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Big Al's Allison Powered 34?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Locomotive Breath, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. Locomotive Breath
    Joined: Feb 1, 2007
    Posts: 714

    Locomotive Breath
    Member
    from Texas

    Do anyone know where pictures, or info. can be found on the Allison powered car Big Al ran in the late fifties or early sixties. I think it was a 34 Ford body, but I've only seen a couple of pics. over the years.
     
  2. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 17,863

    The37Kid
    Member


    It's in Ocala Florida in The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing. :)
     
  3. Locomotive Breath
    Joined: Feb 1, 2007
    Posts: 714

    Locomotive Breath
    Member
    from Texas

    Thanks, sounds like a good summer road trip. :D
     
  4. Yo Baby
    Joined: Jul 11, 2004
    Posts: 2,817

    Yo Baby
    Member

    Here's a pic.
    I have an article somewhere that covers most of his creations not sure where right now.
     

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  5. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,980

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Couple more:
     

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  6. gowjobs
    Joined: Mar 5, 2003
    Posts: 777

    gowjobs
    Member

    "Big Al" is the name of the car, not the name of the builder. The biggest one Jim Lytle ever built (not my pic - sent to me by a fellow HAMBer):
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 1,710

    Dirk35
    Member

  8. I've got that same poster (the picture is only a small part), signed by Jim Lytle. Very cool- it shows several other Lytle Allison powered vehicles including a White cabover, a tricycle, a proposed VW bus, & so on.
     
  9. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,585

    Harms Way
    Member

    Couple shots you might like,........( some pretty famous stuff here)
     

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  10. Mojo
    Joined: Jul 23, 2002
    Posts: 1,746

    Mojo
    Member

    It just occured to me that the name "Big Al" was probably in reference to the Allison engines... lol. Question about the rear wheels: They have that odd ridge in them.. is it two rims joined together?
     
  11. Junkyard Jan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2005
    Posts: 741

    Junkyard Jan
    Member Emeritus

    But I' fairly certain that that's just Big Al's Tudor body with a different chassis and a Hemi. There was a great article in R&C back in '90 interviewing Jim Lytle (?) and the entire Big Al story. The last that I read, Jim was in Maui,Hawaii considering building an Allison powered Isetta....:eek:

    Jan
     
  12. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 6,761

    50Fraud
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There were two versions of Big Al. The original was a chopped '34 steel Tudor body, with windows high enough to see out of. Then he rebodied it with a fiberglass repop, with the super-radical chop shown in the pictures. That's the body that's in Garlits' museum now.

    Jim Lytle does (or did) live in Hawaii, and he did build a sort of Isetta that was Allison powered. It wasn't the familiar, super-short Isetta, but a BMW 600 -- a longer car with a full-width rear end, still with the Isetta front-opening door.

    He did race Big Al. I saw it run at Irwindale, probably around 1969. I think that the other stuff (the trike, Fiat, BMW and White) were more show cars, and I don't know how many of them actually ran.

    I read something that Jim wrote -- maybe here on the HAMB -- in which he said that he could no longer afford to buy Allison engines to build more of this stuff. I guess that 40 or 50 years ago, you could buy one for a few hundred bucks or so.
     
  13. Omega
    Joined: Jul 11, 2006
    Posts: 883

    Omega
    Member
    from Mass

    I herd the same story about the allisons. Basicly that quad al, never got to actually make a run. So i herd.
     
  14. Locomotive Breath
    Joined: Feb 1, 2007
    Posts: 714

    Locomotive Breath
    Member
    from Texas

    Yeah, I soon as I got a good look at car I snapped to the fact Big Al was short for Big Allison. Does anyone know what kinda times the 34 ran? I know Arfons ran some pretty good numbers for time with his Allison powered rail.
    That 4 engined car is awesome, I've never seen that before. The good old days of $200 Allisons are long gone. They go for $20,000+ :eek: now days, but there are still a few around.
     
