The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by falcongeorge, Jun 22, 2011.
The dragster has always been named "Mooneyes".
San Antonio Speed Shop Texas Longhorn II
The original car was called "Mooneyes" when Dean ran it in the 60's. The Devin bodied sports car was called "Moonbeam" , the Jocko bodied streamliner was "Moonliner" and the ski boat was "Moonshine"
Loudbang, is that fiat a replica of the car we see photos of on fire and the crankshaft on the ground ?. The one that the drivers daughter was on here with photos and info.
Yes that is the one in the famous photo. I THINK this is a tribute but not 100% sure
yes it is. my friend fiberglass dave rip, made the original body and this one.
Our altered and a vintage Lynwood dragster in the lanes for the Comp eliminator finals of the Nostalgia Nationals Beaver Springs Dragway
Hugh Tucker's Chevy AA/SR. The initial version of this car was Oldsmobile powered but it was restored to the later hemi configuration several years ago.
Rat Trap next to Pure Hell
I always liked the IFS on the Rat Trap. When time came to do my car I used an IFS. Drives straight and true.
Loudbang, where do you get all these great pictures, The 62 Belair 409 car is awsume. Thanks for posting
Most of these come from bangshift coverage of major car shows.
Loudbang is that an artillery unit insignia you are using for your avatar?
The aftermath of one of the Magic Muffler cars more memorable runs....
Not actually a current photo( or modern day race car) so this is not really the appropriate thread. A photo of the recreation of this car would fit here a lot better.
You're exactly right. It is not current, just a follow up.
Two different Granny Goose at 2020 autorama
Actually that is all three of the Granny Goose cars (including the HAMB unfriendly Camaro)
TV Tommy Ivo
Tracks aren't open so it was detail day last weekend. Been a few years since we did more than just a quick once over.
Ok Here is the continuation of this thread from this thread :https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum...eran-del-wiesner-story.1191965/#post-13556081
This is the story of the tribute car.
Scars, and memories, too. "I had two wonderful partners in this car back in the day. In 1964, we did the entire NHRA Division 5, in the points chase right up to the end. We ran every event: Omaha, Minneapolis, Great Bend, Continental Divide, Green Valley Raceway in Texas, Amarillo, plus the Winternationals in Pomona and the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. It wasn't unusual for us to be in L.A., then Minneapolis, then Texas. We flat-towed this car all over the country until we finally got a trailer."
Decades later, "I couldn't shake the thrill the race car had given me. Even though I had quit racing long ago, I always loved the Willys gassers. Once you get that in your blood, it's hard to let go. It was the most exciting time of my life, so I decided to rebuild a part of history."
He considered another go-around with the original car. "I found the original '33. Someone had converted it to a street machine with a Chevrolet engine. I called, but once they found out about the history of their car, they decided they didn't want to sell it."
He opted instead to build a Willys from scratch, with a fabricated chassis and cage, a fiberglass repop body, and the help of a young car builder named Bobby Anderson, who runs Sleds Customs in Apache Junction, Colorado. Bobby modified the frame for the Willys using 2x4 rectangular tubing, and mounted a straight front axle from Speedway Motors and a Ford 9-inch rearend. Within the 10-point polished cage are aluminum seats Bobby fabricated after the fiberglass racing seats Del bought for the project "were thrown in the junk pile," Del says.
They weren't the only pieces that didn't pass muster. Much of the fiberglass Willys body Del bought was either "too heavy or poorly done," so Bobby fashioned a rear decklid, dashboard, floors, fenderwells, and other parts from aluminum.
The engine had to be an Oldsmobile. "I have a number of blocks," Del says, preferring those out of a '62 Starfire. "The 394-inch Olds motors were made from 1959 to 1964, and the blocks from the '62 Starfire have a unique configuration compared to the other engines. They have a wider main bearing boss, so you could run a heavier-duty main bearing. It's the strongest 394 Olds block."
Del built two different engine combinations for the Willys. One has a stock crank with steel billet Crower rods and 8:1 compression pistons. The other, his "quickest engine," has 9:1 compression and aluminum rods. "I went to the aluminum rods so I could use a pinned rod bearing to keep the rod bearings in place. The steel rods had a tendency to tear the tangs off the ends of the rod caps. Pinned bearings eliminated that problem, but it means a trick crank situation. The crank is undersize 300-thousandths—that's a lot—then resized to use Chevrolet main bearings. That's a unique situation for an Olds to have that."
As Gasser Wars veterans, Del and Howard were used to being courted by camshaft makers. "Several companies gave us camshafts back then." Jack Engle ground cams for the SWO Willys, and 50 years later, Del again went to Jack, even after the cam maker had retired, for grinds for the tribute car. But with two engines in play, Del also uses a billet Isky 505-C roller cam in his other engine.
