The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by john56h, Apr 11, 2007.
Here is my Gremlin body chevy powered #63 from SNYRA I believe 1974 or 1975
This thread was locked a few months back but if I'm not mistaken it had some Tampa/St. Pete stuff in it. I know I've seen pics from that area somewhere on the net.
Here's another source.
I concur...always thought you should be able to take an original car (cut down, modified or whatever), and run it just as it was, with speed kept reasonable for it's time frame, however it seems that the clubs have gotten away from that premise, and original cars can't run any more due to some bureaucratic minds wanting "safety improvments". Too bad. (Most of these cars are not even driven by the original drivers, and half of them have some wannabe's name on the door too)...Oh well, life goes on...
JChimbola - Post #10271:
Vintage cars...with sanctioning groups like the VSCCA for sports cars, the cars must be restored to period correct specs. It seems like some of the old stock cars are newer cars with an old body mounted. Also these clone type cars are also misleading. Having a vintage car , my position is you are like a living museum, demonstrating what the cars used to be like for the current generation. Seeing a car buzz the track with 00 Buzzie numbers, on a 90's Troyer chassis is not vintage racing. That also includes old cars with a big Autometer tach stuck in the dash.
Vintage cars should be real, all the others need to have another name and not be presented at events as vintage stock cars.
To JChimbola: OK, I take a bit of exception (offense even) to the post above. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and obviously you feel strongly about what should be considered "Vintage" and what is not. I'd ask you to consider, however, another side of the coin. I would agree that if you're lucky enough to find an original Modified in fairly complete condition, it makes sense to try and restore it to something close to original. However, I looked for years for an asphalt Mod. from the late 60s-early 70s timeframe and came up with nothing. I'd have LOVED to have found one of Richie's, Merv Treichler's, Roger Treichler's, one of those great NE coupes, one of those cool Southerns Mods., etc., etc. and restored it. And even if I had, I would have definitely wanted to update some things, which by your definition would probably disqualify it from being "Vintage". Now, I couldn't find an original, so I took another path. I bought an original 36 Chevy coupe and I proceeded to cut it up....just like they used to do. I bought a Scout frame and I cut it up....just like they used to do. Then I had a local builder (Rick Kluth) build me a front clip & the 3 main bars of the cage. Didn't just plop a coupe body on an 80s Troyer chassis. My chassis is pretty up to date, and I've been doing all the work myself in my 1 car garage, but the chassis is built to fit my coupe body. Bought a tubing bender and learned how to use it and welded pretty much everything myself. Is it "Period Correct"? Sort of...it has the "look" of many of the cars I remember seeing back then. But from an equipment & suspension standpoint? Absolutely NOT and I never intended for it to be. You see I want to do more than just haul it to car shows or make a few exhibition laps. I want to actually race it. Why would I want to race with 1960s technology & safety equipment? There's 50 yrs. of safety (and handling) improvements since then, and I'm going to take advantage of that. My plan is to race with the Midstate Vintage Club in NY. Rules are pretty open and as long as you're safe and have a Vintage look to your car, you can race. Getting races on asphalt is a challenge (most of the guys are dirt guys), but that's another story. So, I'm not using a straight axle, since the era I'm targetting (early 70s) was starting to have some independent front ends. My front end will be much like the Troyer or Kluth chassis today. My rear is 3 point with coilovers (no leafs). I made these choices because the technology & advice on how to use is readily available to me. Plus, it's similar to what I already know a little about from racing Legends. I'll be 60 yrs. old if I make my goal of 2012 to be on track. I sure don't need a steeper learning curve to try and figure out straight axles & leaf springs. Plus I don't know all that many old timers who remember how to make those setups work either. Seat? Do you remember what some of those seats in 1970 looked like? I'm not sitting my arse in one of them! Bought a nice Joie of Seating Sat. Night Special model. It's safe, comfy and I LOVE it (not "Vintage" though)! I'm building the roll cage & interior area pretty much as if it had to pass NASCAR inspection today. Again, I want to push this car & myself to the limits, so why would I do anything less?? I DO want to live to retire someday, after all.
