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52 stude drag car "the Maggot"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by balonybob, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. balonybob
    Joined: May 16, 2011
    Posts: 12

    balonybob
    Member

    Just bought a 52 Studebaker commander coupe drag race car called The Maggot. It raced east of the Mississippi and was runner up in 67/68 in M-class or stock class. It was owned by Pete Magel who drove it to the race's. He is well known but there is not much info on him or his car on the web. I am looking for info and pictures on him and the car. Anybody have any info? thanks Bob
     
  2. Can you post some pics of the aforementioned maggot you bought in its current state?
     
  3. Buford
    Joined: Aug 30, 2001
    Posts: 314

    Buford
    Member

    I remember the car at the Cayuga Ontario (Toronto) strip in the mid '60s..very competetive car. Buford
     
  4. Don't know where I got this, but is the only picture I have ever found. Pete used to live off Main st. in Clarence. Him and his brother were into Studes and Hudsons. Tried tracking him and the car down years ago, never made contact. I believe he passed away years back. Would love to see pics of the car!-MIKE:cool:

    [​IMG]
     

  5. little t
    Joined: Sep 14, 2010
    Posts: 87

    little t
    Member

    cool picture mike picture at lancaster dragstrip i remember the car he used to have a decal on the side window that said clergy with a cross i belive he had a white stude pickup truck also
     
  6. I remember seeing the car at Niagara Dragstrip. Next March the Gasser Gang will host their annual Niagara Dragstrip Reunion. That would be the place to get information. Lots of former Niagara racers show up.
     
  7. drifters cc
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 178

    drifters cc
    Member

    Does it still have a wooden shovel handle shifter in it?
     
  8. balonybob
    Joined: May 16, 2011
    Posts: 12

    balonybob
    Member

    Great info guy's. Thanks for the picture. I may have a 8mm film on the car running back in the day. Yes the car I was told "Was the one to beat" and it does still have the shovel handle shifter and still has the pastor sticker in the window. It still looks like the picture shown. The car is in great shape, rock solid and was well preserved in race form. Pete is in fact still living but in a home and in bad health. Dean Johnson who used to own/run Niagara drag strip is my garage's landlord and knew Pete & car well he has hooked me up with the tech inspector at niagara and I plan on getting the car and him together for a reunion and for more info. He has all his notes and times from the track. I was told this car ran low 15's high 14's and was runner up at the Indy nationals M/stock class so it must be fast. The pictures show it when I got it home before being washed and after. I was told Pete kept the car very clean and waxed so I had to wash it. :D
     
  9. balonybob
    Joined: May 16, 2011
    Posts: 12

    balonybob
    Member

    Pete's car
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. biscaynes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,648

    biscaynes
    Member

    if it was a stock class car, post a query on the jr stock thread, someone there may also know the car
     
  11. balonybob
    Joined: May 16, 2011
    Posts: 12

    balonybob
    Member

    Looks like there a post already there. Thanks
     
  12. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,843

    CGkidd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pretty damn cool. What engine is in it?
     
  13. Holy Crap!! That thing is in beautiful shape. Nice catch.-MIKE:eek:
     
  14. balonybob
    Joined: May 16, 2011
    Posts: 12

    balonybob
    Member

    It has the stock 232 V-8 with 3speed trans and 513 gears. Pete did all his own building and I was told the motor has been tweaked big time. There are all kinds of mod's done like, light weight nut & bolts, a lighter front seat from a falcon he covered with a blanket (I have to original also and other orig parts) Hole's drilled in the trunk and wheel wells, he also took the trunk lock off so the trunk could burp air, its held down with HD springs, a deep oil pan, home made tracking bars, differant on both sides, home made wheel well headers and pipes etc. I was also told he drove the car to all the races and prepped the car at the track. He did his lettering with shoe polish so it can be cleaned off after the race. I will post pictures of the motor soon. I was told the car was last started 5-7 years ago and was last on the road in the early 80's.
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. drifters cc
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 178

    drifters cc
    Member

    Don't move the air horn. It's just where Pete wanted it.
     
  16. balonybob
    Joined: May 16, 2011
    Posts: 12

    balonybob
    Member

    AIR HORN??? You mean the side pipes? one under one out?? You sound like you knew him well. Do you remember where and how the lettering went? I was told he found a ad in the back of a magazine got on a greyhound and went to Miss to buy it site unseen and drove it home. Did you ever hear this?
     
