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History The Birth Of Bill Burke

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 16,186

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  2. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,213

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Fun read and visit back in time. Great way to start the morning, thanks!
  3. Ol Deuce
    Joined: May 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,065

    Ol Deuce
    from Mt. U.S.A.

    Bill Burke is a very intersting man to visit with, He has so
    many Bonneville stories of his early days. Bill is a very cool

    :cool:Ol Deuce
  4. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 2,043

    from Colorado

    I've enjoyed more than a few wet lunches with Bill when he was the one and only ad salesman for Car Craft, Hot Rod, and Rod & Custom. Most, if not all, of our clients were more than happy to contribute parts, pieces and and a helping hand to Bill. A true living legend and a hell of a nice guy.
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  5. Ryan ... I've been meaning to start a "Bill Burke Pictorial History" thread ... now I don't have to! :) ... thanks for the cool pics and the history lesson!
  6. Flying Tiger
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 479

    Flying Tiger
    from Japan

    Great read. Thank you for sharing.
  7. Bugsy
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,252

    from Kansas

    Talk about a pioneer on so many levels. And talk about balls on so many levels. These depression era inovators like Bill Burke are national treasures to say the least. When you think of the advancements in mechanical technology and speed that took place during a 20 to 30 year period it's mind blowing. Also, this was also one of the last times in our history where the military was taking it's cues from the civilian sector as far as engineering, horsepower and speed. Whether it was in the air races over Cleveland or on the dry lakes of California. Guys like Bill Burke were pushing the limits with no safety net or compensation. They hung it out there, spent their hard earned dough and set and broke records at a break-neck speed, both figuratively and literally!!

    I can't imagine what a buzz he caused when he rolled up with the belly tank for the first time! What a wild assed ride that thing must have been.
  8. G. Hacker
    Joined: Sep 1, 2006
    Posts: 146

    G. Hacker

    Hi Gang....

    I visited Bill Burke last week and took some shots of him with the belly tank we recently built. Attached is one of the photos. Bill is in purple and his son Steve is standing next to him.

    Hope you enjoy...


    Attached Files:

  9. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,808


    The Kellison and also that streamliner are just plain cool.
  10. Bib Overalls
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 3,942

    Bib Overalls

    I've told this tale before. When I was in grammar school my walk home, with a slight detour, took me by the Burke house in the San Gabriel Village. If I was lucky the garage door would be open and I could get a look at a belly tank or stream liner parked inside. And once or twice, a car was actually pushed outside. But I never saw anyone outside and I did not have the nerve to knock on the door. My loss. Many years later I found out Bill's son Steve and my brother Mike were best of friends.
  11. fiat128
    Joined: Jun 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,430

    from El Paso TX

    Got any more details on this car? That looks seriously fun.
  12. G. Hacker
    Joined: Sep 1, 2006
    Posts: 146

    G. Hacker

    Hi Fiat128....

    Here’s a summary of links on the internet about the belly tank. These are the stories covered by Hemmings in the last few months. Hope you enjoy. Just click on the first link and then the remaining links for each story.

    This shows the progression from when we started the belly tank project, it’s arrival and showing at Bonneville, and it’s final stop on the journey at the NHRA Museum in Pomona California. Here are the links:

    Hope you enjoy…


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