Welcome to the THE H.A.M.B. forums.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

Go Back   THE H.A.M.B. > General Discussion > The Hokey Ass Message Board

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-10-2008, 10:46 AM   #1
Ryan
Administrator
 
Ryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 1995
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 14,451
Default The Catfish

Art Sparks and Paul Weirick wanted to race Indy. They were both cerebral fellas and figured what they didn't have in the bank, they could make up for with their intelligence. With that in mind, the two gentleman began gathering mismatched parts from...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 11:08 AM   #2
JeffreyJames
Old School HAMBer
 
JeffreyJames's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SUGAR CITY
Posts: 16,570
Default Re: The Catfish

Those days are pretty long gone huh? Lack of Money and Indy Racing are just two things that cannot coincide these days. I am surprised that they did not keep on the salt after having a taste of victory. Definitely a cool car and story.
__________________
I PLAY WITH TIGERS
WWW.SUGARCITYSPEEDSHOP.COM
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 11:22 AM   #3
Harrison
Old School HAMBer
 
Harrison's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 7,098
Default Re: The Catfish

Where do you come up with this stuff?

I didn't know guys in Cali even knew what a catfish looked like.

Great story.

JH
__________________
Yoga Pants & Mini Skirts
offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 07-10-2008, 11:27 AM   #4
Tman
Old School HAMBer
 
Tman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Beautifull Black Hills of South Dakota
Posts: 29,695
Default Re: The Catfish

Cool story.

My dad had a chance to go to Indy back in the late 70's as crewman for his former Sprintcar buddies effort. Those were some of the last years an average Joe could scratch up a team together and make a try. Hank had 3 cars main,backup,and show. I still kick my dad for not going, things like family and his day job kept him here. Unfortunately they didn't qualify anyway.
__________________
www.compulsionrodandcustom.com New website up! Product listings updating weekly!
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 11:31 AM   #5
chevnut
Member
 
chevnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Corona, Ca
Posts: 983
Default Re: The Catfish

Thanks for the cool Read Boss.

Anyone have any idea where the car is now? museum? or is it MIA?
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 11:32 AM   #6
HOT ROD DAVE
Senior Member
 
HOT ROD DAVE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Posts: 1,473
Default Re: The Catfish

very interesting reading, thanks for posting this great piece of history
__________________
New to the area, want to meet fellow HAMBers
Need parts and pieces for model A build
937 408 9871
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 11:44 AM   #7
Gigantor
Old School HAMBer
 
Gigantor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hudson, Maine
Posts: 3,841
Default Re: The Catfish

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevnut View Post
Thanks for the cool Read Boss.

Anyone have any idea where the car is now? museum? or is it MIA?
Word.
__________________
Hot Rod Son
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 11:46 AM   #8
The37Kid
Old School HAMBer
 
The37Kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ridgefield, Ct.
Posts: 17,205
Default Re: The Catfish

The car ran in AAA race at The Danbury, Ct. State Fair with the original body, there was a photo in the local paper years ago.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 12:02 PM   #9
studedudeus
Grenade Inspector
 
studedudeus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Dandridge, TN
Posts: 133
Default Re: The Catfish

That story sounds, to me, a lot like the Sara Fisher story from Indy this year. Family and friends scraped together what they could, and finally got the car to qualifying. Had to qualify the car into the race to get enough to pay off those initial debts. Mangaged to get into the race, then got crashed out by another car.

Just shows that if you still want to race badly enough, you can. But you have to take big risks to do it.

Great story, and great photos. Thanks.
__________________
The principle principle of motorocity - Squares is squares, and Wheels is wheels.
-Big Drag
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 12:15 PM   #10
Old Dawg
Member
 
Old Dawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: San Luis Obispo California
Posts: 518
Default Re: The Catfish

Hey! Thanks for posting the Sparks-Weirick "Catfish" story

I may've posted this story before; but, here goes. In 1948, my parents rented a house in Pasadena, CA, next door to the Sparks. Art and Thelma Sparks had two sons, Arthur "Sparky" and Jackie. "Sparky" was my age (10), so we were playmates. At the back of the Sparks' property, Art Sr. had his personal shop. It was (and still is) a two story building (brand new), with the work area and garage downstairs. Upstairs was an office and storage. Mr. Sparks had his manufacturing facility (ForgeTrue Pistons) downtown. We kids had the run of the place, as long as we didn't get in the way, or touch anything in the machine shop. As I learned later, Joel Thorne and Sparks had "split the sheets"; and Paul Weirick had gone his own way. However, Sparks had an agreement with Thorne to maintain, and rebuild the Sparks Six engines. So, at any given time, there was at least one of those jewels sitting on a bench in the shop. Although I saw none of the famed Sparks Six cars, there was one older car (which I think was one of the "Poison Lil's") in a crate in the garage. We kids spent a lot of seat time in that crate. My dad, an architect, would get incensed, as every year, three to six months before Indy, the lights in Sparks' shop were burning 24/7. Drivers and mechanics, of all fame, were over there. Although my father was pissed, I was smitten by the "bug".
That shop still stands. A high school buddy of mine owns the property. In that facility, he's currently totally reconstructing a race car, on which he was the original crew chief. Though I go in there, a couple of times a month; the place never ceases to evoke memories. I keep saying the joint ought to be declared a national hysterical site. He cringes.
I currently race a 1932 vintage "big car", which has been shown (perhaps ad nauseum) in this forum. So, I still have that "bug".
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 02:34 PM   #11
SUHRsc
Alliance Member
 
