Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical The 1952 Indy 500

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

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 16,362

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  2. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,596


    All those cars are just a little different from each other.#26 is sleeker looking to me.
  3. racerjohnson
    Joined: Oct 3, 2006
    Posts: 178

    from Fargo, ND

    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
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 3,402


    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!
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,542

    from SUGAR CITY

    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
    Joined: Dec 25, 2006
    Posts: 96

    from SW FL

    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.

    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 ), 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. I agree; I was suprised when I looked at the larger image and saw "Cummins Diesel".
  8. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 5,153


    Did you notice the racing surface is still bricks?
  9. Zumo
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,389


    Where these cars fabricated from scratch? Or did they start out from an original car/frame?
  10. 29 sedanman
    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,282

    29 sedanman
    from Indy

    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. 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
    Joined: Jun 13, 2001
    Posts: 1,850

    Byron Crump

    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
    Joined: May 31, 2006
    Posts: 84

    from NH93 Exit1

    Nice post! Love the wheel chock in pic 5. Some of the driver names. Bettenhouser, Bennie Parsons, ...
  14. Bort62
    Joined: Jan 11, 2007
    Posts: 594


  15. Zumo
    Joined: Aug 30, 2004
    Posts: 1,389


    Here something cool I found:

    [​IMG] and Current pics:

  16. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 16,362

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Check out Sam Hanks' #18 car... Now that's a race car... Assuming all of that paint is BLACK.
  17. Oldmanolds
    Joined: Jan 16, 2006
    Posts: 923


    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
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 7,501


    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
    Joined: Sep 28, 2005
    Posts: 72

    Steve Hedke

    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. 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
    Joined: Jul 26, 2002
    Posts: 3,897

    from Chester NH

    Just look at those smiles.
  22. novadude
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 532


    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
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 76

    from Newton IA

    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
    Joined: Aug 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,671


    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
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,076


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

  26. Choptop
    Joined: Jun 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,245


    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
    Joined: Jun 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,245


    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
    Joined: Oct 28, 2005
    Posts: 625


    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
    Joined: May 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,124


    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.









    One of the Novi Cars

    Another one of the Cummins Diesel Specials


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

  30. 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.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2013 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.