Frank Kurtis began building midgets in California in the late 1940s and in the mid-1950s his front-engined roadsters were very successful at the Indianapolis 500, although their identity was usually disguised by a sponsor's name. Kurtis chassis ran at Indy with various engines but found success with the 4.2-liter Meyer-Drake Offenhauser engines. Johnnie Parsons won the firm's first 500 victory in 1950 and in 1951 Kurtis scored a 1-2-3 result. Beaten in 1952 Kurtis replied with clean sweep of the top six places in 1953. His cars won the race again in 1954 and 1955 but then began to fade.