  15. Yo Baby
    Joined: Jul 11, 2004
    Posts: 2,817

    Yo Baby
    Member

    As I recall some of the stories I read are that he built the quad car in his moms garage and didn't have a trailer tough enough to haul the weight and sold it right away and never raced it.
    Also that the first pass in the 34 the car shook so bad that he couldn't see so went back to the drawing board and built a driveline tube that tied everything together from the motor to the rear and cured the shakes.
    The next lap netted a nice and smooth 150mph.
    Then the next pass or so the air daming up under the body approaching 150 mph blew one of the doors off and that's when he went home and built the one piece glass body and added a belly pan.
    I think after that it was developing clutch problems and he went and developed either the first or one of the first multi disc clutch assy's.
    Aieee Kamikazeee!!!!!!!;)
     
  16. Locomotive Breath
    Joined: Feb 1, 2007
    Posts: 714

    Locomotive Breath
    Member
    from Texas

    Remember the good old days when sex was safe, and hot rods were dangerous.
     
  17. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 5,286

    the-rodster
    Member

    I snapped these pics at the 05 BG HRR.
     

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  18. Locomotive Breath
    Joined: Feb 1, 2007
    Posts: 714

    Locomotive Breath
    Member
    from Texas

    Boy, that takes setting close to an engine to a whole new level. :eek:
     
  19. Rocknrod
    Joined: Jan 2, 2003
    Posts: 649

    Rocknrod
    Member
    from NC, USA

    Wow...

    Exhaust stubs on a drag rail!

    Big Al down in the museum throws you for a loop when you walk up to it. Takes a second to figure that the driver doesnt look through the window...
     
  20. kornbinder
    Joined: Oct 19, 2005
    Posts: 514

    kornbinder
    Member
    from Sonora, CA

    From the 05 CHHR:p
     

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  21. Ramblur
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,093

    Ramblur
    Member

    My neighbor www.fantasyofflight.com is sitting a huge stash of
    mostly P38 spec. allisons. Seventy-some engines still fresh in their
    1940's crates. I think he offered some for sale last year but I don't
    think $20,000 would have bought one... There is one sitting in the
    gift shop though.
     
  22. mike budniewski
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 327

    mike budniewski
    Member

    the fiat less the 4 allisons was for sale at carlise say 10-12 years ago. cy kusubista had it there. the allison cars never ran anywhere there full potential lacking low enough gears for the 57-64 olds rears. before the allison cars he built a hell of a 32 with early hemi. it was heavily chanelled. i think at the time he lived in texas. mike
     
  23. Locomotive Breath
    Joined: Feb 1, 2007
    Posts: 714

    Locomotive Breath
    Member
    from Texas

    Yeah, its even hard to find good gears below 3.50 for the Ford 9''. I've been looking for some new 3.00 gears to use in my GAA project.
     
  24. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 3,079

    atch
    Member

    Big Al I (the steel bodied version) ran 10.50 @ 148 at Lions in Augugst 1963; and won top eliminator at Cotati, California.

    Big Al II (fiberglass) was the first drag car to top 160 in the low 9's.

    this per the writing on the poster that was referenced in reply #6 above.
     
  25. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,318

    Lucky77
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Cool thread, I saw the one at Garlits museum when I was 7 or 8 and I was dumbfounded and fell in love with chopped tops.
     
  26. willys33
    Joined: Jan 31, 2007
    Posts: 144

    willys33
    Member
    from New Mexico

    Interesting point about the 'glas body. The door and hood lines don't match. He did that on purpose to make it look like the doors and hood were operational.
     
  27. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,042

    brandon
    Member


    supposed to be located in indiana now......his 32 was pretty bitchin.....the removible cowl to tune it was a neat touch....brandon
     
  28. ProEnfo
    Joined: Sep 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,497

    ProEnfo
    Member
    from Motown

    A recent copy seen at Indy 2005..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    CC
     
  29. BLAINE 816
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 244

    BLAINE 816
    Member

    If my memory serves me. he had big AL at OCIR in 74 or75, fired it had a problem and oiled the track. Not good.
    Blaine
     
  30. Herdez
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 352

    Herdez
    Member

    Heres some stuff I found out. He was in Texas when the car was built. He also raced other stuff at Little River in the 50s according to some old stories with a roadster or coupe while stationed at Ft. Hood.

    Link: click
     

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