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History Auto racing 1894-1942

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kurtis, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. DANG ME, Doug! What a GREAT score! The last one I saw on Amazon, they wanted $360! I have to make do with thumbing through the book that my buddy, who resides in the old Sparks shop, has in his library.

    And, so far, I have to be content to listen to a recorded narrative that Sparks made, probably in the 70's.
     
  2. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member


    It's TRUE. Feel free to share. ;)

    When I restored the 1949 #14 Hal Cole Kurtis KK2000 a few years ago, I needed Two 2" Riley side drafts for the 220 Offy. I ran down the list of collectors, buddies, and museums trying to buy a couple and quickly found out that the "availability" had dried up.. I found a few, but NONE for sale. Eventually Bill Akin in Nashville Tenn found 4 and called me. We went halves on the 4 and I got my Two I was needing. They were not only very Pricey but had taken 3 months to find, so we (Zakira's) said "We need to make some".
    I completely dismantled my best one and we started researching the parts and components. I found many compatible parts that could be sourced from companies still in business. Reproduction STROMBERG parts, Holey carburetor, and even SU parts all interchanged. The Brass floats we had NEW ONES made to original specs, the Carb bodies, Float caps, and linkage arms were sent to our pattern maker, and new wooden patterns were made.

    Our number one goal was to make the new ones so EXACT to the originals INSIDE and OUT that parts could be interchanged from new ones to Old ones and visa-versa and work perfectly. So, in the future we can offer "Rebuild kits" for originals as well. This was accomplished.

    On our first run we casted 12 carbs. (roughly 10% ever produced) Of these 12 we have machined, built and TESTED 4. We ran my Two originals on a 255 Offy in our Dyno... Tuned them to run and rev smoothly, then bolted on Two of our REPRODUCTION Rileys with the same settings... They performed flawlessly!!

    The 2" Rileys can be "dialed" in to perform on MANY different size engines due to the "insert style" Ventura. We have copies of Rileys original Ventura Size-Cubic inch CHART, and can make any size engine application work.

    The official RELEASE of this new product will be within a week (on-line) and in up coming months through magazines. (good timing Mac!!)

    For now, here are some progress picks to interest you all. There were a few different style RILEY float caps.. Early and late. We went with the "Smooth" style because its what we had. The difference is where the Fuel comes INTO the bowl and Throttle Linkage.
    We are currently tooling up to have the "Early" style Float cap patterns made, plus the smaller 1.5" Side draft RILEY's are a possibility if the demand is present.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    A new ready to race Reproduction RILEY Carb from Zakira's will cost $1700 Each. The turn around on one or more is around 3-4 weeks due to our busy work load. We currently have 8 in stock.


    Thanks!

    J Shaw

    ZAKIRA'S GARAGE
    513-272-2229 (ask for Don)
     

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  3. GREAT! I'm starting to save my money, hoping my car doesn't break this next season. I think that I have to retire my old Stromberg's; and go "real".

    JK
     
  4. That's awesome Josh!

    ... now I just need to find somehere that'll give me $3500 for a good, working kidney :D
     
  5. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,613

    Offset
    Member
    from Canada

    I have a hard copy of the "Speedway" book by Banning. I recall that I purchased a number of books including this one from the classified section of National Speed Sport News in the era before the internet. Mine is a hard cover but it has a different cover than the one illustrated.

    Nice find for $17.00. This is a great thread, you folks have so much knowledge of this era of racing. Incredible source of information.
     
  6. saacha
    Joined: Mar 20, 2011
    Posts: 161

    saacha
    Member
    from cloud 9

    In the attached thumbnail is Jorge Newbery local ballon ace, Brasier GP in Buenos Aires Argentina. The photo comes from Gente magazine August 1967, article on classic cars.No date for the photograph, what I have been able to confirm is that the person behind the wheel is Newbery.
     

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  7. Gosh! Is not that the car in which Cole, inadvertently, but tragically, ran over and killed Rex Mays?....Ouch!!
     
