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Folks Of Interest Anybody remember Drag Racer-Archie Ary,from Colton?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bad Bob, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. I work with a guy in his 70's who was buddies with Archie Ary,who drag raced at Fontana and Colton Dragstrip. He says Archie had the fastest Willys Coupe,back in the late 50's and 60's.
    I did a search on google,but came up with nothing. I'm trying to get some info for my friend. I told him,if anyplace would have some info....it would be the HAMB!!!

    Anybody know anything?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
    Stogy likes this.
  2. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,434

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Think the spelling is correct, but maybe "Ary".

    Archie was featured in Hot Rod Magazine with his drag car, "Archie's Flying Saucer".
    I recall it being between '56 and '57...
     
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  3. Anybody have any pic's? Turns out his last name was spelled Ary. I found some info on the NHRA site,but no pic's.
     
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  4. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    Steves32
    Member
    from So Cal

    He raced an A Fuel Crosley in the 50's. He was also one of the co-founders of the Colton Drag Strip.

    This is one of his cars. Name is on the door but hard to read in pic

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     

  5. Rockerhead
    Joined: Nov 16, 2006
    Posts: 321

    Rockerhead
    Member Emeritus

    Attached is a photo of Archie's '35 class A/Fuel coupe. My '32 is in the foreground. This was at Colton for the 1955 NHRA Southern California Regional Championships. His coupe was flathead powered. He had previously won an NHRA meet in Central California. When the NHRA changed the rules in 1957 to allow non-fendered cars to run in the renamed Altered class Archie build a Crosley with Chrysler power.
    The photo was used in my Those Wild Fuel Altereds book.
    www.montgomeryhotrodbooks.com
     

    Attached Files:

    Stogy likes this.
  6. Thanks for the info guys......
     
  7. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,332

    296ardun
    Member

    The caption on the pict posted by Steves32 is by me (I am Dave Sorenson, posted it on Mart's Real Hot Rod site a few years ago).....Archie started out in the 35 coupe, then built a radically chopped Crosley fuel coupe that HRM featured ("Archies Flying Saucer" was the title of the article, I think). He then got into top fuel cars, and somehow got his hemi out to over 500 cu in....Archie also helped to start the Colton Drag Strip.....(good to hear from Don Montgomery, who raced at Colton from the beginning, it was a fun place, unless you could't get stopped and ran off the track up the hill and into a small cemetery (which someone said is still there).
     
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  8. 38 Hump
    Joined: Mar 29, 2007
    Posts: 42

    38 Hump
    Member

    Archie and my dad were best friends at Colton High School, graduated in 1946. He had an auto repair shop on Mt. Vernon Ave. in Colton all through the 60's and 70's. I spoke to him on several occasions regarding building my '63 Ranchero with a small block Ford. A good guy. Sorry I can't help more on his drag racing days.
     
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  9. 38 Hump
    Joined: Mar 29, 2007
    Posts: 42

    38 Hump
    Member

    And yes, the cemetery is still there!
     
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  10. rick finch
    Joined: May 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,003

    rick finch
    Member

    Bad Boob, did a search on the "wediditforlove" site and found a couple pics of his early T/F car....

    1959....
    [​IMG]

    1960 @ Riverside....
    [​IMG]

    1960, he is in the far lane against Chuck Gireth @ Riverside.....
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    Steves32
    Member
    from So Cal

    Wow.
    This place amazes me sometimes. :)
     
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  12. Neighborwood
    Joined: Nov 7, 2010
    Posts: 37

    Neighborwood
    Member

    Bob
    Archie had the shop on the South end of Mt. Vernon Ave.
    I needed a tube axel and a Captain at the Firedept where I worked said go see my cousin Archie his dad makes tubes.
    Archie's Dragster sat in front of the shop. It had won the best engineered dragster in the 64 or 65 Winter Nationals.
    In 1966 I was racing with Kirby Ford. Archie built his engine. Kirby got top eliminator in 'D' Production at the AHRA winter nationals at Irwindale. 12.10 et., 117 mph.
    the engine was a 331 327 Edelbrock x6 cross ram, 'E' series AFB's an Isky 505 cam and 4.56:1 rear.
    Hope this helps the memory Dept. Dick N.
     
