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 08-01-2009, 07:00 AM   #1
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

My first visit to Bonneville was in August of 1970 during the 22nd Annual Bonneville National Speed Trials … my family spent just a day on the salt (we were on our way home from our summer vacation in the Midwest).

Growing up in a Hot Rodding family (and living just a few miles away from the Fremont Drag Strip), I pretty much took most of the Bonneville race cars (Roadsters, Coupes, Digger-style Lakesters, Mustangs, Camaros, etc.) for granted … but the Streamliners … they were from another planet … I had never seen anything like them!

I was just 9 years old at the time, but I distinctly remember thinking how COOL (& a bit scary) it would be to be strapped into the cockpit (and enclosed under the canopy) of a Bonneville Streamliner … I imagined myself behind the wheel of the Tommy Thompson #990 Golden Rod or the Larsen & Cummins #115 Cal Custom streamliner racing towards “Floating Mountain”


The following year, my entire summer vacation was spent at my grandparent’s farm in Minnesota … my father couldn’t get that much time off from work … so he stayed back home in California … but somehow managed a 4-5 day trip to the 23rd Annual Speed Week event … and he sent us this:





For several years, this Post Card hung on the bulletin board in my bedroom … I used to stare at it for hours … and imagine myself behind the wheel of the Chrome Yellow, HEMI-powered, “Open-wheeled Streamliner."

I guess the postcard really was the beginning of my “obsession” with the Markley Brother’s #360 Belly Tank … ‘cuz ever since the Summer of ‘71, I’ve been gathering info about ... and collecting photographs of the famous B'ville Lakester.

__________________________________________________


I’m really hoping that this H.A.M.B. “picture thread” will become the definitive photo archive of my all-time favorite Belly Tank Lakester … I’ll start by sharing some of the images that I have collected over the years … and I encourage others to contribute their pics too!

NOTE: I also have many pics of the Markley’s #360 “Torpedo” Lakester (record setter in the ‘70s), their #360 Fuel Roadster (record setter in the ‘80s), and the Hoffman/Markley #362 Streamliner (record setter in the ‘90s) … but would rather that we try to keep this thread focused on the Markley’s P-38 BELLY TANK Lakester.

So … without further ado, I bring you “The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History” …

Last edited by HEMI32; 08-01-2009 at 01:53 PM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:01 AM   #2
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History






In line behind Mickey Thompson’s Challenger I






Last edited by HEMI32; 08-01-2009 at 09:09 AM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:01 AM   #3
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History


Charlie Markley & Tim Rochlitzer in ‘62


The Markley’s Belly Tank appeared on the cover of the December ’62 issue of HOT ROD Magazine:



… the issue included this pic on page 52:


ABOVE – Robert Markley’s D lakester has 260-inch GMC-blown Chevy engine, ran 239 mph. Its driver is enclosed, sees
strip through car’s Plexiglas nose.


NOTE: “Chevy” was a typo! (see below)

Last edited by HEMI32; 08-01-2009 at 09:09 AM.
online   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 08-01-2009, 07:01 AM   #4
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

Bob Markley's "letter to the editor" appeared in the February ’63 issue of HOT ROD Magazine:




This pic of Charlie & the tank is from the November '63 issue of HOT ROD Magazine:




The December '63 issue of HOT ROD Magazine included a feature article entitled “THE IMPOSSIBLE TANK - They say a tank can’t go 300, but don’t tell the Markley Brothers, They almost have!” (by LeRoi Smith) … here’s the pics from that article:




Settled comfortably (?) in the spacious driving compartment, Charles Markley demonstrates handling position. Double roll
hoops are 2 ½ - inch diameter. Just to Charlie’s left shoulder is a fuel shut-off valve and an electric water pump switch.



The cockpit can hardly be described as sumptuous, since it contains only the necessities for hair-raising rides just inches off
the salt. An aircraft steering wheel has the mag kill button mounted on the right side, the brakes are actuated by the hand
lever at right. Driver looks at course through roll bar hoop and top of steering wheel.



A small hinged door allows entry to the cockpit, driver’s head pops through like a real tank handler when the machine is being
wheeled into position.