  8. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    Correct.
    it was originally built by Kurtis for Cole as what they called a "3/4 car" meaning it was between (actually both) a Big Champ car to be raced on Mile tracks, and a Sprint car to be raced on 1/2 miles and smaller. It had/has a spacer block between the chassis and the front Spring plate, as well as spacers in the end of the Front Hair pins that could be inserted making it a Longer wheel based Champ car, or removed making it a shorter wheel based Sprint car. It was fitted with a 220 Offy to pass c.i. rules in the Sprint car ranks at the time, so.. inturn when it ran on the Dirt Miles and the Indianapolis 500 in 1949, 50, & 51.. It raced and made the race vastly under powered against the 255's and 270's. Hal Cole and others dubbed this Chassis Set up a "Money car" because it was so versatile and the owner could enter so many races with the SAME car. I've read rumors of the adjustable suspension cars being outlawed, but have never confirmed it. (The Belanger #99 that won Indy was a stretched Midget!!) However, We have only found a couple instances (photo's and documentation) of the #14 Hal Cole Kurtis KK2000 being ran as a Sprint car during it's "adjustable" years (1948-1954). It spent most of that time being ran as a DIRT CHAMP CAR, very successfully. It won the inaugural* Williams Grove CHAMP CAR race in 1949 with Hal Cole at the wheel (color pic below). In/around 1955-56 it was PERMINANTLY converted to a Sprint car, and raced extremely successfully by Curly Doggett in the BCRA circuit. The car was updated many times and last raced in the late 70's on pavement! As with most vintage race cars it had a long interesting life with up's and unfortunate downs that come with the business.

    Here are a few pics of the car then and now.

    Thanks.

    J Shaw
     

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  9. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,115

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    [​IMG]

    IMHO how to screw up a beautiful car.

    Put a roll cage and nose bar on it, coil over shocks, wide tires and wheels, a wrap around seat, and stuff a V8 in it and run the stacks out the top.

    Sort of looks like a pipe organ.

    This should make me lots of friends. LOL

    Bless the restorer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  10. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    That's how it looked when I found it advertised as a C.A.E sprint car. I still have the cage, seat, interior, body, front axle set up, bumpers, Steering box, etc.. and that damn Nose hoop. :p
    It's up in the loft of "spares" in my shop.

    Nothing I wanted on the car... But can't just toss it.

    Thanks,

    J Shaw
     
  11. Speedwrench
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,014

    Speedwrench
    Member

    Josh - I've also heard that the dual wheelbase cars were outlawed, but I'm not sure when.

    Wasn't the Idding's Auto Glass car also a dual wheelbase car?
     
  12. Thanks for the "tutorial" on how the cars' wheelbases were changed. I've always been curious how the cars morphed, back and forth, between "Big Cars", "Champ Cars" and, later, "Sprints"...It underscores how race cars DO change, mostly from race night to race night. Sometimes, like most of the original Millers, into near oblivion. It's only through the efforts of guys like you, that we see what they really were (depending on the "period"). Keep up the good wok!

    To Rex Mays. I DO remember that autumn weekend, and days later, of November 6th, 1949. A pall hung over our little neighborhood in Pasadena. Mays had been a driver for Art Sparks, for many years. My folks rented a house next to Sparks'; and Art's personal workshop.

    JK
     
  13. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,793

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    ...and speaking of adjustable cars.I'd like to find the midget car that Bob Swanson drove in the Vandebilt Cup races.The chassis was lengthened for the race.Bob was such a skillful driver even with the smaller Offy 110 engine he able to beat much more powerful cars.Nuvolari even said that Bob Swanson was one of the most talented drivers he ever met.

    I don't know if the car was shortened and returned to midget racing or not.I don't know if it is this blue and white car either.Some say it is not.
     

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  14. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,238

    The37Kid
    Member

    The Hogan car that Bob Swanson drove in the Vanderbilt Cup race was returned to midget racing and ran post WWII. I'd like to know if the car he was killed in is still out there as well. I'd really like to have one of them. Bob
     

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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  15. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,793

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Bob ,you can be honest...you'd like to have them both!
     
