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Hot Rods Cal Tracs , Lake pipes ,side pipes, traction bars and dropped spindles

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 41rodderz, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,065

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    I guess what I would like is some history on these “improvements”. We’re any of these around in the pre ‘65 era? When were lake pipes first used ? Thanks for sharing any history.
     
  2. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,902

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Lakers and sidepipes late 50's early 60's where I grew up.
     
    210superair likes this.
  3. 'Traction bars' appeared in the early 60s as a commercially-available product, were probably around as home-made before that. Dropped spindles are a '80s thing, but do offer safety improvements over earlier crude methods.
     
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  4. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,065

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Cool. I remember the ‘70’s were big on side pipes. I have been debating on a lake style pipes incorporated as part of a custom running board on my ‘58 “Effie” or side pipes sans running boards.
     
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  5. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,197

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    Traction Master was running in the early '50s, spindles were advertised in California car mags mid-'50s; side pipe craze is from same period, too. What's a Cal-Trac ?
     
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  6. Neb Hillbilly
    Joined: Dec 20, 2019
    Posts: 337

    Neb Hillbilly
    Member

    Cal Tracs are a modern version of a slapper bar that used the front spring eye bolt as a pivot to further push down on the front of the spring. All the quick leaf spring cars have them now (I do). They are a 90s invention. https://www.calvertracing.com/caltracs.html Certainly NOT period correct.
     
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  7. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,420

    Muttley
    Member

    If you want original style traction bars you need to get a set of Traction Masters. They've been around since the '50's. I've got a set on my Comet, they work great.
     
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  8. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,723

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    When I started driving in the 60's, everybody had or wanted to have Traction Masters! They were the hot setup!
     
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  9. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,085

    BuckeyeBuicks
    Member
    from ohio

    I remember seeing a lot of Yellow Lakewood traction bars in the late 60's and 70's.
     
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  10. Traction masters co is still in biz. ordered some new bushings for mine last year
     
    loudbang likes this.
  11. Lake pipes hit the scene in the 50's. Taboo had a set in 1958 266446_244206802259748_1847094_o.jpg
     
  12. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,065

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Okay . I checked out your link . I do remember seeing a pic of them before. Yes that is the info I am interested in learning about. Thank you
     
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  13. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,065

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Thanks. Love the history lessons with pics. Thanks
     
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  14. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,065

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Yes that was what I was going by. The yellow Lakewood’s. Easy to replicate. I was thinking of building a set with lightening holes then weld round pipe in holes and close of the ends to keep dirt and debris/water out. The front end would have to be bolted and sealed so the snubbers could be accessed to . Mmm
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
  15. Remembering that this place is about 1965 and earlier;)
     
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  16. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,677

    jnaki








    upload_2020-6-24_16-45-48.png
    Hey 41,

    We had several sets of Traction Master Bars for my brother’s 1951 Olds in 1957 and on a 55, 56, 57 Chevy in 1960-61. That was the era of the popularity of those bars on hot rods with rear leaf springs. They were not that expensive and fairly easy to install. They gave us better traction than the same car without. But the problem was if the car was lowered, those rear bars made the height not as low as could be.

    The 1951 Olds had scraping problems if driven over dips and bumps due to the lowered stance. I installed a set of Traction Master Bars on our 56 Chevy Positraction rear end that we mounted in our 1940 Willys C/Gas coupe. They were common at Lions Dragstrip in most cars with rear leaf springs.
    upload_2020-6-24_16-46-27.png 1957
    Although, your question is covering a lot of ground. There were two simple, but distinct eras in the very late 50s and the early 60s versus the 1966 through 1970. One remained the classic hot rod look, and the other let the “raised in the air” fake Gas Coupe and Sedan look plus accessories, like ladder bars. We should not lump one with the other as they were quite different eras, teenagers and builds.

    At that time period of 1955-60 those chrome side lakes pipes were also in style on any car, not just customs. It started out with stubby ones sticking out behind the front wheel and just kept going back toward the rear wheels. Most were just for looks, but there were a few that actually hooked them up to the side exhaust cut outs. The main problem with lakes side pipes were the bottom of the car was now several inches lower to the ground.

    Many of those pipes that were installed were taken off after several scrapes while driving. As flat as So Cal cruising grounds seem to be, there are deep intersections and side roads with terrible dips and bumps. My brother installed a set hooked up to the motor side, exhaust cut outs on his lowered 51 Olds, when it was painted a pale yellow. He took them off after several scrapes and misshapen chrome pipes and end caps.

    Jnaki

    Here is a modified look of that early 1960 look with a lowered stance and lakes side pipes. Obviously, the whole Buick would not pass any CHP for vehicle checks as everything is lower than the lowest part of the rims, including the ever-present gas tank. But, it was a change in seeing a daily driver custom, versus the normal hot rod cruising around. It was a neck snapper and luckily, I had my digital camera with me.
    upload_2020-6-24_16-47-47.png
    Note: Very careful driving skills is required as just around the corner from this photo location is a mean set of dips and bumps that a normal car slows to complete. (Or, the dreaded “air bag” lifts come into play.)