At speed, the only indication that there is a human at the controls of this missile is a knee barely visible in the side window.
The special scoop shown in this picture was engineered for the car and used exclusively during the fast tours of Bonneville.
Skimming along just 2 ½ inches above ground, the car turned over 280 mph.





It takes lots of people to keep a racing car going, the crew for this one consisting of, from left to right, Bob Markley,
Doug Smith, Al DeArmond, Charlie Markley, Bob Smith and Al Robie. Another member, Stu Davenport, was out surveying
the salt or something when pic was taken.



The entire running gear is fitted with roller bearings to reduce friction, Halibrand rear wheels equipped with 6.50 x 18 Firestone
tires. The box at bottom rear of body is for quick-change clearance.



The top part of the P38 belly gas tank separates in two pieces which are held to the bottom by Dzus fasteners. The wheelbase
is exactly 100 inches, the rear thread is narrow 48 inches which Markley brothers feel helps in speed control.



All plumbing in the car is braided stainless steel, fuel is carried in tank at right, routed through aircraft filter just behind rear
end. Note quick-change mount.



The 3-inch diameter tubing frame was bent to conform with the tank shape. Home made swing axle is made up of stock
components, a Halibrand quick-change, and is controlled by Kurtis torsion bars.



The close-up photo of the front end assembly below shows home made friction shocks in main frame rail ends, steering
box with the direction reversed by turning shaft around.



This is the impossible engine that has everyone mumbling, a ’55 Plymouth destroked to 253.7 inches with Dodge heads. Much
of the equipment was built by Charles and Bob Markley, such as blower manifold and bottom end bearing support.


… and all five pages of the article:

Click image for larger version

Name:	HRM Dec 63 pg32.jpg
Views:	188
Size:	458.6 KB
ID:	721639 Click image for larger version

Name:	HRM Dec 63 pg33.jpg
Views:	172
Size:	449.9 KB
ID:	721640
Click image for larger version

Name:	HRM Dec 63 pg34.jpg
Views:	152
Size:	444.5 KB
ID:	721641 Click image for larger version

Name:	HRM Dec 63 pg35.jpg
Views:	180
Size:	478.5 KB
ID:	721642 Click image for larger version

Name:	HRM Dec 63 pg96.jpg
Views:	172
Size:	470.7 KB
ID:	721643

Last edited by HEMI32; 08-01-2009 at 09:09 AM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:01 AM   #5
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

Here’s a pic from page 45 of the November ’64 issue of HOT ROD Magazine:



NOTE: Yet another HRM typo! … the tank ran in the “D” Lakester class … not “B”)



In the Pits – Speed Week ’66



Last edited by HEMI32; 08-01-2009 at 09:10 AM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:02 AM   #6
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

A color photograph my father took @ Bonneville Speed Week ‘71:



Ernie Pereira of San Jose, CA now owned the Markley’s belly tank … sans the (D-class) Baby HEMI.

Pereira had modified the tank to run as the #543 X-class Lakester … and using a 292ci Jimmy 6 for motivation, Ernie set a new X/L record with a two-way average of 188.102 mph!

NOTE: That appears to be Bones Markley (standing on the left), Bob Smith (kneeling), and Harry Hoffman’s Econoline van being used a push truck (thanks RichFox) … perhaps the Markley gang were just there helping Ernie sort things out with his "new" (their old) belly tank ... ???

Last edited by HEMI32; 08-02-2009 at 11:18 PM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:02 AM   #7
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

Here’s the belly tank (now Pereira’s #543 X/L) in the pits @ Bonneville in ‘74:


photo by HAMBer cheap-n-dirty

NOTE: That appears to be Seth Hammond’s record setting #77 Lakester in the next pit.



