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						Blank Canvas Byers 1
Blank-Canvas Byers

Byers SR100 Roadster

By Dean Larson

Let me state for the record that I’d love to bring this Byers home. Early glass roadsters like this SR100 and the Glasspar G2 really do it for me, especially, when finished with crude American V8s and modest detail work. The Byers for sale here should be a good purchase as it is mechanically sound and ready to be finished to your preference.

It’s not everyday that a Byers comes up for sale. Best estimates put the total SR100 production at just 25-50 units, with less than half of these produced by Jim Byers, and the remaining being built by Kellison. The styling of the SR100 was well received and the February 1957 issue of Road and Track featured a striking Byers on its cover. Road and Track’s owner and editor at the time, John Bond, was quite fond of the car and posed the question “World’s most beautiful sports car?” It’s believed that Bond even purchased an SR100 body and wrote about the build process in Road and Track, quite the endorsement for the tiny Byers operation.

I would venture to say that the car for sale here is a near-ideal candidate if you’re a fan of the SR100. The car looks to be drivable and in great condition for its age, with just cosmetic details needed. It’s difficult to determine what chassis is underneath the skin from the photos, but nothing jumps out as being dishonest and the transverse front leaf spring is typical for this type of build. The matte black paint (likely from a rattle can) does not look the best, but should highlight any flaws in the car’s bodywork. Nothing obvious jumps out in the photos, and all door jams and panel gaps look exceptional. The interior of the Byers is very simple, but we’re not complaining and everything shows well.

Prospective buyers should find no complaints under the hood. A Ford Flathead V8 powers the Byers and its even equipped with some some rare, period-correct bolt-ons. A Navarro Racing model intake sits on top the cast-iron block with dual Stromberg carbs. Haven’t heard of Barney Navarro? He claimed his speed parts could meet or beat anything the “big names” had to offer and he didn’t lie. In a 2012 Ford Flathead intake shootout, Hot Rod magazine found Navarro’s dual and triple carb intakes to be the best performers in their respective categories, and not by a little. Also present under the hood are a set of rare Thickstun heads, identifiable by the barely-readable logo on the lower-center of the head.

The seller of the Byers claims the car runs and drives well, and run it must. Punching the loud pedal on this roadster has to emit an awesome soundtrack from those tiny side pipes. The seller suggests that the wire wheels be removed and a set of Chrysler hubcaps be added to match the Road and Track cover car, but I can’t agree. Aside from some paint and the missing grill insert and wheel centers, I’d love to drive it as is.

There's been a lot of interest in the Byers with 25 bids placed for a high bid of $22,322 and 2 days remaining in the auction. The car is a bit difficult to value though, due to its rarity. We've seen SR100s come up with asking prices from $3,000 to $125,000, so it's anyone's guess what the reserve is on this one.

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