So my finished product will clearly look very similar to some of the coolest, fastest, baddest looking Modifieds from the early 70s, but would someone who is looking close take it as an original restoration? Of course not, but it will still get a lot of old timers talking & their blood pumping a bit....I guarantee that! There is room, IMHO, in the "Vintage" race car arena for more than 1 definition of what constitutes a vintage machine. Yours is correct for what you have & what you do with it. It just doesn't work for me, but that doesn't my view wrong. I've also done some street rods & had similar arguments/discussions with antique-y guys who think an old car should NEVER be modified from original. They also wouldn't have touched the cars I built into street rods with a 10 ft. pole. Too far gone to restore, in their opinions. So at least I saved them from the crusher. Same goes for that 36 Chevy body I cut up. It wasn't restorable. I couldn't find an original stock car I liked, so I'm building my own, on my own & much like a lot of guys did back then w/o much help and using many of my own ideas. Now THAT's a Vintage approach at least, IMO!
Quoted from Shamrock: "To JChimbola: OK, I take a bit of exception (offense even) to the post above. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and obviously you feel strongly about what should be considered "Vintage" and what is not. I'd ask you to consider, however, another side of the coin. I would agree that if you're lucky enough to find an original Modified in fairly complete condition, it makes sense to try and restore it to something close to original. However, I looked for years for an asphalt Mod. from the late 60s-early 70s timeframe and came up with nothing." End Quote.
Shamrock brings up some good points regarding "Vintage." I also spent a lot of time searching for a period Vintage Asphalt Modified and quickly discovered that most of the old racecars had either gone to the scrap heap, been run hard, wrecked, rusted bent, worn out, you name it, etc, etc.
I remember going to the Race of Champions at Trenton in 1974 and looking at some of the cars that were attempting to make the race. My good friend that was with me at that time had built several Modifieds and he made the comment that he would be afraid to sit and have his picture taken in some of the cars while they were parked, not moving! My point here is, if they weren't safe back then they certainly wouldn't be any better today and who wants to drive an unsafe car?
I have gone a similar route as Shamrock and am in the process of putting together a "Brand New Vintage Modified." Pre-war Coupe body, Original production frame, cage built to the new safety standards, modern seat, latest technology disc brakes, etc, etc.
True Vintage Modified? No.
Safe car and enjoyable project - you bet.
Last point - Some time in the future, given some age, Shamrocks car and my car will be true Vintage cars...
Regards to all,
Moselli, aka - Richie
some southern modified shots....
a few more I found of Satch Worley in the Allard #66
in the Clarence Steakhouse #26
at Islip for the All Star 300 (Don Howe leaning against his #34 in the background)
a few of fellow southerner Paul Radford....
Paul in the Clarence Steakhouse #26 battling Fred Desarro in Lenny Boehler's #3
Paul in the #18 at Martinsville battling Geoff Bodine in the #99
a potent pack, probably 1972 at Martinsville: Fred Desarro in the #3 coupe, Paul Radford in the #26 coach, Richie Evans in the #61 coupe, Ray Hendrick in the Armstrong #1 pinto, Lou Lazzaro in the #4 coupe, Jerry Cook in the #38 falcon, Ed Flemke in the 2x pinto
the Perk Brown #45 (not sure who is driving it) Ray Miller in the #101 coach looks to be Langhorne
some shots of Charlie Siebert from Long Island...always built a neat, clean mod...always parked by Artie Tappen in the pits...had same sponsor, Vinyl Village....
Charlie at Riverhead with his coach, Joe Krukowski in the #711...
in the pits at Islip
Charlie in his coupe not sure if this is Riverhead or not
Charlie in the earliest version of his pinto...
next in the line of pintos
a Len Calinoff photo
in the inflield pits at Islip (Charlie J's vega jacked up in the background to the right)
looks like Charlie J had two vegas in the background in this shot with Gary Winters #380 Monza also in the background. After Charlie Siebert sold this pinto (note for sale sign on the car) I believe he built a nice Mustang II. I do not believe he ran it for too long before he sold it to a Jacque Mart'in. The french name was none other than an alias for long time veteran Jackie Reinhardt. I have not come across any pictures of that car.