In 1977, the Markley’s old belly tank … running an Unblown, Nitro burning 302ci GMC Inline-6 (X/FL) … got Ernie into the 2-Club:



NOTE: This above image was “borrowed” from the Spring 2008 issue of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk “Beach News” newsletter:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Employee Spotlight.jpg
Views:	235
Size:	118.6 KB
ID:	721651

Last edited by HEMI32; 08-02-2009 at 11:18 PM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:02 AM   #8
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

While @ Speed Week ’90, I took these photographs of an amazingly accurate scale model of the Markley Bros belly tank:







I later discovered that the model was built by Steve Catron … and that it took home “Best of Show” honors at the 1990 GSL International Model Car Championship:


Up to this point, top award contenders at GSL labored in well-known venues; from street rods to customs to replica stock,
those topics were instantly recognized. Steve's entry was the first top GSL model to be a replica of a specific vehicle, and a
famous one at that! Recognizing that there was no kit to base his entry upon, Steve's entry was the first mostly scratch built
model to win Best of Show. Using a piece of desert wood for his base, Steve created an accurately-shaped buck and then
vacuum-formed the body from styrene, and then fitted a flush clear canopy. Matched with an incredible array of authentic
scratch built parts – all created to replicate the full scale pieces – Steve's near fanatical attention to detail (from the firewall
mounted water pump to the replicated Halibrand wheels) distinguish this model. In addition to the world-class precision of
this outstanding model, its real contribution to the hobby may be the liberating effect it had on future contenders for the top
GSL award: it proved that all subjects were fair game.

Last edited by HEMI32; 08-04-2009 at 02:47 AM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:02 AM   #9
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

1990 was also the year that Dennis Varni acquired the Markley’s old belly tank.

Already a member of the 2-Club*, Dennis had his sights set on breaking the 300 mph barrier … so he teamed up fellow B’ville racer Bud Barnett to prepare the famous Lakester to set just such a record.

The Markley’s old Belly Tank was completely “upgraded” to meet current safety standards (frame, larger side windows, fire bottles, chute, etc.) … and modified to accommodate a ~650 horse GM V8 Indy race engine (prepared by Bud’s brother, Cub Barnett).

The Varni~Barnett #909 C Gas Lakester (C/GL):




* NOTE: Dennis set a 1987 AA/GR record @ 222.783 mph in the Varni~Walsh~Walsh~Cusack #333 Deuce Roadster.

Last edited by HEMI32; 08-01-2009 at 02:05 PM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:03 AM   #10
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

Here are a couple of photos I shot @ the 1994 Goodguy’s West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton, CA:




Last edited by HEMI32; 08-01-2009 at 09:11 AM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:03 AM   #11
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

In 1995 (September 20-23), I attended the Utah Salt Flat Racing Association (USFRA) 9th Annual World of Speed (WoS) … and crewed on the Salmen Racing #734 “$um Fun” AA/GR.

Also entered in the ’95 USFRA WoS event was the #909 C/GL … with Bud Barnett getting some seat time in the Lakester … of course I found some time (in between Frank Salmen’s runs in #734) to snap a few photographs of my favorite Belly Tank:


Towed to the starting line


Bud Barnett suiting up.


Bud all strapped in … NOTE: That's Bud's brother (and engine builder extraordinaire) Cub Barnett standing on the left side of
the belly tank (in the white sweatshirt and white ball cap).



At the starting line


Unfortunately, the Lakester got airborne at over 200 mph, rolled, righted, spun and bounced for several hundred yards across the salt … Luckily, Bud escaped serious injury … but the car was demolished:











Within a year, the belly tank had been completely rebuilt … and eventually made its return to the salt.

Last edited by HEMI32; 08-01-2009 at 09:12 AM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:03 AM   #12
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

Varni & Barnett continued to strive for that elusive 300 mph mark @ Bonneville ... Here are some (more recent) pics of the #909 belly tank …

… ‘03:

Click image for larger version

Name:	Varni Barnett 909 Oct 2003.jpg
Views:	274
Size:	82.3 KB
ID:	721685

… ‘04:

Click image for larger version

Name:	#909 Pits - 2004.jpg
Views:	250
Size:	30.8 KB
ID:	721686 Click image for larger version

Name:	Dave Schaub & #909 in line -2004.jpg
Views:	279
Size:	19.0 KB
ID:	721687 Click image for larger version

Name:	Dave Schaub in #909 cockpit - 2004.jpg
Views:	278
Size:	106.9 KB
ID:	721688
Pics from Dave "49in9" Schaub (Butcher Boy on the HAMB)

… ‘06:

Click image for larger version

Name:	#909 in Varni's Speed Nymph Garage - 2006.jpg
Views:	245
Size:	73.0 KB
ID:	721689 Click image for larger version