     
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  17. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,065

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Thank you :) You must be the most interesting man in America. The personal knowledge you have about hot rodding, customs and the California scene back then is always an entertaining history lesson for me.
     
    jnaki likes this.
  18. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,065

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    8B493D6B-E0A5-4514-87D4-44758A7CAAF8.jpeg I was pondering customizing the pipes as the leading edge of the running boards with the outlet near the end. Made by myself. Then either make up a stainless trim piece or just leave the outlet and paint to match the body.
     
  19. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,677

    jnaki




    Hey 41,

    Thank you for the nice comments. I am just an ordinary guy with an ordinary life. We have been fortunate to be in the local scene in So Cal since the early 50s. I have to thank my mom and dad for not moving to Los Angeles back then, but to stay coastal and what a place they chose. ( A government trailer park with a 10 x 25 foot trailer...) When we actually moved into our first real house, it was a very small (what wasn't back then) Craftsman House. Then, a slightly larger two bedroom house for our pre-teen and teenage years.

    We are no longer active as we are the "old timers" these days. Our lives have changed and locations have changed, too. But, those photos and memories have not, since those long ago times. It was a fun way to grow up, with all of the activity, local speed shops, sports, Lions Dragstrip, Bixby Knolls, the ocean within two miles away and our family of friends. Those days are to definitely remember and store for a lifetime.

    Jnaki

    Again, Thank you!!! I try to get as accurate information for my posts as I can research and remember. I just don't post massive amounts of images without some information or background. That keeps the memories alive and stirs the pot. It also allows people to see what I used to see and do when I was a teenager or 20 something. It was just part of growing up in So Cal with all of its quirks and great locations, as well as those memories.
     
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  20. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,537

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    I have said, no lamented that my father should have migrated to So Cal from Sicily instead of Connecticut. He was a Farmer here so he could have been one there; maybe grown grapes, certainly could grow stuff. Can't say if my life would have been better or a surfer!!!
     
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  21. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,700

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

  22. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,480

    squirrel
    Member

    if you want to have some fun, build your CalTracs to look like Traction Masters. All it takes is cutting out a notch in the triangle side plates.

    traction3.jpg traction1.jpg
     
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  23. pirate
    Joined: Jun 29, 2006
    Posts: 505

    pirate
    Member
    from Alabama

    Maybe not in the exact sense of lakes pipe/side pipes but a friend of mine had a 60 Ford Starliner with Holman Moody NASCAR exhaust pipes dumping just in front of the rear wheels.
     
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  24. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,065

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    Super cool. I collect wether intentionally or not and always thought some Holman Moody parts would be special to have on the shelf. I collect those little hot rod mags and just reading about people and cars of the day and the ads back then teaches me a bit of history.
     
  25. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,420

    Muttley
    Member

    A couple of original water-slide decals from my stash:

    1.jpg

    2.jpg

     
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  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,677

    jnaki




    Hey Seb,

    Living in So Cal areas like Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach provides a nice place to call home. Being so close to the beach does have its advantages, as well as disadvantages, too. Surfers? It is how much you practice, not necessarily where you live. Today and in the future, we might have the next surf champion from Waco, Texas or inland, Lemore, CA. (Where the #$%@ is that?)
    upload_2020-6-26_12-21-55.png


    Farming?
    Like the thread posts have shown, farming in So Cal was very popular, but the cities decided that housing was necessary and more profitable. The whole Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach area inland was mostly farming fields. My dad took us to his friend’s giant farm right on the border of Fountain Valley/Huntington Beach area when we were little. It was open space for miles all around.

    The best examples of a farming location in Fountain Valley from as late as 1968 was the photo on the left, below. It was near the corner of Brookhurst and Warner. It was before all of the housing development building started filling up the planned community. There were still farms in the location, but they were becoming history, so to speak.

    upload_2020-6-25_5-11-7.png
    The wooden structure behind the colorful Triumph was on a deserted farm with old buildings in various stages of crumbling or abandonment, just around the block.

    Since then, of course, Fountain Valley has been described as a model planned community. So goes progress in So Cal. It was similar to the changes from the late 50’s Traction Master Bars, lakes pipes to the 1966 and later modifications to the hot rods/race cars. The vast techniques/builds in hot rods and development in farming in So Cal moved with the times. It may not be progress in some eyes, but it did happen.

    In our own Westside of Long Beach neighborhood, one of the largest farms was a foot hold adjoining the Lions Dragstrip property. It was the background of plenty of photos from the beginning to the shut down in 1972. It was the place where the farmer would shoot (salt pellets) intruders walking across his vast fields to get to the east side of the dragstrip. But, nothing kept us little kids from waiting for our chance to cross that field, to see those fast and loud racing machines zip by us at the finish line.

    Jnaki
    upload_2020-6-25_5-11-55.png The 1958 Impala with the farmer’s vast farmer’s fields in the background, below the high power lines and structures.
    the Tapia Brothers FED race car

    The best example of the farmer’s field next to the Lions Dragstrip from the Wardlow Road (223rd St) entrance end to the Willow Street finish line end.

    So, it might not have been in your future, but it was available for all to be a part of, in So Cal.



     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020

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