The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blackrat40, Nov 11, 2015.
Thanks for the kudos sololobo! Our history needs to be documented. It will never be that way again.
To continue the history of Dallas drags in the early 60's, I built the red Model A coupe in the previous pictures
to have a dedicated race car and not be racing my "going to work ride". I had moved to the southwest side
of Dallas and was closer to a track that was "the next tier up" in local drag racing, Cedar Hill Drag Strip at
Cedar Hill, Texas. One of the local guys that achieved national prominence later in funny cars, Mike Burkhart,
was a big dog there in a red '57 Chevy 2 door (301 or 352 Chevy? w/4 speed)running A/Sportsman at the time.
Cedar Hill was another unsanctioned venue in the early 60's with less than formal drag racing on Friday nights
and Sunday afternoons. The " technical inspections", such as they were, were done by Orville Davenport, who
also served as flagman except when he ran his pale green 2 door '57 Ford with a 312. Orville was all Y blocks!
He always wore a big straw hat. Orville has departed us now but his son has a machine shop in SE Dallas.
If you study this crappy picture you can see a coil on each frame horn to support the Harmon-Collins
Dual Coil ignition (which I still have on a flathead in my shop today!).
Next phase of drag racing for me was building the C/A for sanctioned Drags (and a little Cedar Hill fun too!).
Tune in again for stories of racing and my CRAZY brother in his 331 Chrysler powered '54 Ford who would
be blasting along, with me at shotgun, and would say "how much you wanna' bet there's no cars coming at that
next stop sign up there?
Keep up the great stories. I wish that we had a time machine.
This Crosley looks like it might have been the Possum Chaser from Kentucky.
Here is the Possum Chaser, there couldn't have been many of these made into drag cars.
Hey elgringo71, The angle of attack looks similar on both Crosley's, but if you look closely at the front fenders,
you will see that the Possum Chaser's front fenders are rounded and the top edge of the fenders of the Crosley
in my old pic are straight. The Possum Chaser appears to be a '47-'48 while the one in my pic looks like a '51.
The Crosley's are interesting mini-cars created by Powell Crosley. Check out the history on wikapedia.
Powell made a fortune manufacturing and selling radios and refrigerators but longed to manufacture automobiles.
I had the privilege to own 3 different Crosleys over the years. First was a '47 Station Wagon that I bought running
for $35 in 1963 to cut down and make a dirt road racer. I later bought a trove of Crosley parts and 2 cars at a guy's
divorce sale. One was a '51 Station Wagon, that came stock, with an 8" chrome propeller that spun in the wind in
the center of the grill! The other car was a '51 Super Sport roadster(these actually competed in road race events).
They have a very unique engine. it is a tiny 4cyl. OHC engine that makes 40+ HP. I have a very rare version of
that engine that is called the "Cobra" engine. It is made of heavy gauge sheet metal rather than the original cast
iron block. The "Cobra" stood for "Copper Brazed, which was the method of assembling the cylinders to the
water jackets of the engine. The Cobras went to war in WWII to power light weight generators.
I went down to the shop and made a few pic's of my Crosley Cobra engine mentioned in the previous post.
The blue oil pan is from a 1/2 midget and made by welding an extra valve cover on each side of
the pan to increase the oil capacity and enhance oil cooling.
This last picture shows the sheet metal part of the engine block, with cylinders, sitting on the cast aluminum
crankcase. The combustion chambers are integral with the block (i.e. no removable head). The tube above the
crankshaft at front houses a shaft with bevel gears at top and bottom to drive the cam.
The Crosley engine eventually was used in a vertical mounting as the 4cyl. Homelite outboard boat motor.
I will throw in a sneak peek at my current project here...
A famous hot rodder stopped by to check on my progress...
Who's Thunderbolt behind the dragster? I doubt if it was at the 1962 AHRA Championshipus.
Is that indeed what was called a "Thunderbolt"? I never followed the stockers or FX cars. It just looked like what
I thought I had seen called a Thunderbolt. I went back and enlarged the picture as much as I could and all I could
read was it looked like the classification on the front fender was S/S. I guess that was "super stock", right?