  17. richie rebel
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,184

    richie rebel
    Member

    cool car,keep us posted
     
  18. drifters cc
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 178

    drifters cc
    Member

    Don't know about the lettering or the Mississippi story.
    But...
    Oh 25 years ago or so my Dad and I paid Pete a visit to see if he had any hot Stude parts laying around to sell (for my Dads 62 Stude).
    Pete and his brother had become very reclusive and more or less disowned most anything to do with ANY cars. The two of them apperently were overcome with fumes either from a running car or some shop chemicals while working in their auto shop and were badly sickened. After that they were very leary about the chemicals that were contained in every bit of the automobile: paint, oil, gas, grease, exhaust, foam, ect. They were really way WAY forward thinkers, first about how to make their Studebakers (they had a bunch of them) fast and then about the adverse health and enviromental effects coming from the manufacture, upkeep and exaust from cars. That was "crazy" talk back in the 1980s but in hind sight they were ahead of their time.
    Pete wouldn't even touch that 52 Stude. I mean really not even touch it due to its potentialy harmful chemicals it contained. He did allow us to take the tarp off it to take a look at the old racecar.

    More in a minute.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  19. damn! I love the HAMB and the people and the stories they share, where else can you get that I tell ya!
     
  20. drifters cc
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 178

    drifters cc
    Member

    Then Pete went on to tell us about all the &#8220;Trick&#8221; stuff like the shifter handle, seats, trunk, oil pan, exhaust, piston rings, wheels, ect. I do believe he removed every other seat spring in the seats too and some stuff I&#8217;ve forgotten too.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    But the story I liked best was this:<o:p></o:p>
    He told us about how they attached a bunch of little pieces of string all around the engine bay and then looking thru the heater core in the firewall with a flashlight while his brother drove the car to see how to position the ram &#8220;air horn&#8221; scoop on the induction for optimum air flow and horse power at the track. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I&#8217;m not sure if my Dad bought them or Pete gave them to us but we left with the white wheels (from the picture at Lancaster Dragway) and slicks off that car to be used on my Dads Stude hot rod.<o:p></o:p>
     
  21. Best drag car name - ever!
     
  22. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,170

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Cool - great stories
     
  23. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,433

    rd martin
    Member
    from indiana

    its kool to have the history and the car. most of these hotrods can tell a story. ive had alot of cars over the years, and i always try to find out the history on the cars. i have met some interesting people over the years. as a good friend of mine always says, its about the people, not the cars, and its true. great find. that shifter is the nuts! when i was a kid i new a guy in the 60s that raced a 37 chevy coupe with a wooden toilet from an outhouse for a seat. believe it or not!
     
  24. jratz1966
    Joined: Nov 11, 2009
    Posts: 104

    jratz1966
    Member

    wow man, awesome car and story,keep post coming.

    Jratz
     
  25. rstude
    Joined: Nov 30, 2012
    Posts: 1

    rstude
    Member

    Hi balonybob....I knew the Maggot and Peter when I was a kid....use to watch him drag at Cayuga dragstrip.
    I went and seen your car last year, I'm glad someone bought it that will do something with it.....good luck.....hope to see it at Cayuga again someday.
     
  26. balonybob
    Joined: May 16, 2011
    Posts: 12

    balonybob
    Member

    Yea I went to look at the 27 Essex they had and couldn't get by the Maggot. It looked fast just sitting there. 1952 Studebaker vintage drag car with a history for sale, OK SOLD! Dont know why but had to. I plan to gather some more history and pictures on Pete Magels Maggot to help preserve there history. So I'm hoping for race track stories/pictures. Pete ran at Niagara dragway often and helped stage a 12 car & driver protest in the center of the track stopping the event. They were protesting for more purse money and it caused the Track to shut down for a year. Pete & the other racers were banned from racing at Niagara. Dean Johnson, the track owner, said Pete tried to sneak back in and was lined up to race and Dean went over and told him he couldn't so Pete showed him a stack of 20's in a news paper and told him it was for him, Dean didnt let him race. Keep the stories coming
     
  27. Do any of you guys know if the story is true that Pete staggered the front wheels so he could get more roll in the lights? I had heard all kinds of stories of his " tweaking " to get an advantage at the track. -MIKE
     
  28. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,817

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    Man this is awesome! That car is in great shape! I heard this car was for sale, glad someone who appreciates what it is got it! And that it still has the shovel handle shifter!!! Too Cool! I remember hearing stories about teh car from lots of guys who saw it race or even raced against it! Hope to see it out this summer!
    Let's see some old drag pics of it if anyone has some!
    You should come to the Niagara Drag Strip Video Reunion in March, when it gets closer look for details here on the HAMB. It's at the Aud Sports Bar in Depew NY. Lots of Old Drag Race Videos from Niagara and Lancaster being played all day! And everyone brings their pics to show and swap!
     
  29. Couple guys at work were just talking about Pete and the Maggot last week. They were from Clarence and started reliving the old days..lol
     
  30. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,843

    CGkidd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Keep the stories coming. This is awesome.
     

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