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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. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

  2. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    The cylindrical thing doesn't appear to have any linkage/hoses or cables attached to it. It would be my guess that maybe it was a sump for extra gear oil. The shaft is probably for turning the engine over by hand to set the timing and such. The actual engine starting was accomplished by spinning the wheels on a roller setup.

    Capture mt-start.JPG
     
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  3. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    Trust Mickey Thompson to come up with a starter system unlike any other! Whatever his failings, he was special.
    Thanks again Rootie.
     
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  4. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Actually, Lou Moore had a similar deal for his Blue Crown cars back in the early 50s.

    Capture bc-start.JPG
     
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  5. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    Thanks for the great pic. Was this also done for the front-drive Blue Crown cars? Who was the crew chief? Maybe it was his idea?
     
  6. joee
    Joined: Oct 9, 2009
    Posts: 474

    joee
    Member

    wish someone made a "kit" for the street
     
  7. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I am also beginning to wonder if that is a Halibrand 2 speed transaxle Mickey used, and didn't Lions Associated Drag Strip have a roller setup to start the fuelers?
     
  8. Speedwrench
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,030

    Speedwrench
    Member

    I don't think that is a Halibrand. We had the case for one that sat in our used parts area for awhile and it had a sump cast into it that was flush with the bottom of the case and was about six inches wider than the body of the case. The trans in the Thompson car - to me - looks like the canister on the side was added as a weld-on.

    Then again Ted made so much one off stuff that the case may be one he made special for Thompson.
     
  9. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    The fwd Blue Crown cars had on-board starters, and the rwd car could be started through the nose also. Lou Moore was the crew chief and why he thought he needed the roller set up also I really couldn't say (?)

    Capture bc-start-1.JPG Capture bc-start-2.JPG
     
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  10. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Here's some shots of Halibrand 2 spds

    Capture qc.JPG Capture qc-2.JPG Capture qc-3.JPG Capture qc-4.JPG Capture qc-5.JPG
     
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  11. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    Thanks for the response. Funny how one thing leads to another. The first pic of the front-drive car shows the independent front suspension clearly, and it looks like it may have been derived from the arrangement on the 1935 Miller-Ford V8s. Though without the neat aero-fairings.
     
  12. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    More great pics! The shift linkage for the two-speeds is clear in most of them.
    Trying to identify the cars (even though they are not roadsters, so this is OT):
    The first one's chassis looks very Cooper, and the exhaust pipes look right for the Cooper Aston-Martin of 1963?
    The second one's body just ahead of the wheels looks like MT's 1963 car, but other pics of that car show coil-overs and separate pipes for each cylinder?
    Can't tell the third, could that be a Chev V8?
    Fourth and fifth seem to be MT's 1962 Buick V8 car
     
  13. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    Back to the Challenger Wheel Spl, more dumb questions:

    Interesting to compare the anti-roll bars in the fourth and fifth pics. Front is short and thick, rear long and thin, so front roll-stiffness should be much higher. Don't usually see a lot of difference, so there must be a good reason?

    The fourth pic also shows two large diameter pipe connections to the main chassis tube which is just visible to the driver’s right, and which was said to carry much of the fuel load. So at least one of these must be the filler, what about the other? And where was the rest of the fuel carried? From all the pics, it doesn't look as if there were any space on the left side of the car.

    Cooler at the rear, low down, does not seem to be ideally positioned for direct air flow. And what is it for?
     
  14. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    I can make some guesses: I suspect the differences in the sway bars might be to help reduce the tendency for fwd cars to torque steer. I believe the upper fuel pipe is a vent to allow the tank to be completely filled through the lower filler. Some other roadsters used a similar set up. Like you, I have no idea where the other 24 gal. went. maybe there is a flat tank under the seat or something (?) The cooler in the rear is a oil cooler and you can see the dry sump just ahead of it. Here's some more pics of the car under construction and later, notice that the QC doesn't have the "can" on it initially so I suspect M/T added it later.

    1-15-mt-1a.JPG 1-15-mt-1b.JPG 1-15-mt-2.JPG 1-15-mt-3.JPG 1-15-mt-4.JPG 1-15-mt-5.JPG
     
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  15. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,199

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    M/T was an innovator!
     
  16. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    Many thanks Rootie for your thoughts and for sharing more of the gems from your wonderful picture collection.

    Yes, the roll stiffness up front must be connected with the fwd. That would also account for the lack of any major weights behind the rear axle line, keeping the front wheels loaded, for traction.