"I like both cams," he says. "Both those manufacturers treated us really well. The Engle definitely has more lift. It's a more modern camshaft. The 505-C is like it was ground in 1960. I bought a pair of them unused at the Bakersfield swap meet. It has 100-thousandths less lift than the Engle, but I can make the car run just as hard for the first 300 to 400 feet as with the big cam. That's what I do with the car, run hard out of the hole to give them the show.
"People come out to see cars drive up to the starting line and carry the front end for 100 feet. That's the show, right there. I don't run the car at top speed any more. These aren't real stable at 150-plus."
With some concessions to NHRA regulations, Del worked to keep the outside of the engine "looking like it was running the old stuff, nostalgia stuff." Feeding the fire is a vintage Hilborn two-port fuel-injection system "that's probably from the early 1960s," says Del. Igniting the fire is a Joe Hunt Vertex magneto.
The start of the SWO tribute. Bobby Anderson fabricated the frame out of 2x4 rectangular tubing, "much stronger and less flexible" than the original Willys frame, says Del. The straight axle "is probably four times heavier than in the 1960s car, because we weren't as concerned with weight as getting the right look for the new car."
The headers, too, with their distinctive wraparound collectors, were built by Bobby to mimic the pipes on the SWO Willys. "At the time it was a convenient way to pull the tubes together, and it looked neat on the weed burners," Del explains.
Another carryover from the original Willys is the tribute car's shifter, which is on the column. "We always ran a column shifter on them, even though everyone else had it on the floor. In the old days we'd run a Powerglide shifter, a '53 or '54 column shifter, but you can't race one of those anymore since there's no reverse lockout on them."
The Ford 9-inch is filled with 35-spline Moser axles, 4.56 gears, and a spool. The ladder bars here are mockups; the finished versions were machined from billet aluminum stock. "They're probably 50, 52 inches long, go about halfway up to the front of the car," Del says.
The tribute Willys, too, started with a Hydramatic, but Harold Owens had another idea. "Harold was running a Hughes Performance Powerglide in his dragster, and he recommended it. So I went with it. It matched up to the early Oldsmobile and works slick."
The cage is certified to just an 8.50 e.t. "because of the way we built the bar in the driver's side of the cage. It will hinge to let me in."
Both of Del's former partners are still around. "Dean Seevers, the top engine man and driver, is very ill, but Dean and Harold Owens are my biggest supporters of the car. When I started, I was the gopher guy, the polish guy. I painted the original A/Gas Supercharged car and kept it looking great. But then I started driving in mid-1964, so I got to run Doug Cook a number of times, Bones, K.S. Pittman, Chuck Finders, and the big-name racers."
Re-creating the Willys that meant so much to him took a full five years. "It was a challenge, largely because all the parts we needed are now considered antiques." But with Bobby Anderson's help, Del now enjoys running and showing his tribute Willys for "all the past drivers, owners, and fans who truly loved these kinds of cars."
The Willys being mocked up. During its construction, several body parts—the rear decklid, firewall, inner fenders—were "put on the junk pile" because they were either too heavy or poorly made, Del says. Bobby fabbed aluminum replacements for those parts.
The firewall and dash were among the pieces Bobby made from scratch for the Willys. "He's quite a sheetmetal worker," Del says of Bobby.
The engines Del uses in the Willys are '62 Olds Starfire blocks bored 0.030 over and fitted with number 23 cylinder heads from 1963-1964 Olds 394s. Dave Sarno of SCH Racing Heads in Arvada, Colorado, "is my head guy," Del says. "They aren't ported or relieved as extremely as they were in the 1960s, since Dave says the extreme polishing we used to do doesn't make that much difference. But deep pockets work."
Topping the 6-71 blower is a two-port Hilborn injection system that Del modified to accept a four-port scoop. "I wanted more volume going to the injector," he says. "The two-port scoop has considerably less frontal area than the four-port scoop." So he fashioned an adapter to join the two.
Mad Mike the Striper out of Greeley, Colorado, lettered the original Willys. "When I rebuilt the car I contacted him. He's still in business in Denver," Del says. "He did a lot of signs and posters for the car, stuff like that, gratis." Mike did not letter the new car, though. Del and Bobby took photos of the original Willys to a sign shop, "and he did the cutouts, like vinyl letters. But we didn't want the lettering—we wanted what was left over, to use as a stencil to paint the lettering on the car." Bobby then applied the graphics.
More of Bobby's handiwork is found inside the Willys, where he fashioned the floors, the seats, the dashboard, the cage, and more.
"Bobby [Anderson, right] did the painting on car. He does it all, the little sh*t. I knew him when he was just 4 years old. People ask, 'Who did the work?' That young guy, he did it. He does it all."
"Sometimes the front end is off the ground, sometimes it's rubbing against the wall. I never know which direction it's going to go, but the crowd loves it."
Del Wiesner's tribute to his Gasser Wars days is no static display. He built the new Seevers/Wiesner/Owens '33 Willys to be legal for nostalgia racing. "About quickest that car has gone is 5.70 at 118 to 120 miles per hour in the eighth-mile."
There it is looking good.
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