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History Classic Indy roadsters: Most beautiful oval racers ever?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Bill McGuire, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Hey Silent Rick, best you get to know Mac and appreciate him for what he knows and what he does or please really be silent.
     
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  2. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    Tom,
    I did not write the dictionary definition--I simply looked it up following the reaction to Silent Rick's comments. Although the "recreation tag" fits the Jones and Mayley car it also qualifies as a "replica" by definition.
    My comments on your cars were not meant as a slight, simply pointing out that they do not meet the "exact copy" definition of replica, as per Oxford while the laydown car does.
    As for your comment about "amateur historians&writers" I hope that you are not including me in that group as you know my background better than most that are following this thread .

    Roo
     
  3. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 522

    mac miller
    Member
    from INDY

    Hi Roo!
    I certainly know and appreciate your credentials, not only as journalist and historian, but also as a top fabricator and car builder..... You are a respected player.... not a spectator.
    I, totally, understood your previous post and I have no issue with anything you said.
    I have never represented my cars as any more or less than they are...... great shapes, great design, great style with some modern "tweaks" and components.
    You and I, both, have been involved with some high dollar restorations of "real" cars but I could never afford to participate at that level..... On the other hand, there are very few of the top level, "real" car owners who can start with a pile of steel tubing, aluminum, and a roll of fiberglass cloth and create what you and I do.
    mac miller in INDY
     
  4. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,276

    birdman1
    Member

    I loved those Indy roadsters, but they were death traps. seemed like every time they ran the Indy 500, at least one driver was killed.
     
  5. Mitch G
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 101

    Mitch G
    Member

    I see this all the time, someone post's a great shot of a early midget, sprint car, indy roadster, sure enough..."great looking cars, but just so dangerous, death traps, etc. So, I've responded to this before on other sites, if you look at these lists, which are depressing, sad, and morbid, but of all these fatalities, only 9 were in "Roadsters" of which only 6 (roadster fatalities) were at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Many were in upright champ cars on dirt and paved tracks, the majority were in rear engine cars. Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.23.33 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 12.21.31 PM.png
     
  6. Mitch G
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 101

    Mitch G
    Member

    The guys who died in the most "technologically advanced race cars of all time".. say going back to 1999 up until 2015, are just as dead as the guys who perished in roadsters.
     
  7. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,175

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Interesting thread, but way too many "experts" and egos.
     
  8. Mitch G
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 101

    Mitch G
    Member

    Not an "expert", I love the history of the American championship race car builders, Frank Kurtis, A.J. Watson, Quinn Epperly, Don Edmunds, etc. etc. These guys built cars of their own design in their own shops, with their own hands. What's so bad about that?.....No factory involvement. Colin Chapmin came to Indy and declared the roadster's "Great lumps of Junk"...well he could not build a effing go kart without Lotus and Ford helping him. My point was, lots of people look at the past thru today's rose colored glasses of technology, hence the comments...."those cars were cool, but insanely dangerous, and deadly , and put the drivers in unnecessary danger" on and on. Yeah it was dangerous, but that's what it was back then, you think they had cad-cam, computer modeling, etc. in 1955?? Do you think the builders of the race cars in those days said..."Hey I know, lets built this piece of shit so poorly it will kill the first dumb ass who drives it!!!". I just try to set the record straight on what really happened in those days, it's that simple. And I personally agree, the "Indy roadster" were the most beautiful race cars built in America, my opinion, the builders were fascinating personalities.
     
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  9. Mitch G
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 101

    Mitch G
    Member

    color_watson.jpeg watson_ward1959.jpg A.J Watson, neat guy, built neat cars, and few died in his cars, just history.
     
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  10. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,199

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    The drivers of the era knew the risks. Today too many Monday morning quarter backs. Many drivers back then refused seat belts. The sport evolved and became safer. They sure were some neat looking cars. I would love to get my hands on an Offy engine.
     
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  11. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    "..No factory involvement. Colin Chapmin (sic) came to Indy and declared the roadster's "Great lumps of Junk"...well he could not build a effing go kart without Lotus and Ford helping him."

    Mitch,
    it may be a good idea for you to research the history of Lotus before making stupid comments as quoted above.
    Colin Chapman WAS Lotus and smart enough that the Lotus 7 that he designed and first built in 1957 is still being built in basically the same form to this day. He started the same way as the California roadster builders, designing and building his own cars from scratch. Chapman and the Coopers (Charles and his son John) were responsible for the concept of the small and light rear engined cars that have been the norm in Formula 1 since the late 50's. Ford's sole involvement in Chapman's original Indy effort was in supplying the engines, a production based pushrod unit that very nearly won the race in 1963 despite being 50 hp down on the Offy roadsters. You will also find that it was Californian hot rodder Dan Gurney who put Chapman and Ford together as he could see the benefits of a small and light car (compared to the roadsters)
    Chapman may have been a little harsh in his description of the roadsters but he proved his point. In fact the writing was on the wall in 1961 when Jack Brabham ran as high as 3rd and finished 9th in a Cooper Climax with 2/3 the horsepower of the Offy's.
    Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of the roadsters but like front engine dragsters (and lots of other things) they were eventually outmoded by more modern technology--have you played any 8 track tapes lately?