SUHRsc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Grantville, PA
Posts: 5,026
Default Re: The Catfish

thanks for posting ryan...some stuff i didnt know!
cool history old dawg!
__________________
www.zachsuhr.com


WANTED
Early DIVCO - any condition
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 02:39 PM   #12
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,012
Default Re: The Catfish

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyJames View Post
Those days are pretty long gone huh? Lack of Money and Indy Racing are just two things that cannot coincide these days. I am surprised that they did not keep on the salt after having a taste of victory. Definitely a cool car and story.
Huh? ... Ryan's article states they went to Muroc (a dirt bed dry lake) ... did they also run the Catfish @ the Bonneville slat flats?

I agree that this is definitely a cool car / story!
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 02:46 PM   #13
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,012
Default Re: The Catfish

Dawg ... neat stuff ... thanks for sharing
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 03:18 PM   #14
Ryan
Administrator
 
Ryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 1995
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 14,451
Default Re: The Catfish

I haven't read anything about the car ever going to b-ville. However, it might have...

As for muroc sand vs. b-ville sale... That's an easy mistake to make. Especially for folks back east... It's just a whole lot of space for most of us!
__________________


Ryan Cochran

"Skating the same line since 1976..."
.................................................. ....
www.jalopyjournal.com - www.garagejournal.com - www.gearjournal.com - www.fordbarn.com - www.DOGFIGHTmag.com
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 04:26 PM   #15
paintfumesmahgee
Grenade Inspector
 
paintfumesmahgee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Davisburg, Michigan
Posts: 358
Default Re: The Catfish

Cool stuff... wish I had a cool name like Art Sparks!! That's badass!!!
__________________
...Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 04:39 PM   #16
plymouth1952
Senior Member
 
plymouth1952's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Grants Pass Ore
Posts: 2,196
Default Re: The Catfish

I love this stuff its the roots that are the real story. Has anyony did a good story on Ascott raceway ? seen Evil jump 19 bus's there in 66.
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 07:18 PM   #17
hlfuzzball
Grenade Inspector
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Plymouth,Mi.
Posts: 212
Default Re: The Catfish

I heard a rumor back in the 1970's that the Catfish (or maybe only the body) was still stashed somewhere near Indy.

Mac Miller, have you ever heard of this ?

Tom
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 07:19 PM   #18
The37Kid
Old School HAMBer
 
The37Kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ridgefield, Ct.
Posts: 17,205
Default Re: The Catfish

Old Dawg, I always enjoy your posts here on the HAMB. Here is a photo of Joel Thorne in the Big Six, that sold at Pebble Beach last year. Is that the Art Sparks shop you mentioned in the background?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Mvc-024f.jpg
Views:	229
Size:	37.3 KB
ID:	465112  
online   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 07:34 PM   #19
autobilly
Old School HAMBer
 
autobilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Tweed, Australia
Posts: 2,821
Default Re: The Catfish

Kool story Old Dawg, for me it added a personal touch to Ryan's very interesting post. I could see you guys playin' in that shop. It's great that you still go there, sure has been a constant in your life. No wonder you cought the "bug".
__________________
RETRO Spec. (tive) -Getting to where you're going by knowing where you've come from.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2008, 08:00 PM   #20
The37Kid
Old School HAMBer
 
The37Kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ridgefield, Ct.
Posts: 17,205
Default Re: The Catfish

Ryan,Thank You for starting another great thread! When someone mentions The Catfish on the East Coast this is the car that comes to mind with most people. I strongly suspect that Pop Dryer copied the idea when he saw the Sparks/Weirick car at Indy. He had a shop in Indy that turned out DO Heads for B motors, complete 5Main DO Dryer engines and race ready cars, his bodies were some of the nicest in the day. The midget was powered by a Harley Knucklehead, featured a Dryer Wiggle front end that was fabed out of Model T Ford parts. It was originally built for Bill Schindler and went on to win an East Cost Championship. I bought the remains of this car in 1972,along with a two bay garage full of race cars parts. Sold it one hour after I got it home. I was CLUELESS as to what it was at that time, it changed hands again and is under restoration now.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Mvc-001f.jpg
Views:	143
Size:	25.7 KB
ID:	465131  

Last edited by The37Kid; 07-10-2008 at 08:14 PM.
online   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:17 PM.