1912 Haynes Model 20 Great Race Speedster

Frank Kleptz and his son David were active in all aspects of the motoring hobby, from restoring cars, showing them, and even racing them. During the 1980s and 1990s, the Kleptzs were avid competitors in the Great American Race (now known as The Great Race). This challenging regularity rally is for cars at least 45 years old, pitting competitors against the clock, and the elements, testing willpower, mechanical skills, and antique machinery over thousands of grueling miles. The Great Race is as much a test of physical and mental endurance as it is a test of driving prowess, and competitors are known to go to extreme measures to nurse their ailing machines to the start of the next stage.

This rare and intriguing 1912 Haynes Model 20 is one of several Great Race veterans offered from the Kleptz collection. It features a classically-styled speedster body consisting of little more than a couple of bucket seats, a period-correct oval fuel tank, and a small storage trunk for spares and weather gear. In its speedster guise, the Haynes a fabulously minimalist machine with impressive performance potential from its 30 horsepower four-cylinder engine. Evocative details include the twin rear spares, brass tail lamp, and gorgeous B&L Auto Lamp headlights – which David Kleptz recons cost as much as the rest of the car did!

Thanks to the meticulous preparation by Frank Kleptz, the Haynes proved to be a formidable competitor in the 1988 Great Race, which stretched and wound some 4,500 miles across the country. Much of their rally was uneventful until a lapse in concentration somewhere outside of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, saw the Haynes collide with the scenery, resulting in a mangled front end and, worryingly, a broken front frame horn. Undaunted, Frank found a heavy truck shop willing to open its doors and, working through the night with his crew, managed to weld and straighten the frame, rebuild the front end, and get the car back on the road in time for the start the next morning! It was an incredible display of Frank’s moxie and the “press on regardless” spirit of the Great Race.

Since that fateful event, the chassis was restored, and the car returned to run the 1993 event from Huntington Beach, California, to Norfolk, Virginia. It has since lived a quiet retirement in the Kleptz Collection, yet it remains in good cosmetic condition, with a pleasing patina and authentic, race-ready look. The four-cylinder engine has received preliminary checks, and it has been test-fired and run briefly. Due to the extended period of storage, it will require further recommissioning.

The evocative Haynes would make an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to compete in the Great Race or similar veteran endurance events but doesn’t want to build a car from scratch. The Haynes speedster is brimming with character and is ready for its next keeper to carry Frank’s legacy into the future.


Please note, this Haynes is titled as a 1913.


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