout Wayne Henderson. Dean was following in his father’s footsteps and was learning the fabricating side of the business while studying Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University when he was tragically killed in a highway accident in 1989.

The building that has housed the composites shop at Spitzer Enterprises was named “Deanco” in his honor.
Spitzer Enterprises was a leading builder for decades, and there were periods during its history where it was easier to identify the dragsters, altereds, and junior dragsters that were not built by Mike and his team at the racetrack. Their efforts rose all the way to the Top Fuel ranks, where fellow Indianapolis resident Paul Romine piloted a unique Spitzer-crafted dragster in the 2000s.
The Spitzer’s are auctioning off equipment, tooling, parts, memorabilia, and the 30,000 square feet of building space in the coming weeks, and plan to close their doors for good in 8-10 weeks.

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Andrew Wolf
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