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Old 04-29-2008, 01:01 PM   #21
NoSurf
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Just look at those smiles.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:10 PM   #22
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

I love the fact that racing was not as "cookie cutter" in those days. This was true of indy, stock car, drags, etc.

Smokey Yunicks bio is a great read on how things were back in the 1950s & 1960s in stock car and indy. I'd highly recommend it!
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:19 PM   #23
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

It's great to look at the listing for owners and mechanics, you'll see Andy Granatelli (as GRANCOR and with his brothers as Granatelli Racing Enterprises) Bob Estes wrenching a Watson built Offy for Jim Rigsby and the #16 of Chuck Stevenson built by Clay Smith. A lot of the mechanics and owners were also lakes racers. They'd buy an Offy and run Clay Smith or Winfield cams or some other cam since the Offy cams were considered too mild for Indy. A throw back to the old Harry Miller days. The #7 driven by Bill Schindler and were he finished is remarkable because I'm pretty sure this was after he lost a leg running midgets.
To see this history come alive go the the Milwaukee mile over 4th of July weekend for The MIllers at MIlwaukee meet. You can see a lot of these cars there and walk right up to them and get the history from the current caretakers. The year we went all 3 of my sons, my Dad and a friend got rides around the track in a 34 ford that ran at Indy.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:26 PM   #24
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Way cool post Ryan. As if I wasnt fired up about Indy already. I am going to attend the 500 this year for the first time, as a guest of Firestone no less. It is going to be hard staying focused at work for the month of May as it is without posts like this... What the hell, keep em coming!
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:39 PM   #25
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

This one is at the Petersen Museum if anyone wants to check it out. its a pretty neat display.

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Old 04-29-2008, 01:43 PM   #26
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zumo View Post
Where these cars fabricated from scratch? Or did they start out from an original car/frame?
made from scratch.

I just ran into Rolla Volstead at the Portland swapmeet. He used to make Indy cars in his garage. Can you imagine that? Going out to the garage, welding up some sticks, throwing an engine in it and showing up at Indy to race. Oh yes, his cars did pretty well.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:46 PM   #27
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

ChopPop raced with Roger Ward back in the day. I was fortunate enough to meet him at one of the California Jalopy Association reunions. Will have to dig up the pics.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:47 PM   #28
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Thanks for the post, Ryan, I clearly remember listening to the races, back then, on the radio (No TV). The mix of engines then made the race much more exciting; Offys, Novis, Cummins and then later the Ford cammer with an unforgettable sound of its own. Then there were the turbines for those couple years before they were banned (nice try Andy)
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:00 PM   #29
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Ryan - Great post!

I love the Cummins Diesel Car, I have pics (below) of a different one, but that one is truly lovely. Many of these great cars still exist, in museums and else-where. A couple of them are below from the Indy Museum.

Enjoy.

















One of the Novi Cars


Another one of the Cummins Diesel Specials




The 'Seal Fast Special' is in the background of this shot

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Old 04-29-2008, 02:10 PM   #30
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Love this style of car! And they are all different! I assume there were more than one or two body makers back then. I hope this guy is writing a book or articles or something, not letting all his collected wisdom go with him.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:16 PM   #31
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post


Jim Rogacki is an engineer from Buffalo, NY. Like most of his profession, he's more than a bit detail oriented. As such, rather than rewrite his story I thought it would be...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.

For those who havent been to Indy its a great automotive town . Gasoline Alley and the museum at the Indianapolis track are a must see !

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Old 04-29-2008, 02:27 PM   #32
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Something else to say;those drivers in their shirt sleeves or work coveralls,even Formula One of that that period was the same types,not like the ballet dancer looking drivers of today.Yes,the smiles,honest,not corrupted by mega millions of dollars.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:34 PM   #33
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Awesome... went to Indy in '93 to see the race... and was back there last December to go to the museum...

The Museum rocks... plenty to see and soak in!

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Old 04-29-2008, 04:17 PM   #34
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

From the days when the "500 mile race" was great. Dig the pics, fantastic cars!
That Cummins Diesel Special is a great looking car, looks large (and heavy), not for dirt. Interesting to see Alberto Ascari giving the Farrari a run.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:54 PM   #35
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Here are some 50's vintage Indy and Sprint cars I saw at the Miller Meet.
Kurtis with Chrysler Hemi




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Old 04-29-2008, 05:03 PM   #36
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

I'm really drawn to this era too. My uncle,the farmer,with only a "hands on" education was able to get his hands on a wrecked Indy
car,rebuild it with 327 Chevy power and travel the country racing
on dirt with much success in the 60's. I'm driving mom home to
Ohio this weekend,so great time to pick his brain for more info
before its gone.Shown here in the mid 60's...Thanks Al!
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:30 PM   #37
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

I was 5-1/2 years old and listened to that race with my dad. That was and annual thing with him, usually over the car radio at or on the way to a family picnic. Great stuff for a young kids imagination.
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:36 PM   #38
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Unlike today, when car owners look to So. America or Europe for drivers, the owners then often looked to the C.R. (as in Roadster)A. for talent. A lot of the drivers in that lineup came up through roadster racing and were hotrodders of the first order. Here's a pic of Jack McGraths'(#4 Hinkle Spl.) and Manny Ayulos (#8) "racing headquarters" just a few years earlier.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:01 PM   #39
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500



Here is a little known fact that the gentleman shared with me. Look at the picture above. The signature "52 and 21 were great years". In 1952 when he raced he was only 21, all the race results and data since the race have been wrong. It seems when some filled out the race entry form for the 1952 Indy race, not saying who, lied about his age. He was only 21 when he won that race.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:20 PM   #40
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Default Re: The 1952 Indy 500

Thanks for the great pictures. The cars had not changed so much by '58 when I attended with my father for the first time. The Novi V8 had a very unique sound as it came down the straight. Many good memories of Indy, even through F1.
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