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  13. The guy who works here in my yard was best friends with Archie. His name is Lee Hardin. He has lots of Archie stories...
     
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  14. My name is Nick Mitchell originally from Colton. Archie was my cousin and am still in touch with his wife Sue and Archie's driver Eddie Kistler. Great memories from Colton Drag strip and Archie.
     
  15. Nick,where do you live in Yorba Linda?

    Archie's daughter just sent me a PM and wants to chat with the guy who works with me,who was good friends with archie,back in the day.
     
  16. Bob, After 30 years in Yorba Linda on Willow Tree Lane we moved to San Clemente. Lets get together? 714 296 2489
     
  17. BabyLove22
    Joined: Mar 30, 2015
    Posts: 2

    BabyLove22

    My Grandpa was Kirby Ford :) he passed away a couple years ago. I would love to hear stories, I miss him. If anyone has pictures of Kirby Ford I would absolutely love to see them. Thank you all!
     
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  18. Neighborwood
    Joined: Nov 7, 2010
    Posts: 37

    Neighborwood
    Member

    Sorry to hear of Kirby's passing.
    My name is Richard L. Neises, I raced with Kirby, just helped him prep for the 66 winter nationals in Irwindale Ca.
    San Bernardino Sun ran an article in 1965 on the B section about your Granddad. Titled Kirby Ford's Chevy. It tells all about his car and how he painted the car during a Santa Ana wind storm. The news paper achieve is at Cal State San Bernardino Ca.
    He was head of the sanding dept. at Big Bear Board plant. My Dad was an electrician at the plant. Dad told me Kirby needed help. I was a fireman at the time and going to college full time.
    I remember his side room off the living room was full and I mean full of trophies of all his wins at the drags.
    His competition car at that time was a 1955 Chevy two door business coupe. No chrome no back seat. It was lower then the Delray model which was considered the bottom rung in Chevys. Weighed in at the drags at 3270 lbs. with full tank of gas. the gas weighed at around 75 lbs.
    He was a competitor. He lost at Fontana race way one Sunday. He said Richard go look for a "kicks race".
    Late Saturday evening ,9:00 pm at the 1966 AHRA Winter Nationals He found a Kicks race. He's class did not run till Sunday morning 8:15 am. But he had to run. Well just as he hit fourth gear near the end a shower of sparks shot from under the Chevy. No rattle, rattle clang associated with a dumped crank / rod / or piston , just a spark shower.
    I jumped on to the track at that point but found there was no point to try to find a loose part, because the entire area was a graveyard of scattered engine parts, blowers, transmissions. Could have made a killing in scrap metal.
    Off we went in his 65 Vet looking for a shop to work on the car. Service stations all sorts of repair shops all over Irwindale were full of the same thing, Race cars in need of repairs. One cool moment was when we saw a light on in a Radiator repair shop. We opened the door and there was Big Daddy Gartlitz stuffing pistons in his Chrysler rail. He puffed his blower on a run. He said " sorry boys I got this one ".
    We finally found a race chassis shop full of same thing. The owner said the Dyno stall will be open at 1:00am.
    We got a bight to eat around midnight and was at the door at 1:00am. Remember he was towing the 55 Chevy all this time behind his 65 Corvette. What a sight. You should have seen the looks going down the San Bernardino Freeway at 65 MPH towing the 55 with a clamp on bumper from a rental shop.
    He fired the car while a shop employee listened. 140 decibels if you care. The guy gave the cut if sign and said you blew across the right side. The entire right side head gasket blew between all cylinders. This is 11:1 compression. Between #4 and #6 cylinders it scarfed the block .060" deep. we asked what to do the shop guy said two shim gaskets and spray Permatex head gasket adhesive.
    All was back together by 7:30am. While setting the valves ,on a Isky 505 it was .032" . To give you an idea of the engine sense Kirby had he said that guy who in my best competition is a 'hole puller'. (gets off the line real good) Kirby did the same. Often he was side ways in first and second gears off the line. So Kirby said lets set them at .035" that will pull better at top end.
    When Kirby went to pay the shop guy said $5.00 for gaskets. No charge for the shop and tools. "This is race week."
    We get back to the track at 8:15 just in time to let Kirby do a BY Run. 5 guys in his class all 4 ran off and left him a By Run. Back in the pits a guy we met in the shop that evening said ,in a panic "we just blew both head gaskets on a By Run". This was a 55 ford with a 292 and 312 heads. Their run was at 9:00. In 45 min. the heads were off cleaned reset, torqued valves set, timed and ran best in class and set a record. Whew!
    Now comes Kirby's run. When Kirby came off the line, the competition pulled the hole, my heart fell in my shoes as the guy shot by Kirby in First and Second. Then Kirby hit third and that engine did a high RPM trick I never saw. It looked like the other car put on the brakes. Kirby only hit fourth at the lights. that 327 was screaming near 8,000.
    He shut down and stayed on a run back road 1/2 mile from the lights. So I jumped the fence again ran down to him. "What's wrong, did it blow?" No says he. Look at the ticket tower. There sat the guy he blew off. He threatened to protest Kirby because he felt Kirby cheated him. Then you had to catch a guy before he got passed the ticket tower or no protest. Kirby said when he weighed in he found the scales weighed a car more if the car was forward on the scales. He was within 5 lbs. of his class with a full tank of gas. He was at 1/4 tank after 5 runs from a full tank. He said he will win. So we sat there for an hour or so to wait out the protestor.
    At this time we saw E. J. Potter do a Banzi run on his 327 Harley.
    He got back to the pits only to have the protestor say I'll get you later.
    I hope this story will fill a memory bank. Do you have any of his old trophies?
    Richard L. Neises
     