...add me to the club of those building a vintage car with a newer chassis. In my case, I used whatever I could of the old stuff mixed in with the new. Any part I could make look old, I did. I once read a quote somewhere online that went something to this effect - "I respect tradition, but I'm not bound by it". That pretty much sums up my philosophy for building the car my way. I'm building a car that looks like what I saw from the stands when I was 12 years old (48 years ago), just a lot faster, better handling and safer.
My car (when finished) will be a liberal interpretation of a car that raced around these parts in the '60's and I have the full blessing of the owner of that car to do it my way. As a matter of fact, he calls me every so often to get the updates and to put the hurry up on me to get it done.
This vintage car will embody the spirit of the original. That's good enough for me.
It's funny how you see two different opinions on was is Vintage or not. When I started looking for a car to restore in 1996 I couldn't find any either. No one at the time would give you a lead unless you were inside. I wound up finding a car in the Bargain News which turned out to be the car Jimmy Smith won his 1966 point championship in at Danbury. Over the years the car had be cut here and there, had a Chevy V8 installed by Lou Funk jr. who ran the car as the #09.He did that when Danbury stopped using flatheads. I restored the car as best I could with what I had at the time.The car was well received when I showed it. I didn't like running it, no good brakes and it just didn't feel safe to me at the time. So I found Bob Horn's Vega and restored it. The car was complete minus the motor so I had all of the period correct stuff. I also got the original blue prints from Linblad for the chassis. I didn't even restore the body, used it the way I got it. Sanded the frame and painted it in the driveway. The car ran and drove very well. I wound up installing an SK motor in the car and had a ball with it before I sold it. My last car I did was the # 77 coupe. It was originally Bob Riley's red # 99 Pinto at Danbury. I found it with the coupe body already fitted, so I cloned Jim Leary's car out of it. Everything was new on that car. To the motor and trans out of the # 85.
Through the years I wound up finding about 20 Danbury cars. Passed off several to others. Some are still where I found them . The owners are going to get to them "Someday". Vintage is in my opinion similar to the way they ran the back in the day. No modern Troyer chassis with an old body, just not right. Fun I'm sure to drive, but not Vintage.
Excellent point! For reasons known only to himself, a long time friend of mine decided to "collect" some vintage dirt oval cars. These cars were successfully raced in the late 60-early 70s, and then literally parked in garages and barns. He's bought several of them over the last 3-4 years.
In all honesty, I simply CANNOT understand how anybody with any common sense would have climbed into these "race cars", and taken them out on a track. Poor welding, cages made from what appears to be plain old pipe, lo-back seats, marginal seat belts......and 427 Chevy engines!!!
With respect to "correct" vintage cars, most race cars are by wreck, necessity, or rule changes, "works in progress". Especially so, if they manage to last through 6-7 seasons of racing. In that regard, I'd be shocked if the car I had, originally built in 1982-83, is still around...at least in some semblance of its original configuration.
I agree with Shamrock, Moselli and Slippery. It is the rare and lucky individual who can find a real and original 60's or 70's modified that's not rusted or wrecked. A few live in the museum in R.I., but don't hold your breath looking for one. I currently own the last Moose Hewitt Cavalier modified, but it's more like a newer mod than an old one. I'll run it where I can, when I can, and it is safe, but it's not an old coupe. When time and cash allow, I'll build a '37 Chevy coupe like I did in 1976, with a '56 Chevy frame and a small block. The difference will be like the guys I mentioned above, it'll be done as a safe, semi-modern modified with updated suspension and every other safety item I can find. I want the car to be fast and safe, and to stir the memories of the older guys who drove and watched these cars weekly way back when. I'm not an old wannabe, just a guy who spent ten or so years in a sport that I couldn't afford. Nowadays it would take at least 100k for one season in a competitive SK mod. Ain't gonna happen. I love the coupes of old and will eventually build and drive another one. Kudos to the guys above who build these neo-modifieds, they look ten times better than the cookie-cutter cars of today.