I couldn't make out any of the names painted on it. I had that picture stored in an album with all the color pictures
that I posted. The color pic's had the date, Nov. 62 stamped on them so I thought the black and whites were from
the same meet. If not, that pic could be '63 or '64 at Green Valley at the latest, because I was drafted in Feb. '65.
It's possible that Bobby (wbrw32 on the HAMB) could identify that car. Bobby worked the sales counter at Custom
Automotive in Dallas at the time. Almost all racers in the North Texas area bought parts there in those days.
Nice 40 ford project and good information on the Crosley history. I will have to do some more research on them. That must be a rare Crosley Engine. You seldom see Crosleys anymore and I have never seen one set up as a drag car. They make a good looking gasser. Here is one more picture of the Possum Chaser.
You must have been around a while if you get the "ducktails" remark.
Mick,I did not follow stockers or F/x cars either,,,But if your intterested,I happen to have a lot of Crosley cars,frames,engines that I need to gey rid of before I kick off...photos avail thru email..
My dad used to talk about "Hands". Said the guy was giant.
The 999 Thunderbolt was Clester Andrews in the Wickersham Ford from Orange,Texas
Thanks for the info DannyG
Does anyone know anything else about the history of this one?
Man, a race car in the back of a pick-up truck! How cool's that!
Thanks for a great thread & the stories. Keep 'em comin' guys.
The Thunderbolt was a 1964 Ford Fairlane.
That must mean that the black & white pic's were taken the year before I was drafted in '64.
The color photos had a processors stamp showing Nov 62 but the B&W's had no date on them.
Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy. Memories tend to fade a little after 50+ years.
Hey Fabber McGee, I just ran into an old buddy today that knows the guy that built this wild roadster.
Charles Tunell is his name and he is still with us living in Rockwall,TX.
That's cool, glad to hear he's still going along. I'll be ramblin' around in my homegrown motorhome for the next few months. Texas is on the list, so maybe if I have time I'll see about looking him up. I'll bet he's got some great stories to tell.
BTW, it turns out, according to my buddy, that the roadster had a DeSoto hemi rather than a Chrysler like I said.
I feel blessed to have run my 48 Ford at Circle. Didn't know about how they "timed" runs, but bet you remember the announcer saying, "The Chevy went 55.55". Or a faster car - "88.88". One night I ran both in that old Super Deluxe. Thanks for the memories. I think someone showed a satellite view of it over History of Dallas thread. Thanks to elgringo Jason for posting the pic of Snuffbox.
I remember one night when Snuff Box(the '49 Chevy) pulled up to the Circle starting line and all of a sudden
it shut down, the driver bailed out, popped the hood, jumped head long onto the top of the engine, puffing
and puffing, to blow out a fire on top of the 2-4's (I think). No air cleaners of course! When he got it put out
he slid out and turned around to those of us who were standing around the starting line and said ...
MAN...!...NOW I KNOW WHAT PEANUTS FEEL LIKE WHEN THE'RE ROASTIN' !!
I don't know if that was Linell Walker or not. He was a young black guy in his early 20's.
I thought that was just about the funniest thing I had ever heard! I was about 17 then (1961?).
Here was the Snuff Box 37 Chevy, I couldn't find any pics of the 49 Chevy
Here's a visit I made to the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida in 2014.
That is an amazing place and a must see for anyone that likes drag racing history and speed parts.
A little late finding this fun thread, but thanks for posting those pics! Loved seeing the pic of Hanks Tank, only 5th I have seen online and first with the updated wheels, no hood and showing details the others didn't. Always loved that car and the one in my avatar, the 333 A/R of Doc Eisland. Any more pics in your stash of it?
Glad you enjoyed the pic's Hunter YJ It was taken at Green Valley in 1962.
Sorry I don't have any more picks of it. My weak memory says it was red, right?
Yes sir, very red. The only color pic I have seen comes from a blog(should have written the authors name down) I found. This is when it still ran out of Shreve Automotive in LA. Interesting to see the changes.
Separate names with a comma.