The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kurtis, Jul 18, 2009.
That looks pretty SPECIAL!
Holy Cow! do those tires look woefully inadequate for 5000 cubic inches of motivation.
Please look at the tire size on any land speed racing car. This isn't drag racing but about top speed only.
Where would the driver's ears be? Are there more pictures of this thing? Any history?
IS THERE ANYONE HERE THAT DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO DO A GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH?????
white triplex special
I always thought that the tires used in LSR were made not only for light weight and minimum rolling resistance, but more importantly, constructed in such a way that they wouldn't disintegrate from the huge centrifugal forces created at ultra high speeds - especially when the speeds were higher than those achieved by modern super cars, the fastest circuit racers, or even jet aircraft. Same goes for the wheels, brakes, bearings, etc., eh? Gary
Drivers ears are in front of both rear engines. As Bulto suggested do a Google search using Ray Keech (Indy 500 Winner) and Triplex LSR car and Daytona Beach. Merry Christmas!
True, they were so costly they used cheaper tires as rollers during the build. Race tires were used on Race Day.
I hope everyone understands..... I write large cause I have vision problems
Google image search is n honestly wonderful resource It's ALWAYS my default setting for REAL Answers quickly Pictures are INDEED with 1000's of words
Also rather better than an EBay search when your looking to but something.
Hence my comment.
On the side of his head.
And his face was burned so bad by over heated coolant that he couldn't make a return run. The replacement driver and a Pathe News Cameraman died when they tried to make the next atempt. The photos the mess are on that Google Image Search too.
I can still remember when we had to take up a collection for new racing tires ... After we won enough races companies started to give us tires, oil, sparkplugs and so much more.
With three Liberty engines the noise must have been deafening. In the 80s I stopped at Lake Tahoe on my way back west and when I checked in I heard some absolutely great noise. I asked the girl at the desk and she told me there were vintage boat racers in town for some boat festival. Turns out the really loud boats were the 1650 c.i. Libertys. Some of the best noise I have ever heard-they are really loud. I stayed an extra day just to watch and listen. I had a spare Liberty and sold it in the 90s. It allegedly was bought and resold to go in a boat. Glad it got some use. Even my little 299 Liberty is loud. Used to run it in my shop and my neighbors would all come over and enjoy the noise. Peter De Paolo said in an interview that he could always tell when his Uncle Ralph (De Palma) came around to the front stretch at Sheepshead Bay since it was the loudest car on the track (299 in 1918 I believe-maybe 1919).
As to the tires, like then and now they were one of the real limiting factors on how fast you could go. Tire technology may have been a step behind the speeds they could travel (at least safely).
That was why when I saw the relatively diminutive size of those tires holding up three Liberty engines I thought they looked kinda borderline too small. I didn't think the car was a dragster.
Most of the tires were not very wide back then and sizes were not as plentiful as today but the limiting factor had as much to do with tire composition more than anything IMO. Sometimes then and now you have to try and separate fact from fiction and reality from marketing. In the late 20s while Keech was running on the beach in Florida for the record in April of 1928 (he ended up setting a record of 207+), Frank Lockhart was also trying to set land speed records with his Blackhawk. He and Keech and others had some pretty good stones to run the speeds they were running. Lockhart paid the ultimate price when his Miller engine Stutz Blackhawk crashed end over end at over 200mph when his right rear tire blew. Whether you can blame tire composition in and of itself may not be warranted as he had earlier skidded at speed with his right rear tire locked up for a portion of the braking and it may have damaged it and added to the deterioration. Whatever tires were surely not as good as many of the drivers (and owners) wished they were, more than likely.
You raise another question Jim. What material did they use for casing construction back then? Rayon? Nylon? Surely not steel.
My bicycle racer son has some new ultra lightweight race tires for his insanely light and expensive race bikes and they are using cotton for cords which is not very durable but saves a few grams of tire weight. What was the high tech tire material secret back then?
I study every picture posted and scrutinize its detail in an effort to learn about racing in those days. Tires grabbed my attention on that pic.
Sorry to bother you. I was under the impression that the purpose of a forum was to share information not to send the participants out on individual google searches and then for them keep their information secret from the other users.
Six Ball, I posted a few related names to use in a Google search on the Triplex LSR car, as an aide in your search for more info. Hope I didn't come across as being out of line, it wasn't my intention. The more info that is shared the better, I'd never see the rear view of the car under construction, very nice to see it posted here. Bob
No, not at all that is exactly what I was asking for. Thanks!
I never stop being amazed at the lengths gone to in the quest for speed and the seeming limitless supply of guys willing to risk all to pilot these things. Progress on the speed side comes with a flash inspiration in someones mind. Progress on the safety side comes only after a tragedy that happened in a flash.
I did a very simple search and found exactly what you wanted first time. I supplied you with the exact address to answer your question. I believe it is everyones job here to not only ask questions but also answers if they are so very easy to find.
The title in RED is your guide to answers you asked for. It's the old "Teach a man to fish....'' story.
In the 20's there were no real exotic fibers. There was cotton and natural rubber. There is a photo with Firestone neatly lettered on the sidewall. The made a lot off Indy car tires but I can't see if they are smooth or treaded in that photo to establish if they change tires from previous photos. Again, as with Six you may get all the answers you like by simply searching. Not only that but you can answers that not only satisfy your question but share them here with others too.