I'm not ragging on the purist guys, but most tracks around the northeast won't allow them on the track at any speed. If the vintage type car is to ever exist as a racer, it must be built/rebuilt as a new safe race car.
Very interesting discussion regarding vintage racing today. The previous posts have mostly dealt with what is and is not a vintage car. My view is that the chassis is a cars DNA and defines "original". When we raced these cars back in the day we eventually replaced most everything but the chassis, and even parts of that. When you sold or discarded the frame and cage, you now had to build a NEW CAR. But I also feel vintage cars built today with the same type parts and design (55 chevy, 2x4 frames) in the spirit of what was run back in the day is just as good for the sport. They are usually known as recreations.
I would be willing to wager that few cars that remain from 30 or more years ago have the same bumpers, motor, driveline, all their sheetmetal inside and out, etc. If they do, they never hit the race track.
If the description of an ORIGINAL vintage car is more than verification of the frame and cage, then most all cars that ran in the 50's to 70's were no longer vintage eligible after they ran a few races!!
I had 4 separate dirt modifieds back in the 70's and was very lucky in that I was able to sell all the cars as either rollers or race ready when we built a newer model. And none of them had a majority of the parts that were on the car when we built them. But the chassis were all intact, maybe with parts of the frame or cage replaced.
Vintage racing....have fun, tell old stories, remember your heroes and the great times at the tracks, always be able to push your vintage car back on the trailer after an event, keep the memories alive.
And always remember that the good old days of modified racing were really good!!
Some pictures of SJ Evonsion from CT...
I believe this is the Luthar Hossmer owned #28 that SJ is driving. The photo said he captured the feature event over Punky Caron in the #121 and Ken Bouchard in the #35
another version of the Hossmer Chevette, this time battling Marty Radwick in the #21 ....
SJ in this purple and white #35. I believe it is actually a Pontiac Astre and not a vega as listed in one of the picture captions....
SJ actually came down to the Island (Freeport Speedway) to run some races for part of a season
battling Gary Winters #380 at Freeport
SJ in the black#21 battling Ron Bouchard in the Boehler Chevette and Brett Bodine in the #4
Charlie Siebert was always a top shelf operation. That coach at Riverhead that was some good days there.
JBull, any more pics of Luther's cars? I had posted earlier i race with him 2-3 times per year in the Valenti Modified Racing Series. His current car is now in our garage along with a SK Modified and a SK Light. Great guy with a ton of history in modifieds. We were in victory lane together at Thompson a few years back.
There's still a ton of original cars out there, but guys can't bring them out to run along side modern recreations without ruining their pedigree as true period pieces. Probably need a seperate venue for such cars. It's always neat to see them going around the track, even if it were just to pace the recreations.
I agree with Shamrock and Moselli. I have been in the same boat for a couple years trying to find an old stock car or modified racer. Most I could find is parts so I plan on building a vintage from scratch. I am about 70% there in parts and will update the safety equipment. My car will not be as modern as their cars but that's not the point. Instead of sitting around dreaming of doing a car, I am doing it and keeping the spirit of racing, building and hot rodding alive. Check out my build:
Any suggestions or tips will be appreciated. I will keep the car yellow. Seems to look good in yellow. Does anyone know of a car like this (36 Chevy 3 window) that raced in the Northeast? What number? or Letter? Maybe X? Have any pictures of a Yellow 36 3 window that raced in the Northeast?
I found it very enjoyable collecting the parts, talking to some vintage drivers, researching the history of racing in the Northeast and now starting to get things together on my car. This post has been the biggest inspiration for me the past few years of this quest.
