The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Royalshifter, Dec 12, 2007.
Great history on the MAGICAR, did not know that. Thanks Don.
This car was owned and driven by Bill "Mitch" Mitchell first just green then as the Antelope Valley Speed Center car. Then as the Triad Land Co. car as Bill was a partner at Triad. Car raced as number 331 when "Mitch" was driving and as 332 when his brother-in-law Al Tshida was driving. Al was a trophy winner in class at the 1969 Indy Nationals in this car. Car later ended up in Minnesota and became the Doug's as pictured. Then the car sat in hibernation for nearly 30 years. The car is currently being "Freshened Up" and is still wearing is same multi color with pearl green paint and once again lettered as the Triad Land Co. car. Hopefully be done by next summer
You got that right!!
We had to run against this car a lot at Edgewater , Kilkare and Indy. Pratt-Burkett and Frank. Some of the nicest guys in drag racing.
Check out all the "daily drivers" sitting on the street in the background. Cool pict!
This might be John Bateman's Atlas Oil Tool car without the nose...had several drivers, not sure who might be driving here... Tom Hanna body
Joe Allevo, This info from nickthebandit: Joe was from Hartford, Connecticut. he used to run at Connecticut Dragway. In later years he ran a Devin bodied car. His brother Lou ran an altered. I used to work with his grandson. (one of the great things about the HAMB is the amount of information from members!)
ID? (one of the many things lost to drag racing were push starts..yes, there were some accidents, but still ....)
San Antonio? (love the hood straps)
Green Valley, TX....Bobby Langley on left, probably Scorpion 6...thanks to Junior Stock for ID.
No ID on car, except that it looks very early '60s...Arizona? I was thinking San Gabriel, but the stands look too big...
Lots of pictures of Willy on this thread, but wonder if this is the first time out with the wing? Note the early front supports which, I think. went away as they developed it...remember that the back mount had a spring that allowed the wing to flatten out more as the car gained speed, thus reducing drag....wasn't Al Barnes involved in engineering the wing? Notice also that Willy is wearing a leather face mask, which indicates really early '60s....this shot from Bakersfield.
Ok, not in motion, and, given what these guys are doing, they are not likely to be in motion much longer...
It appears that it is San Gabriel Valley Drag Strip after all but the photo was flipped wrong.
The grandstands at SG were only on the north side along with the high tension lines and the mountains....as they are in this pic.
It looked goofy the other way but when I flipped it, all was right with the world again.
Us old birds are still good for something.
Also note that Willy is steering with both hands.
May be new car and he has no history of how the car handles yet.
Anyone know when "one hand Willy" started using his signature driving style.
Perfect! If anyone could figure it out, it would be you...thanks!...now it looks familiar.
Good point, Denny, there are a few shots of the car without the wing, but I think this was the first time with it...and thus he was probably being careful (well, "careful" for Willy...)...story I heard was that he kept his hand on the door to brace himself, given the size of the roll cage and how much the car could yaw around...
Not quite HAMB friendly, but do you know about the funny car Willy ran with a fake arm and hand hanging on the side of it.
Blue coupe belongs to Jeff Cryan. He also owns and drives the ex Bizio 33 pickup in Nostalgia AA Gas.
That's a good catch on the orientation. It definitely wasn't right as first posted. BTW, it is my recollection that the strip ran approximately from north to south, parallel to the river and that put the bleachers on the west side?
It has been a long time -- but my memory is that it sort of ran east to west, parallel to the mountains...there is no trace anymore, just the gravel pit, according to Google Earth...others may remember better than me....(it was a great place to race, paved pits, well managed by Jim Tice, and others....(and in my dim memory, there may have been two San Gabriels, because I remember it closed for a while in the late '50s, opened again nearby? (no, I'm not confusing it with the change from San Gabriel to Irwindale, which was also nearby to the old San Gabriel)
Correct, Chuck, the strip was oriented "approximately" north to south, but at an angle with the finish line being to the SW of the starting line.
Because of that, the grandstands, the high tension lines, and the mountains are on the north side of the track, as said.
It could be argued that the grandstands were on the west side of the track (although they were also on the north side, too), depending on which direction you choose......both are correct.
But the high tension lines and the mountains in the photo are on the north side even though the track ran at an angle.
The camera that took this photo is pointed dead north. Mount Wilson is the highest peak right dead-center.
Because the track ran at an angle one's perception is their own and correct but not the only correct answer.
Being a photographer for the past 57 years, I "go" by the direction that the camera is facing.
Chuck, here's another angle. This time the camera is facing north and slightly to the east. The valley in the mountain range (above the flagman's right shoulder) is Azusa Canyon which was NE of the tracks location. You can see the track runs at angle so it's neither facing directly NSE or W but a combination.
By the way, if you were to take a flight "as the crow flies' directly through the camera lens, you'd fly right overhead the yet unbuilt Irwindale Raceway several miles to the NE of this location, but Irwindale did no open until 1965.
Looking like the Greek is on the left, I wonder who is on the right side of this pic maybe ' Storm'n Norm'n ' ?
Those flag starts were great with both feet in the air!!!!!!!!!
San Gabe and Fontana were the most uncivilized and "bare-bones" tracks in Southern California.......which made them BITCHIN'!!!!!!!!!
My home track the ' Pond ' was right in there too, get there at noon run for about 3 hours then shoot a little stick and a cool one with friends and be home by 6 ' Priceless '
From what I've understood, Willy drove with one hand because he used the other arm to brace himself. That wheel is like a freakin bus steering wheel. Part of the mythos of Willy. The fact he'd fall asleep moments before a run was thought to be evidence of how cool he was when in fact, he had narcolepsy.He blew his Revell deal by refusing to wear a shirt for publicity photos of the Charger, then walking off in a huff. He was a stubborn guy, INSISTED on a big block Chevy in the Revell Charger funny car, smoked ( EVERYBODY did then), and refused to see a doctor when he developed a big lump in his throat. The cancer that killed him.
What was the gap in years (if at all) between SG and Irwindale?
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