Name:	#909 - 2006 (by John Nimphius) .jpg
Views:	212
Size:	26.6 KB
ID:	721690
Click image for larger version

Name:	#909 In Line - 2006.jpg
Views:	210
Size:	24.5 KB
ID:	721691 Click image for larger version

Name:	#909 - 2006.jpg
Views:	220
Size:	34.1 KB
ID:	721692

… “Hello Kitty” in the '07 Speed Nymph Pits:

Click image for larger version

Name:	rockey marino DSCN1841.jpg
Views:	496
Size:	172.7 KB
ID:	721704 Click image for larger version

Name:	rockey marino DSCN1842.jpg
Views:	383
Size:	173.6 KB
ID:	721705
Click image for larger version

Name:	rockey marino DSCN1843.jpg
Views:	394
Size:	179.3 KB
ID:	721706 Click image for larger version

Name:	rockey marino DSCN1844.jpg
Views:	398
Size:	175.4 KB
ID:	721707
pics by HAMBer rockey marino

… and from last year:

Click image for larger version

Name:	#909 in Varni’s Speed Nymph Garage - Aug 2008 (by Dave Molloy).jpg
Views:	481
Size:	60.5 KB
ID:	721693
pic by Dave Molloy (A32Flathead
on the HAMB)

Last edited by HEMI32; 09-29-2009 at 01:55 PM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:03 AM   #13
HEMI32
Old School HAMBer
 
HEMI32's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 4,020
Default The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

Here’s some artwork of the Markley’s Belly Tank …

… a Gary Campesi (GaryC. on the HAMB) illustration:



… and a drawing by Cory Vaughn (customcory on the HAMB):




Last edited by HEMI32; 02-10-2014 at 11:47 PM.
online   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:32 AM   #14
scrapiron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Independence, Virginia USA
Posts: 1,046
Default Re: The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

I have a print of the art work cover for the '64 Bonneville program. The Markley tank is on it along with the Immerso streamliner, Karol Miller's Falcon,the Tero Corvette and a streamlined Thunderbird,"Hell's Angel".
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 10:29 AM   #15
RichFox
Alliance Member
 
RichFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: San Mateo, Ca.
Posts: 6,360
Default Re: The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

I am relooking at your dads picture from '71 and it seems clear that the air scoop has been moved over th acomadate the GMC six instead of centered as with the Dodge. Also the front axle has been moved fowared which I believe was done by Ernie. So I guess that means it must be the Markley crew watching over the old tank, now Ernies.
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 10:38 AM   #16
coolstuff
Alliance Member
 
coolstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bettendorf
Posts: 3,575
Default Re: The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

very cool thread - anyone else out there currently trying to get a belly tanker on the salt for 09? or '10?
__________________
www.vintagetorquefest.com
Iowa's ONLY Traditional Rod, Kustom, Cycle Show
May 2-4, 2014
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 10:38 AM   #17
kriscad
Alliance Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nashville
Posts: 12
Default Re: The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

very cool post! thanks!
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 11:00 AM   #18
Rem
Senior Member
 
Rem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Oxford, England
Posts: 1,200
Default Re: The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

Great thread, cool car. It looks like they had already moved the front axle forward (and swiched to a straight tube) in the November '64 HRM photo?
__________________
Oh well, there's always tomorrow . . .
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 01:14 PM   #19
Dynoroom
Grenade Inspector
 
Dynoroom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chino Hills, Ca.
Posts: 352
Default Re: The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

Here's the car in Jan. 2007 at Kirkham Motorsports in Provo Ut. They (the Kirkhams) build Replica Cobras in aluminum. (Do a google search to find out more on them) Dennis took the car to them to have the make duplicates. I'm not sure who wanted to do it (Varni or the Kirkhams) but they sure can get it done.











In this last shot you can see some of the Cobra bodies in the background.



Here's a little more of the Kirkhams handi-work...







__________________
Michael LeFevers
Lifetime member of the Bonneville 200 MPH Club
offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 01:43 PM   #20
1955hemi
FNG
 
1955hemi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arroyo Grande CA
Posts: 21
Default Re: The Markley Bros BELLY TANK – A Pictorial History

Thanks for sharing the awesome photos of the Markley's and their tank. Great historical Bonneville documentation!
offline   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 09:32 AM.