I have no problem with changing to better brakes, cage ect. for safety reasons. Changing to an IMCA modified chassis with a 50's or 60's period body just don't get it in my book. I saw one car with 16 inches of aluminum pop riveted down the center of the body so it would fit on a GRT late model chassis. I have raced my old model A with ford 6 power from Georgia to nebraska and had a lot of fun with it. I just do not see what you could get out of racing a vintage car or rather a a vintage body with that kind of a set up.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to vintage stock cars. The sports car guys set the standard several years ago when all that was required was a log book. With that, any car rebuilt/remanufactured was okay as long as it remained in the spirit of 'vintage racing'. Stock car racing guys always kept notes, but no logbooks were ever required by the sanctioning bodies. Everyone has a different opinion as to what is correct. Who gets to play Bill France here? Some say there are lots of original cars out there, but what I've seen are not fit to drive on any road or track. And the money these guys want is absurd for these rust buckets. Very few cars with any documented history are available these days. I say build what is your own SAFE interpretation of a vintage stock car and stay with the spirit of times gone by. (even the old/original cars have newly built engines. Why is that okay when a new chassis isn't?).
Yeah! That's Langhorne all right; 1970! That's Gil Hearne in the 45 and Gene Bergin is in the 101! Believe it or not, this is a consolation race, or "consi", as we call it! You've also got Dick Clark in the 16, Moose Hewitt in the 17, Larry Myronchuk in the #84 Cougar and John Berkoski in the 651.
Thanks George for filling in the blanks.
I've collected a bunch of Bobby Holmberg pictures, some you may have posted yourself and some Kris Holmberg may have put up, but I'll put them up anyway, being I saw your name pop up.....
this should be a familiar car....
a tangle with Jackie Reinhardt on the front stretch...
in victory lane
the Len Calinoff photo I had hanging on my wall as a kid....
Thought I would chime in just for geewizzes, in the vintage debate. The 2m car is the car I grew up around and played in when I was around 7 years old, and a very good representation of the type of cars that raced at our speedway during that time frame. Now a bunch of buddies and I wanted to "resurrect" that "style" of racecar, some 30 years later. 55 chevy frames are very expensive, have relatively horrible front end geometry, so we found some compromises, and came up with some really great looking cars that "looked" the part. I never once felt the need to apologize for the creative license we took. I enjoyed building and racing the 21m car, it fullfilled my childhood dreams.
An original era car with 55 chevy boxed frame, 55 chevy 210 body, 327 engine, and 4 speed, 112" wheel base, olds rear end, rf safety hub.
Newly built car (30 years later), camaro front stub, fabricated box tubing frame, 65 chevelle quarters and roof, balance of body steel panels, 355 engine, powerglide trans, 112" wheel base, 9" rear end, fr safety hub.
and some more Bobby Holmberg....
in the infield pits at Islip....
Did I read that the white 9A coupe was a former Sonny Kozella/Bugs Stevens Woodchopper special and that the blue 9A was the former Butch Mecieka/Fred Harbach coupe?
and a nice clean pinto in victory lane....
in the pits....
Bobby crossed up in the #25 with Fred Sipala in the X91, Jim Tyler in the #08 and Jim Kelly 9n the #22 at Ilsip (courtesy of Brian Cholerton)
I believe another Brian Cholerton composite...
I believe this one is from Kris Holmberg....
a few leftovers....
Bobby in the former Billy Spade gremlin at Freeport it looks like....
In the 17x...is that Ricky or Bobby? Is that Westhampton Speedway? Fred Harbach and Greg Sacks in the background
The discussion on what is vintage or not has been very interesting reading. I had no idea my original post would generate so much discussion, but I'm pleased that it did and doubly pleased that all the discussion has been civil. Below are a few shots I posted earlier from a car show this year. Still working toward 2012, but really need a good small block Chevy for a reasonable price (hint, hint...help!)
Leadfott4, Zoera, Slippery, Moselli, AndereggTribute, s10ace,
Glad to know, based on your comments, that I've got some company with my views.