    Roo
     
  12. Mitch G
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 101

    Mitch G
    Member

    Take your 8 tracks and shove them up your ass, why make this personal?.....chapman could not win the Indianapolis 500 in that era, the same way Watson and Kurtis did if it were not for factory backing. He had many more times the resources than the average American builder, stupid comments? Like it or not, your great factory hero's and USAC's desire to lure huge corporate involvement, has led to the current form of racing at Indy, yeah!! nothing but steering wheel holders, and spec cars. GFY
     
  13. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,175

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    And the "experts" and the egos continue to spout their own particular brand of bullshit.
    You guys need to get over yourselves.
    You are making this thread a huge waste of time with your crybaby "I'm right and you are wrong" BS.
     
  14. Mitch G
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 101

    Mitch G
    Member

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  15. Mitch G
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 101

    Mitch G
    Member

    Nice looking roadster...an early Watson, 1958. I believe this one has been re-restored. old_97watson.jpeg
     
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  16. Mitch G
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 101

    Mitch G
    Member

    Quinn Epperly's cars were sleek....1961 entry for Indy. epperly_autolite.jpeg
     
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  17. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

  18. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    And just to prove to Mitch that I know a little bit about roadsters here is the Sarkes-Tarzian car that I did some of the restoration work on in the early 90's.

    This was the car that Elmer George raced at Indy in 62/3 and Mel Kenyon later crashed at Langhorne.
    At the time of the crash it had Watson bodywork so the original configuration had to be recreated during the restoration. When the car backed into the wall the impact drove the tail pipe forward and bent the header to the point where it could not be repaired so I had to build a new one. The tail pipe itself survived and is still on the car.
    [​IMG]
    The midget is a Kurtis/110 Offy that we painted to match the roadster
    [​IMG]
    That is me on the left of the car prior to the pre race parade of roadsters in 1992. Duke Nalon is in the seat and John Hadjuk is to the right
    [​IMG]
    Roo
     
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  19. Speedwrench
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,030

    Speedwrench
    Member

    Might have something to do with the engine being a 383 or, possibly, 406.
     
  20. silent rick
    Joined: Nov 7, 2002
    Posts: 4,410

    silent rick
    Member

    what year did the taller rollbar become manditory, 60 or 61?

    edit: nevermind, it was 59, i think, i'm no expert
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  21. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,199

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    Cars evolved and became faster, safer and hi tech. Chapman was an innovator and made advancements in racing cars, but were fragile. He also wasn't by accounts the most trustworthy. I sure do like the look of the lay down Offy roadsters.
     
  22. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 6,112

    banjeaux bob
    Member
    from alaska

    Car is for sale. Images via Dale Estes. 12417714_687441721393303_3849194612090474716_n.jpg 12507354_687441804726628_5420362666866463520_n (1).jpg 12508730_687443681393107_3755238815252493167_n.jpg 944957_687442511393224_3297505754711228696_n.jpg 12540582_687443608059781_5678086167228865653_n.jpg
     
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  23. flatheadtommy
    Joined: Oct 21, 2013
    Posts: 1,012

    flatheadtommy
    Member

    New England favorite and 1957 USAC sprint car champion, Bill Randall at Trenton, N.J. IMG_0410.JPG
     
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  24. Susan Sprigg
    Joined: Jan 6, 2017
    Posts: 6

    Susan Sprigg

     
  25. Susan Sprigg
    Joined: Jan 6, 2017
    Posts: 6

    Susan Sprigg

    U
    Uncle Ted Cornis bought the patents and the rights to build the Kurtis, that's why they were friends!
     
  26. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,868

    jetnow1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    Love this thread- When I was a cub scout many decades ago I built a pine derby car with my Dad that
    was styled as an Indy car. He rough cut it out on his bandsaw for me then I spent many hours sanding
    it smooth. It was not real compedetive but was the prettiest car there. Thanks for the memories.
     
  27. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,270

    oj
    Member

    Did the SuperModified evolve from the Indy Roadster? Is that where the Supers came from?
     
  28. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    What a dickhead thing to say
     
  29. You got that right Roy. Just goes to show, any thread on the HAMB, no matter how good, can be turned into a pissing contest. Mac and Roo are a couple of class A builders. The shit that has been said here burns my ass. I come here for the wonderful photos, stories, and history, not this crap.
     
  30. BZNEIL
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 659

    BZNEIL
    Member

    I usually don't get involved in these things but until you have built, rebuilt, restored, recreated or stylized one of these open wheel beast with your bare hands you will never understand the skills, time and passion it takes to do. And those who don't get it show themselves pretty quick. If it wasn't for people like us working on these dinosaurs there would be none left to watch run.
     

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