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Technical The 1952 Indy 500

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ryan, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. Ryan
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    Ryan
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    Staff Member

  2. Truckedup
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    Truckedup Member

    All those cars are just a little different from each other.#26 is sleeker looking to me.
  3. racerjohnson
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    racerjohnson Member

    Every car is different. How refreshing. I'm a sucker for the Ferrari.

    So is the Cummins Diesel Special diesel powered or just sponsored?
    Sure would prove that even diesel race cars have been tried before.

    And where are they now?
  4. Ebbsspeed
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    Ebbsspeed
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    Looking at the race results, only one of the cars was eliminated due to what was called a "spin out". No accidents, must have been quite a bit safer than it appeared. Great pictures, thanks for sharing!
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  5. JeffreyJames
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    JeffreyJames Member

    Yeah, that Cummins really stuck out as well at the Novin Pure Oil and the Ferrari (of course). Those images are beautiful and really can lend a bunch of ideas towards what we are building. There were a few blisters that I would love to incorporate into my coupe as well as the beautiful steering arms. Chalk another one up for Good ol' Buffalo, NY. Thanks Jim and Ryan for sharing.
  6. dodgedartgt
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    dodgedartgt Member

    The Cummins Diesel Special caught my eye as well, has the most modern, sleek, streamlined look to my eye. I also wonder about the engine and how it performed prior to supercharger failure.
    Mike

    edit
    Just looked at the Race scoring box again...
    It lists the car as Kurtis chassis and Cummins engine, cool.

    edit #2
    In fact, using Wikipedia (this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Agabashian ), it shows Fred as having started on the pole in this race. In fact, 21 of 33 qualifiers that year were Kurtis chassis', that is pretty incredible considering there were still so many independents.
  7. Richard D
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    Richard D Member

    I agree; I was suprised when I looked at the larger image and saw "Cummins Diesel".
  8. 5window
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    5window Member

    Did you notice the racing surface is still bricks?
  9. Zumo
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    Zumo Member

    Where these cars fabricated from scratch? Or did they start out from an original car/frame?
  10. 29 sedanman
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    29 sedanman Member

    Very good post with the track opening this weekend. I just got back from lunch and seen the Penske haulers going down 16th st heading for the track. I love this month since I can sit in my office and listen to them practice all week during may.

    It is so different from the pictures from your post but it is still the 500!
  11. Chaz
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    Chaz Member

    These are the cars that made the Indy 500 what it was! Can you even imagine wrestling one of those steering wheels for four hours?
    Then Jim Clark and Bobby Marshman came along..I sure miss those old roadsters. Crap, I'm old!
    Great post , Ryan
  12. Byron Crump
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    Byron Crump Member

    I dig the roadster years of Indy...and as a goofy OT side note a game for the Nintendo Wii my daughter has is called Indy Car Legends and it feature cars from the end of the roadster period (early 60's) and ends in the early 70's with rear engines. The game has cool cars in it and when you are waiting to play it tells you history on the drivers, the track, and so on. It talked in the game how the original track surface was horrid and then how long it was brick and when it was covered except for the remaing brick. The rest of it is below the surface still. Cool deal if your kid happens to have a Wii you might want to pick it up.
  13. Scrumpy
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    Scrumpy Member

    Nice post! Love the wheel chock in pic 5. Some of the driver names. Bettenhouser, Bennie Parsons, ...
  14. Bort62
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    Bort62 BANNED

    Fantastic!
  15. Zumo
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    Zumo Member

    Here something cool I found:

    [​IMG] and Current pics:

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  16. Ryan
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    Check out Sam Hanks' #18 car... Now that's a race car... Assuming all of that paint is BLACK.
  17. Oldmanolds
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    Oldmanolds Member

    Hey if your time is pretty flexible come on to Indianapolis on Wed. May 21st for Community Day.Hell for $7.00 you can get into the track,drive around it,see all the old roadsters and even hit the museum all for the same price.And they don't rape you for a good cold beer.
  18. RichFox
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    As a young man I went to Bud Winfield's to get a cam reground for my early Chrysler. Mr. Winfield showed me half of a 255 Offy and told me that Troy Ruttman had blown it in practice at Indy and so they sawed it in hald to get a better look at wall thickness and such. To me it was as though I was present at the second comming. Wish I had spent more time trying to talk to him. Mr. Winfield was very hard of hearing and not easy to converse with.
  19. Steve Hedke
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    Steve Hedke Member

    Most of the Indy cars of that day were bought in Los Angeles. The chassis were Kurtiss, the engines usually Offy. In order to win, you stuck close to this formula.

    Cummins diesel had run a diesel engined car several times over the years. They were fuel efficient but heavy and not too fast. They could finish but never contended for the win. Effective for advertising though.

    Many bodies were hand built. Hot rods of the day looked to Indy and Formula cars for inspiration. Lots of hot rodders worked on teams building cars.
  20. Stevie G
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    On the road to Bethlehem....no....really!!

    Stevie G Member

    The Cummins car was kicking major but until...The intake screen (Located beneath the car) became plugged with rubber from the track surface and the car literally choked.
    I can't begin to imagine why someone would put the air intake under the car.
    The really neat part, the engine was laid on it's side. They reworked the oil sump and pickup to accomodate the change in orientation.
    i think this was on a special on discovery or TLC.

    Car and Driver article
  21. NoSurf
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    Just look at those smiles.
  22. novadude
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    novadude Member

    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!
  23. TvanD
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    TvanD Member

    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.
  24. Wesley
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    Wesley Member

    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!
  25. OLLIN
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    OLLIN Member

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

    [​IMG]
  26. Choptop
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    Choptop
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    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.
  27. Choptop
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    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.
  28. 47bob
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    47bob Member

    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)
  29. 73roundlight
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    73roundlight
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    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.


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    One of the Novi Cars

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    Another one of the Cummins Diesel Specials

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

    [​IMG]
  30. mrpontiac
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    mrpontiac Member

    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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