Your project looks waaaay cool. There were a few 3 window coupes that I remember. Ones that come to mind are Jack Murphy's Shamrock 6 that won the State Fair race one year, Jerry Hayes #87 orange that mostly ran Shangri-la, Rene Charland #888 (purple & white...great looking car). We must be in bordering neighborhoods, so we should compare notes sometime.
Re: the Holmberg 9A maybe being a former Woodchopper Special....I'm not a LI or NE guy, but I do remember seeing those cars at Langhorne & other big races. My take on it is that, while having some similarities in look, the 9A was not a former Woodchopper. My recollection is that the #15 had quite a bit longer rear deck area than that of the 9A. Also, it sure looks to me like the 9A was originally a 3 window coupe and that the builder added those opera windows, turning it into a 5 window. The #15 Woodchopper was definitely a 5 window 36 Chevy right from the get-go.
Finally, to ford6man27,
"I just do not see what you could get out of racing a vintage car or rather a a vintage body with that kind of a set up.
You don't really need to see what I'm getting out of it, Andy, but I would ask that you be accepting (and it seems that you are) of other's views on the topic. My opinion (obviously) is the same as Zoera's, in that there is no right or wrong...just differing opinions on the matter. That said, and maybe to further explain my own actions, what I'm getting out of it is an incredible sense of accomplishment. With a little help from a few key people I am virtually creating a brand new race car with a very old look, that I hope will generate a lot of interest AND be pretty fast & fun to drive as well. This is what most of my heroes did back in the day, and now I'm doing it as well. I've built a couple street rods...been messin' with cars all my life, but this project is very different and really takes me back to my youth. I'm enjoying the hell out of it, and if you agree with my approach, great. If you don't, that's OK too. I'd like to say what others think about it matters to me, but the reality is, it doesn't....much! <!-- / message -->
Everyone, I am not knocking anyone building a car, re-creation or whatever.
I am just saying I see some cars, not built up on "a scout" frame, but plunked on a late chassis and called a vintage modified. You see this all the time on Ebay.
I had a friend who built a re-creation of a road racing car because the original was gone. It was a lot more work to make it period correct, the right guages, wheels, correct looking fender flare and so on. But when done it was very cool. It was not a matter of finding the 1970's body and mounting it to 90's tube frame chassis. The two things are different.
So when i see a car for sale and it says Vintage 36 Modified and it is what I described, I think it is misleading.
For safety,rotted tubes, newer seats and so on should be updated. This is pretty easy in a stock car. But for performance, I would like to see an old flat head running slower than today going around the track. Then a small boy like my son can see how the cars have changed over the years.
And if the car, restored, repaired and so on with the period correct parts, is a handful to drive, then what could be better? See what your lap times are at Fonda compared to Lou Lazzaro in a similar machine. Then you will have more respect for what those men did. Otherwise, what exactly are you re-living? I want to know what my hero experienced, see my point.
As I said, I see these old cars as a living museum, for people to learn what it was like in the old days.
Has anyone know the story about Bob McCreadie and Richie Evans running for a championship at a track and I think the the last race of the season there was a big money race some where else? I heard they agreed to go to one or the other but they tried to fool each other. Is it myth or true.
I heard of Evans and Cook doing this. Whether it's a myth or not I don't know.
Some George Wagner photos I've come across since my initial posts....
In the V9 coupe with a checkered flag at Islip...
in the V9 mustang (not sure where...big grandstnds)
in his most familiar ride the Conway X9...
in victory lane at Islip with promoter Dick Corbeil and Ralph from Ralph's Racing Products...
in the pits at Freeport I believe....
in victory lane again at Islip with Dutch Miller (what a flagman!)
sitting on the Cromwell hornet....
in his own #11 racing Tom McCann at Islip...
the next version of the #11, more successful than the first....
in action at Islip....the track was pretty well banked as you can see from this photo...
in the pits alongside his son George the III in the X9 Chevette...
I've read about Richie Evans and Jerry Cook doing this many times as they raced for the National Championship, but I'd be surprised if it was McCreadie and Evans. McCreadie was predominantly a dirt driver and Evans was predominantly an asphalt driver....
Separate names with a comma.