    And that cooler must certainly be the oil cooler, just seems like a strange place for it.

    Since press reports can sometimes be mistaken, I checked the fuel amount mentioned in the caption of your first pic. Assuming a wheelbase of 96”, which I think is typical for that era, the length of that main chassis tube should be around 84”. With 12.5” diameter, it’s volume works out almost exactly the 51 gals mentioned.

    An under-seat tank does look likely, but could that space be enough for 24 gal?

    Anyway, the major fuel load is to the right of the car centreline, so it appears that the right side tyres would be most heavily loaded at the start of the race, and this would ease as the fuel was consumed. Just the opposite of conventional thinking at that time?

    Even the less-conventional roadsters, such as the Kurtis Right-side Drive 500G, which also placed the driver on the left, had all (?) the fuel in the tail, either centred or slightly offset to the left along with the rest of the car.

    In passing, I can understand those enthusiasts outside the garage in the last pic, trying to see as much as they possibly can!
     
  17. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 3,054

    quick85
    Member

    Ken Jackson (Lafayette, Co.) photos.

    A KJ 12.jpg

    A KJ 13.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  18. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    On about the tenth look, I noticed something that was staring me in the face. There is another filler cap on the left side of the car, just ahead of the steering wheel and behind the engine, visible in your last pic. Also can be seen in a head-on view you had posted earlier. Silly me for overlooking it: surely it must connect to a narrow but tall tank to the left of the driver's legs, and maybe extending below his seat as well. That probably accounts for the rest of the fuel.
     
  19. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,143

    egads
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not to hijack the thread, but does this style look familiar to anyone ( with all the knowledge here I thought someone might have some clue's ) Aluminum nose and tail steel body? 20190106_113522 (1).jpeg 20190106_113542.jpeg 20190106_113553.jpeg
     
  20. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    58 lesovsky offy wolcott spl.jpg
    Believe this was 1957 or 58. Interestingly, the engine is angled to run the drive line along the right side of the car, and what an unusual engine. That has to be a supercharger casing, but the head looks like it could be an Offy. Anyone have any info on it? Thanks.
     
  21. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    1957, pretty much just a standard Offy but sized down to 170 c.i. to allow for the supercharging. Nicknamed the "bent 8" Roger Ward won Milwaukee that year.

    1x-22-v.JPG 1x-22-w.JPG 1x-22-x.JPG 1x-22-y.JPG 1x-22-z.JPG
     
  22. Ranchero59
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 494

    Ranchero59
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Those were the years that Indy cars were awesome. Kind of went down hill sense then.
     
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  23. Before the rules took away innovation. :(
     
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  24. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

     
  25. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    Not sure why my reply got mixed up with the quote. Sorry!
     
  26. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    I'm sure Meyer Drake built the engine as Wolcott requested, the oil tank appears to be at the lower left behind the axle.

    1x-23-x.JPG
     
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  27. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,295

    jimmy six
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    The sound of the supercharger intake in the driver compartment behind the dash would be deafening..
     
  28. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    Thanks Rootie, I guess the filler cap is what you have arrowed? In that position, looks like

    keeping the oil cool could have been a problem.
     
  29. blueprint2002
    Joined: Dec 25, 2018
    Posts: 235

    blueprint2002

    63 salih offy.jpg
    63 salih offy-1.png
    Judging from the position and angle of the exhaust header pipes and the intake stacks, as well as the steering wheel position, these cars seem to have had the engine “laid down” at an extreme angle, nearly horizontal, and also angled to route the driveline along the right side.
    Maybe some special arrangement for draining the oil from the heads and the cylinder walls(?).
    How about engaging the starter? Could that be via a right-angle drive from the side?
    The intake stacks are pointing downwards just inches from the track surface, so even on the paved ovals, there must have been grit and debris aplenty to be drawn into the engine. And no visible protection. Did these cars have a worse-than-usual record of engine failures? Any wins?
    Could they have been run on the dirt tracks after their speedway career was over?
    Not sure whether the builder was Salih or Epperly (or someone else?). Around 1961-63, I understand.
     
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  30. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Offy engines had a equally spaced bolt pattern on the rear so the engine could be laid over left or right incrementally as far as one wanted. The crank centerline didn't change nor did the starter shaft orientation. Offys were drysumped and didn't have a oil pan, so the pump would scavange off the bottom of the engine case regardless of its orientation.

    Capture ld-1.JPG Capture ld-2.JPG
     
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