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  19. BabyLove22
    Joined: Mar 30, 2015
    Posts: 2

    BabyLove22





    My grandma Joyce has some of his trophies still :) thank you for the story! Definitely made my day!
     
  20. Neighborwood
    Joined: Nov 7, 2010
    Posts: 37

    Neighborwood
    Member

    Tell Your Grandma Hi for Me. She probably won't remember me because I was in their lives for probably less then 6 mos. at the most. But like the story pointed out it was a memorable 6 mos. for me.
    Richard L. Neises
     
  21. Neighborwood
    Joined: Nov 7, 2010
    Posts: 37

    Neighborwood
    Member

    I if you will, allow me to post a few more memories. As I think on that era more flash back's come to mind.
    First time I went with him was to Fontana raceway. A racer would weigh in first and then go to the tech/safety area. The inspector said, when Kirby got out of the car, " Hi Kirby, running against the bad guys again.
    Again his engine sense was so good that on first firing of the engine he would say not going to do so well, or it'll do ok. And we couldn't tune it out of a bad day.
    Fontana liked his performances. As I said the car was painted in the middle of a Santa Ana wind storm with Fed Co rattle cans. $ 0.69 per can probably took $5.00 worth to do the car. Over spray on the windows and bumpers and tires. Forgot to say his tires were almost worn out Cassler's recap slicks when I ran with him.
    The front end was raised up by placing a bumper jack under one side till the wheel came off the ground. Then welded two straps of iron down the sides of the coil. In front was 5.50 x 15" with 50 lb. air. It did not bounce.
    Pappy Marshal was a competitor in his class. Pappy was sponsored by J. & M. Speed Center in Riverside Ca. So it was a first rate car in all respects as an advertisement for the shop. They often had a half page ad in Hot Rod Mag. A half page ad. mucho denero.
    Fontana liked to stage Kirby against Pappy. Kirby usually won. If nothing else to see him come off the line half side ways for the first two gears had the stands on their feet. Some times the third gear syncros would not do their job and Pappy would just catch him at the lights. Impressive 95 mph in just 2 gears.
    He taught me my best lesson in life. Never give up! If you want to win keep going.
    I had lots of interests but stopped as soon as a stumbling block cane up. Seeing him persist that day at the Winter Nationals showed me a lot.
     
