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Old 04-11-2007, 12:34 AM   #1
john56h
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Default 50's-60'-70's Vintage Oval Track Modifieds

I've been posting up quite a few pictures of Modified cars from the late 60's and early 70's....mostly oval track stuff.

A few have said "cool cars...let's see more", and encouraged a separate thread.

All through the 50's, 60's and 70's lots of hot rodding was directed towards the strips and tracks of America. One of the things that I've noticed is that the "evolution" of race cars was much different in certain regions compared to others. Modifieds have been a big part of the scene all over, but they have had a wide variety of appearances.

So....let's see what the Modifieds that YOU remember looked like!

I'll start off with a few that I think are definately along the lines of the "traditional hot rods" that we all identify with.


Northeast US, Long Island, NY and Southern New England asphalt:

Chargin' Charlie Jarzombeck's "Bug" early 1960's






Last edited by john56h; 02-20-2008 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Around the same era...perhaps few years later...but on the dirt in the Midwest US:



Notice the stronger Sprint and Champ car influence.
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Back to the asphalt..again around the mid 60's. Another look for those Southern US cars, Alabama I believe:

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Old 04-11-2007, 12:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Meanwhile...the Northeast dirt racers from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey were still using pretty much full bodied cars...but with the biggest engines they could shoe-horn into them:


Al Tasnady, one of the best!
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Old 04-11-2007, 12:56 AM   #5
Junkyard Jan
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

The definition of the term "modified" varies by the part of the country in which you live. A "California modified" is traditionally a dry lakes inspired roadster, whereas the mods from our part of the country have always been dirt and asphalt circle burners.

Somewhere in this mess on my computer table, I've got a CD with quite a few '60s-early '70s dirt modifieds as run on the PA, NJ and NY dirt circuit. I'll look for it tomorrow and post some pics.

Coupes and Coaches forever!

Jan
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Jan,

I think you are right...what we considered a Modified in the Northeast was often referred to as a "Jalopy" in California, reserving "modified" for the straightline cars.

Late 50's California Jalopy action:



Last edited by john56h; 04-11-2007 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Quote:
Originally Posted by john56h View Post
Meanwhile...the Northeast dirt racers from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey were still using pretty much full bodied cars...but with the biggest engines they could shoe-horn into them:


Al Tasnady, one of the best!
Paul Deasey's Big Donkey, powered by a 430+ cube Lincoln from the mid '60s. Gerald Chamberlain (my friend and hero), Sammy Beavers and others drove various versions of this car and "Gypsy" a Plymouth coupe powered by a 427 Ford SOHC after Tas moved to Dave Piscopo's Chevy coupe. BTW, Paul is alive, well and still running his machine shop.
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

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Originally Posted by john56h View Post
Back to the asphalt..again around the mid 60's. Another look for those Southern US cars, Alabama I believe:

Not to be a smartazz and caption all of your posts, John, but PB Crowell was a Nashville area beer distributor. His main claim to fame was bring Darrell Waltrip down from Owensboro, KY to drive his #48 Late Model Sportsman mid '60s Chevelles in the late '60s. DW made his bones driving for PB at Nashville. This is a beautiful coupe!
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

I like this one!!
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Blower, Halibrands, tuck n roll, louvers, chrome....what's not to like?
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Jan,

Jump in with whatever info you have! Mainly I've just collected pictures of the cars I liked, but unfortunately I know little about the drivers/owners other than those who raced local to me, which would be Middletown, NY.

Drivers like Frankie Schneider


Buzzie Reutimann


Carl 'Fuzzy' VanHorn


Bobby Malzahn
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

KiwiKev,

Not hard to see why they had to start referring to those as "Super Modifieds" huh?

Great pictures...thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds


Danbury Connecticut asphalt

Danbury was unique in that the club that presented races would formulate rules by committee. Each year the committee made up of owners and drivers would vote on the rules. The flathead V-8's were required all the way up until 1972. The only other engines allowed until 73, were 6 cylinders. After 1973 the overhead V-8's took over and the flatheads became uncompetitive.

Here's another Danbury picture from around 1974 or so...overhead V-8.


Dick Barlow's 1937 Chevy

Last edited by john56h; 04-11-2007 at 02:56 AM.
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:58 AM   #14
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Here's New York asphalt racing great Richie Evans around 1970 or so:


1936 Chevy with big-block Chevy power
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

A later version of Chargin' Charlie's #1, probably around 1972. Notice how the asphalt cars are getting lower and wider. The independant front suspension was popular by the early 70's on asphalt.



And here's a mid 70's Valiant bodied Modified that Geoff Bodine piloted:

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Old 04-11-2007, 03:04 AM   #16
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

This would be the Nashville Speedway at the fairgrounds.
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:17 AM   #17
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Meanwhile the dirt cars from the Northeast were evolving differntly. They were higher...for more roll and sidebite. The drivers were shifted to the center of the car like a Sprinter and the frontend of choice was the solid axle:


Will Cagle 1936 Chevy




Last edited by john56h; 04-11-2007 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

By the mid 1970's the rules began allowing for totally fabricated frames, usually of 2x4 rectangular tubing. Many of the older cars became obsolete and when new ones were built either the coupe body from the old car would be utilized (as by now an old coupe was getting hard to find in a junkyard) or a newer body.


1937 Ford Coupe on tube frame


60's Ford Falcon body


Ford Mustang body


AMC Pacer and Gremlin bodies
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

Asphalt Modifieds continued to develop specifically for a low center of gravity since sidebite was not an issue. Notice the asphalt cars have the driver on the left...as well as as much other weight to improve cornering on an oval with only left turns.


Bugs Stevens' "Woodchopper Special"


The infamous "Hemi Cuda"


Asphalt Modified racing experienced their "Pinto revolution" during the 70's
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Old 04-11-2007, 03:47 AM   #20
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Default Re: 60'-70's Vintage Modifieds

And dirt Modifieds achieved a high level of performance...almost matching that of Sprint and Champ cars. Many of the top Modified teams of the late 70's were commissioning famous Champ/Sprint builders to create their newest cars. Those Sprint builders realized that a Gremlin roof could be utilized somewhat like a Sprint car wing and a Gremlin could have tin added inside the body to create downforce too.

Grant-King built a few top notch cars

Billy Osmun/Gary Balough Gremlin

As well as Kenny Weld

Kenny Brightbill Gremlin
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