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July 4th, 2007

From left ro right: Jack Reuter, Mary Reuter Kuly, Brenda and Cliff Reuter.

This remarkable story began in June 2006, when VeloceToday received an email from one Mary Kuly, who wrote that her father, “Clair E. Reuter, purchased a Bandini 750cc in has been in storage for over fifty years. Please contact me in regards to this rare and unique car...”

Read Reuter Bandini Part I

Clair E. Reuter's Bandini number 89 in 1957, before the body was removed and replaced with an Ermini based Devin fiberglas body.

Thus began an interesting correspondence, during which Mrs. Kuly sent many photographs of her father’s Bandini as it was raced in the mid fifties. But Clair, now 75, was in the hospital and Mary didn’t know what do to about the Bandini.

Clair E. Reuter in 1975.

And suddenly, while we were corresponding, Clair Reuter died. At a loss, Mary Kuly and her brothers needed advice, help and wanted to ensure that the Bandini ended up in the right hands.

Ironically, we turned to Jack Reuter, who with his son Cliff also lived in the Midwest. The families were not related, but both Jack and Clair had raced Bandinis, and Jack still owned his. Cliff and Jack were soon on their way to Clair Reuter’s garage, and eventually a deal was worked out which made everyone happy.

Read Reuter Bandini Part II

Almost exactly a year later, On June 15th 2007, we received another package from Mary Kuly.

The beautiful Devin Monza bodied Bandini looks great with just a clean up and some of Jack's spare 15" Borrani wire wheels.

“Sorry if it’s taken so long for me to send these pictures….Cliff and his parents invited me down for the St. Louis Easter Car show on April 7th because they were showing the Bandini.”

After much effort the spartan cockpit looks new again.

Cliff and Jack have decided to keep the Clair Reuter Bandini as a Devin bodied car--one of their interests is also the variety of Devin bodied specials from the 1950s and 60s. They fully appreciate the artistry of what Clair did to join the Devin body shell with the Bandini chassis and think that it would be a great shame to destroy this ingenious solution to the problem of having an older beat up aluminum body when a new light weight fiberglass aerodynamic body (styled after an Ermini) was readily available.

A most remarkable find. After fifty years Cliff and Jack found the original body intact, complete with the race numbers.

After running down some old leads Cliff and Jack were lucky enough to find the original Bandini body, complete with Sandy MacArthur's number 89 still on the nose. "It's great to have the original Bandini body pieces which include the larger gas cap opening (only two Bandinis have this) and the side opening headlights (only Motto bodied Bandinis have this), but once again we love and admire the car as she sits today!"

A lot of work had been done to the Devin Bandini since the purchase, and Cliff and Jack were eager to have Mary see the results. Mary too, was excited. “Cliff met me at the hotel and I followed him to his parent’s house. I’ve got to tell you, I really felt like I knew Cliff’s mom. She was wonderful and Cliff felt like a little brother to me. I'm not sure he would feel that but I did. What a great guy he is. His passion for these cars runs through his blood. I think he eats and sleeps Bandini. He tells me every time I talk to him "he just can't get enough" of these cars. I'm sure he makes his beautiful wife Tracy crazy at times. He's a very lucky man with his wife and his little boy Preston."

Here is the 1958 Crosley 750cc engine, restored by Jerry Greaves, and complete with a Bandini oil pan ready to be installed.

Mary was further amazed at what she found in the garage. “I hadn’t seen dad’s car look so good since I was a little girl.” Then she caught a glimpse of the Crosley engine. “I couldn’t believe my eyes!” Then Cliff and Jack showed her the original Bandini body. “They had just bought it a day or two before I got there, fifty years after it was separated from the car. Who would have thought?! I do remember to my surprise how much Jack and my father were alike. Same set up, a basement garage. Both into art, dad was a fabulous artist in his younger years of which we never knew. Both very tall and thin. Very quiet men and very much deep thinkers. Great passion for racing and their families and both men, highly, highly intelligent."

Clair Reuter and his son sit in the Bandini after installing the Devin body.

On Sunday the entire crew ventured forth to a cold St. Louis car show, where people swarmed around the Bandini and were amazed at seeing this incredibly rare Italian/American veteran of SCCA H mod racing. More on SCCA and etceterinis can be found on the Reuter's website,

Mary returned home, thinking along the way about how the Reuter’s brought Clair’s car back to life. “It’s all come around, and I know my father would be pleased.”

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