Guys I'm down to 40% vision from perfect vision for almost 70 years... I type on a large type keyboard with yellow keys. I must type over and over again to correct my errors. Please excuse me if I sound short in my answers but extra words are a luxury difficult for me to justify given the effort required just write at all. One letter at a time and pecked out with one finger ... I honestly thing that real help is to guide people to the way to answer questions is maybe even more important than taking an hour or two to repeat info found so easily to you all.
When I can no longer post I'd like to think I've help others how to find the answers and carry on.
Greg sorry I did not see your post until now. I believed that the cords were actually made of cotton during this era. I believe it may be due to the lack of development with synthetics more than weight. I remember changing all sorts of tires at my grandfather's collection years ago and it seemed that many of them were cotton cords as well. I thought Rayon came out a bit after the 20s but others may know otherwise. In any event the tires were a tad questionable when it came to safety.
One of my favorite stories was when I interviewed the son of one of Packard's test drivers of the teens (Willard Rader). If my memory is worth anything I believe his name is Frank Rader (have his name in my notes somewhere) and he told me his dad used to test drive cars (including the race cars) at speed until the tires blew (one of the "highlights" of his job) and he lived a pretty long life thankfully. Talk about a guy with a good set of stones.
My friend and I scrapped a Bonneville project because of tire cost. The engine we wanted to play with is too big for the vintage engine classes. Displacement in either the B gas lakester or streamliner classes where the record was near 300 mph at the time. Although we would never near that we would have to have tires for that speed. Well over $3000 just for tires. Enough to take the fun out of it.
I wonder if William Rader did his testing / driving at the Romeo test track. Years back when I was a trainee at the then Ford Romeo Plant I drove around that high banked concrete track. It gave me the willys thinking about the ghosts of others who must have driven that track before me.
Not sure if he tested at the Packard Proving Grounds in Romeo. I was a passenger in an old Packard out of the 30s on the track years ago. I would have to go back and check my notes. I spoke to his son back in the 80s and my memory has been known to be a bit faulty. They had a track at the Grand Boulevard factory grounds and Big Boy Rader as he was known also tested the 905 at Sheepshead Bay in 1917 although I do not believe he blew any tires on that car.
Thought it may be wise to post a couple of pictures of Rader with the 905 racer that he drove to a number of records at Sheepshead in 1917. It may be appropriate since this car had a 905 cubic inch Liberty and you can see the tires he relied on. In setting the track records at Sheepshead in August 1917 he reached speeds of 129 mph (later in February 1919 this same engine set an American record on the Florida beaches of 149+, albeit in a one man car). His riding mechanic I believe is Frank Farber who had some nerve as well to ride along at these speeds as a passenger.
I believe these pictures from the Old Motor (my pictures are in some file I cannot locate as easily) were taken on August 2 1917 in some of the back area of the Sheepshead complex; an old horse track converted to use as a 2 mile board track. Early August dates must have been good for Packard since a year earlier on August 3, 1916 they set a track record at Indy (with Rader and Farber as the combination on that day as well). The track record was with the smaller Liberty race car, the 299 and it was the first AAA sanctioned (then it was the 300 inch class) to lap the Motor Speedway at over 100mph. The Christie had set a 100mph record a bit earlier but it was an exhibition car and not sanctioned to run in the top tier AAA racing. Rader and Packard's chief engineer (in the bow tie) took turns for some record runs around the bricks. Vincent was used to high speeds as big time boat racing was his hobby.
Here is a pic of the 299 at Indy.
Lovely pics Jim, thanks for sharing.
How is the rebuild progressing?
Steve I wish I could say it is going well but such is not the case. Until recently business has kept be quite busy and since my pockets are not deep enough to farm it out, it has sadly been on a back burner. Not all bad though as the engine sits in my shop and always brings a smile when I notice it. Since I figured out that I am not going to live forever, I have decided in this semi-retirement period (or whatever one wants to call it) I must get in gear on moving ahead on my projects. Right now I am in the process of restoring a 1903 Cadillac (complete but in tough shape) and I am making decent progress and when that is done the plan is to get going on the 299 project. What Bill Castle did with the Baby Chevrolet was truly inspiring to me personally, but I need to start and finish my project a bit sooner than he did-I hope. Hope all is going well with you.
If Bill could do it at 95, you can do it at 59, Jim! Get going while you can!
Jim, good to hear you are working on the '03. I know it doesn't belong here but some of us are interested in that stuff too.
Michael I am trying but it would really help if I worked on the cars as opposed to all of the side projects that seem to appear out of nowhere. Working on a wood bodied car in my shop (due to the cold weather) makes a bunch of dust and the last two winters bronchitis put a real crimp on progress so my project for today and tomorrow is installing a somewhat rudimentary air removal system in the shop. Just recently finished winterizing my wife's chicken coop as she decided to add a few chickens to our little ranch and she wanted me to build the chicken coop a certain way-of course, and then winterize it and she wanted switches so she turn the heat lamps on and off at will, etc, etc.
If the honey do list can be kept to a minimum and I can stay focused who knows I may get these cars done.
Plus you are being kind as I am now 67 and there are days that my body reminds me that I have not been kind to it for the last 67 years. I do have a plan-let's hope it works.
Thanks Doug. The 03 car is not HAMB friendly but it is kind of cool. A real difference and takes me back to working at my grandfather's shop years ago
Good to know you are working on the '03 Jim, I should did out the AACA magazines and reread the features you wrote. Bob
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