The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by KKx125, Feb 22, 2009.
Danny Oakes, 1946, bicycling Johnny Balch's Offy. He saved it!
My dad leading a heat race, San Bernardino, Orange Show Stadium,1947.
This is his second Kurtis, chassis #121. This car is still in our family, and is currently in the Justice Brothers museum.
Dad leading a race at Saugus Stadium (later renamed Bonelli Stadium) in 1947.
In 1948 dad arranged with Kurtis to send a midget in kit form to his high school buddy, Gene Van Winkle, in Lincoln Nebraska. Gene's dad's Ford dealership put together a "Texas Stroker" V8-60 for the car. But, with a driver near 300 lbs, the car didn't really have an advantage. Dad is standing 3rd from the right.
The driver weighed 300lbs.? Power to weight ratio was all out of whack!!
"Tiny" more than made up for it with agression!
Duane Carter at Gilmore, 1946
Henry Banks in the Lindsey Hopkins Offy at Gilmore, 1946
"Bullet" Joe Garson at Gilmore, 1946.
A just home from the service, Walt Faulkner, 1946. I love that he's wearing his Air Force flight jacket. Guys like him were cool!
Gib Lilly in the very popular Donald O'Connor Special. This is an early Kurtis with 1/4 eliptic rear springs.
Chet Wilson's #5 in 1938. Chet and my dad were school pals in Lincoln Nebraska. Chet built this car in his mom's garage, and helped my dad build his first midget in '38. Chet went on to be a well respected builder in the mid west. He built many sprint cars and midgets up into the 1980's. Check out his "custom" in the back ground.
Great thread! The midget is a 1947 Kurtis V8-60 restored many years ago by Eli Vukovich. I wish it would fit thru my front door so I could park it in my living room! The little cars are vintage quarter midgets....1958 Kurtis 500, 1963 Lenny Gonsel (pretty rare), 1958 Racecraft, 1956 Stevenscraft, 1957 Racecraft (owned and raced by "Johnny" one of the original Mickey Mouse Club members), 1957 Wahlborg and a really cool late 50's mystery car that looks to be mostly a Vikingcraft. Kenny.
Do you know any history on the KK midget before Eli restored it?
The book " Kurtis, the geneology of speed" only lists the chassis number (161) as far back as Eli Vukovich. Eli sold the car to Jim Lynch and he repainted it, Eli asked him to keep the number #14 on the car and Jim raced it and displayed it at some vintage events (see last picture below at Madera, Ca.) and while Jim owned the car he researched and listed the drivers in order as... Bob Machin (Stan Brooks owner), Earl Motter, Bob Veith, Johnnie Baldwin and Dickie Reese. Jim Lynch sold the car to Joe Noble in Clovis, Ca. where it sat for several years. Joe Noble passed away and I bought the car a couple years later from Joe's son Chad Noble. Again, I can only verify this back as far as Eli for certain, but I would love to hear from anybody that may know anything for sure. I must say, it is an honor to talk to you Dean, I am fully aware of your hot rod and racing history! Kenny.
Kenny, you are too kind. I was just lucky to have a father who loved racing, and had a wonderful circle of friends in many types of racing.
You are lucky you know as much history on your Kurtis as you do. Much of the history of these wonderful race cars is known, but much more has been lost through the years. Great collection of 1/4 midgets too. I have a little history with those myself.
I have a V8 60 midget with something wrong in the motor ... any ideas on a shop in Fredericksburg, VA or Washington area that can rebuild it?
You will like this site from the Tulsa legend Danley Clow and his son.
The Man Behind The Legend By Donna Wilson.
On this link you can go to http://www.chet-wilson.com/ and watch a slide show. Just click on the Offy Killer at the top of the site.
have several midget projects, finding the cars and hearing the stories are the Best!
Gimme a day or two. Got some photos from Wayne Doebling this week, and there's some cageless midgets in there, I believe.
No notes on the back of this one from Wayne Doebling, but it sure looks like Chuck Rodee to me...
This one says it was taken at Columbus, Ohio on September 3, 1968...
Wayne IDs this one as John Deering at New Bremen on Sept. 22, 1968...
No notes on the back of this one. Looks like a fairgrounds. Surely somebody can ID it...
Has a Merle Bettenhausen look to it...
Another from Wayne. No date stamp.
The 61 is probably Mel Kenyon, of course. The date stamp from Wayne Doubling says May 29, 1970 and it looks like IRP, so it's probably the Night Before the 500...
Another from that Night Before the 500 1970 bunch...
Separate names with a comma.