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  22. Great stories Dick.
     
  23. Neighborwood
    Joined: Nov 7, 2010
    Posts: 37

    Neighborwood
    Member

    For got to add this. Your Granddad Kirby Ford was also a very good fast pitch soft ball pitcher. He pitched for Big Bear Board Products where he worked.
    The night of the first day of the 1966 AHRA Winter nationals (Friday) Kirby pitched a game for Big Bear Board Products. He had an enormous stamina.
    I don't know the outcome of the game. I went Roller skating that night.
     
  24. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,426

    jnaki




    upload_2019-4-2_16-15-59.png WDIFL 1959
    Hello,

    This comes from an old thread about Archie Ary, an old drag racer from Colton. Dave Sorenson (@296ardun) wrote some information about Archie Ary in that thread. I was going through my Don Garlits files and came across the film I took of Garlits racing in the Top Eliminator Class at Riverside Raceway in the now famous, December 1959 East vs West Meet.
    upload_2019-4-2_16-17-45.png

    For weeks leading up to this meet in late December, word was out that the biggest names from the East, (that we read about in the Drag News) wanted to race the top West Coast drag racers. So, the big challenge was on and the whole So Cal drag racing scene was abuzz. Now, we get to see Garlits, Karamesines, Langley, Speed Sport, etc. go against the best in the West. It was a race day to remember.

    Jnaki

    We were disappointed that Archie Ary did not do well against Don Garlits. Archie Ary had been doing well at the local dragstrips, so we were hoping someone from So Cal would knock off this upstart from Florida and send him packing. It was not the case in Riverside.

    Garlits vs Archie Ary Riverside Raceway December 1959

    From L. Schelin: "That is Archie racing Garlits...the famous "Burn Down" race....Archie was so excited he had a chance to race Garlits that he pushed down first. He made the turn around at half track, push started, and went to the line..."

    "Garlits took his time slowly pushing to half track, made the turn around, and push started towards the starting line. While Garlits was doing that, Archie was burning up waiting at the line. By the time Garlits staged, Archie's engine was so hot he couldn't make a decent pass. ...He said, "I've learned my lesson, always be the last to stage."

    In December of 1959, of course, there is always the victory that had some controversy due to the nature of the starting line shenanigans.

    GARLITS VS CHRISMAN 1959
     
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  25. George Klass
    Joined: Dec 31, 2007
    Posts: 905

    George Klass
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

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  26. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 887

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    I believe Archie died in his own shop business on S. Mt. Vernon in Colton. It was a general repair garage and (as I remember) he'd worked after-hours tuning a customer's car. He was working in front of it when it explicitly went into gear and crushed him.

    He always had big-inch Chryslers in his dragster. A friend of mine drove intermittently for him. He's told me that Archie would change the tune-up from run to run and he never knew what to expect. He was a great guy and his wife was a fine person to be around.

    After, or during, the Chrysler dragsters, he'd installed a gigantic International truck V-8 with supercharger and all and presented it at Fontana. You came out of the pits about 2/3rd down track and angled to the starting line. Well, he pushed off the car, and I'm sure, it was trying to fire, but was flexing the chassis so much the pan was scraping the pavement and never made it to the starting line. (Your recollection may vary.)
     
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  27. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,332

    296ardun
    Member

    We were both there that day, spectating...I remember it well.
     
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  28. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,164

    51 mercules
    Member

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