  16. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,238

    The37Kid
    Member

    True, the Gilmore car in my avatar is the one I really wanted, lost out on it years ago when it sold for $20,000 less engine. :eek: Bob
     
  17. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,238

    The37Kid
    Member

    How does one work those knockoffs? Bob [​IMG]
     
  18. Don Capps
    Joined: Feb 13, 2010
    Posts: 111

    Don Capps
    Member

    When, where, & in what did Nuvolari say that?
     
  19. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    I've run across early "Wheel knockers" like this that instead of having a HEX socket end.. They have a 3 slot end that fits onto the 3 bar knock offs.. If you ever com across a 3 bar knock off that has Hammer marks down low, towards the "heal" it's because of one of these tools.

    J Shaw
     

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  20. deuce354
    Joined: Feb 9, 2005
    Posts: 304

    deuce354
    Member

    That is a rare book. It is a great read You got a deal!!!
     
  21. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,238

    The37Kid
    Member

    For bonus points who was the interpiter that Nuvolari used at that event. :) Bob
     
  22. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,793

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

  23. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 768

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    I don't think that is true. Following the "(news)paper trail" (unfortunately, I don't have picture evidence), the car appears to have run as a Sprint Car until at least 1949.

    About the name "Three-Quarter Car", this was not for something "in between a Champ and a Sprint Car", as far as I can tell, it was just another name for that which we now call a Sprint Car. In the thirties, the name "Big Car" was mostly used to describe Sprint Cars as long as the cars running at Indianapolis were called "Two-Man Cars", but once the single seaters returned to Indy in 1938, they also came under the general heading as a "Big Car". Sprint Cars, however, were often a lot smaller, and names like "Non-Championship Car", "Half-Mile Car" and "Three-Quarter Car" were used at different times, until "Sprint Car" became the standard.

    Some "Big Cars" continued to be run as a Sprint and Champ car at the same time, like Josh's pride'n'joy, and I think they didn't even need to alter the wheelbase until 1951, but it was obviously done for handling reasons. By 1951, Sprint Cars abruptly disappeared from Indy and the Championship miles, so I guess that was the year they introduced a minimum wheelbase for Champ Cars, though I haven't found that in print yet. A very few Champ Cars continued to be run as Sprints (as there never was a maximum wheelbase, as far as I know), until USAC ruled that out in 1960.
     
  24. There's some resemblance; but, I guess a lot of them looked alike:D

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  25. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,238

    The37Kid
    Member

    I stand corrected now, at some time Michael you mentioned that the Bob Swanson Vanderbilt car ran post war, I just thought it went back to Midget forn with a 91ci Offy. It would be interesting to know if the stretch was a full new frame and not the Midget frame with an added section. Bob :)


     
  26. Don Capps
    Joined: Feb 13, 2010
    Posts: 111

    Don Capps
    Member

    Well, Bozo Boob, I have serious doubts about the veracity of quotation, especially given if the source to be cited is what I suspect it is.
     
  27. Sunshine, you may pack your toys and leave at anytime. Promise we will close the door behind you.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  28. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,238

    The37Kid
    Member

    With Ralph DePalma as the interpeter the Nuvolari quote was "I wish to compliment you, as your driving is the finest I have ever seen,without exception. I am thankful that your car lacks higher speed as you would be unbeatable." This was after a practice session were Bob Swanson in a 90HP Midget would pass the Nuvolari 380HP Alfa in the turns. For more details on this event check pages 191-192 of American Road Racing The 1930's by Joel Finn. Bob
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  29. carl s
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 741

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

    A few years ago Bob and Michael had several discussions about the history of Swanson's car post Vanderbilt and Michael mentioned he had found reference to it being run in The WRA at Carrell and at Oakland in the late 1940s by Jack McAfee.

    I think these links show the car 'purchased from Babe Stapp' being raced by McAfee in 'streamliner class C' on the flats:

    http://www.jackmcafee.com/9.html

    [​IMG]

    http://books.google.com/books?id=GD...=onepage&q=Jack McAfee WAR sprint car&f=false

    ..."I had a real famous race car, a 3/4 sprint car raced by Babe Stapp. It was a stretched midget with 85" wheel base..."
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  30. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,793

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Donny ....good enough for you ?
     

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