The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Royalshifter, Dec 12, 2007.
Two was just too much. In 1962, Dan Knapp, Chester Blazik, and driver Don Westerdale, towed from Michigan to the newly opened the Niagara Airport Drag Strip. Their gas rail, “Double Trouble,” housed two direct-drive, co-joined 327s and it turned an impressive 7.99 ET. As was the case with many twin-engine dragsters and hot rods, however, chassis stresses broke up the whole deal. FromLOST DRAGSTRIPS II: More Ghosts of Quarter-Miles Past,by Scotty Gosson. (Dean Johnson Collection)
The Twin Cities Optimist Clubs Timing Association opened Minnesota Dragways in Coon Rapids in July 1959 with grand passion. After a somewhat rocky start, the venue grew in popularity, peaking with 30,000 spectators at an appearance of Evel Knievel in 1972. There is no question that the Optimist guys also demonstrated grand creativity as well. Here is one of their track dryers, a 1952 Chrysler up-fitted with an aircraft engine and prop to deal with rain, oil, and likely snow. Encroaching neighbors got pretty hostile when racing was switched to evenings and the roar of engines filled the nighttime air. Sadly the facility closed in November of 1976. Photo fromLOST DRAG STRIPS II – More Ghosts of Quarter-Miles Past, by Scotty Gosson. (John Foster Jr. Collection)
.In the 1960s Ray Farhner and son Larry built this Boot Hill Express, a fiberglass copy of the hearse produced by Cunningham in New York in 1850. It had a hemi and was a smash hit on the show circuit, and a 1:24 scale model became a big seller. Here’s Hal Hammer making a run with it at Beeline Dragway in Phoenix beneath what was called a “hastily installed roll bar.”
Marvin! That’s the late, great Marvin Rifchin of M&H Tire, listening a bit suspiciously as Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen (L) and Don “Snake” Prudhomme exaggerate how fast they were.
The only reason I watched early Funny Cars. We need more Pam's at the digs.
I only have 2 observations: 1) no rollbar and 2) 4 doors. What was this guy thinking?
My cousin's car front & center (Dick Branstner) with Lindamood , and a stellar line-up all around.
Pretty innovative stuff. This was “Creighton Hunter’s (one of the founders of the Santa Ana Drags) Slice of Pie, a flathead-powered, transverse engine Dragster built around 1955. The Slice of Pie featured an elevator chain-driven live rear axle and center steering…. It was fairly competitive, hitting 159 MPH. Unfortunately, the car would crash in August 1955, banging Hunter up badly in the process. Incidentally, Hunter’s double zeros (which were on all his cars) inspired Dean Moon to create the famous “Mooneyes” logo. Photo and caption fromDIGGERS, FUNNIES, GASERS, AND ALTEREDS: Drag Racing’s Golden Age, by Bob McClurg (Creighton Hunter Collection)
This is Bob Rounthwaite back in January of 1953 at the Six-S Airport in Saugus, California. His car was innovative for the time. Given that the seat is over the rear end, it certainly predicted the importance of weight transfer in future drag cars. And some say it was the first to be built with a round-tube frame. Rounthwaite quite appropriately nicknamed it “Thingie.” FromHOT ROD GALLERY: A Nostalgic Look at Hot Rodding’s Golden Years: 1930-1960, by Pat Ganahl. (Pat Ganahl Collection)
It looks like Jack Doyle and his buddies from the Hi-Winders Hot Rod Club had some blower problems with this outrageous little number at the old Sanford (ME) Dragway at the turn of the 1960s. The minimalist body was born that way: It was from a Vespa automobile. It was easily detachable so the Jack could also run the car as a dragster. (Jack Doyle Collection)
New Jersey’s Charlie Seabrook was a regular at NHRA Nationals in the 1960s. He loved to tinker with this cars and he sure got the most out of them. Check out the ram tube intakes on this Bantam. He claimed that adjusting the hose length was a great way to fine tune. He ran the car for 27 seasons, until 1989, utilizing six different brands of engines. FromDRAG RACING’S QUARTER- MILE WARRIORS: THEN AND NOW, by Doug Boyce. (Charlie Seabrook Collection)
The Flywheels Club from Braintree, Mass., showed up at the drags in Sanford, Maine, in September 1957 with quite the beasty hot rod for driver Bob Andresen. It was the first supercharged dragster in New England, and they instantly upped the A/OG record by a full 26 mph. After the run, officials of the New England Hot Rod Council insisted the crew stiffen up the wiggly frame. It had been formed of aluminum rails, likely cost-efficiently procured from the Quincy (Mass.) Shipyard. Some threaded rod and turnbuckles were a quick and permanent fix. FromCOOL CARS SQUARE ROLL BARS, by Bernie Shuman, (Shuman Brothers Photo)
Oswego (Illinois – near Chicago) Dragway operated from 1955 to 1979 on an abandoned military airfield. The track was unique, kind of like the backstretch at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX. The surface was the highest point, affording fans and photographers a neat, low-angle view. Here starter Woody Woodrow officiates as Norbert Locke’s twin flatheads take on an overhead. FromLOST DRAG STRIPS:Ghosts of Quarter-Miles Pastby Tommy Lee Byrd. (Norbert Locke Collection)
On June 14, 1964 versatile racer Danny Ongais competed in Top Gas at Hot Rod magazine’s meet at the Riverside, CA, drag strip. He busted an axle in an early round and became a bipedal locomotive, pushing his car the whole quarter-mile to qualify – one minute, 35 seconds, at 3.50 mph. In the final, however, rear end revamped, he whipped Bob Keith for the win at 8.77 seconds and 172.74 mph. FromRIVERSIDE RACEWAY: Palace of Speed, by Dick Wallen. (Private Collection Archives)
That’s a bunch of cylinders, Tommy! In 1961 “TV Tommy” Ivo (back to camera) decided that Kent Fuller’s dragster with two Buick engines didn’t have quite enough, so he sold it, and Kent built him one with four. Named “Showboat,” the 1856 cubic-inch monster weighed in at 3100 pounds, so heavy that the NHRA decided to outlaw it save for exhibitions. They feared it could crash through guard rails and into the stands. Additionally, “Poison Ivo” found it was a lot of just plain work. There was a lot of pushing up and down the track to get all four engines started, but that was nothing compared to the effort required to adjust 64 valves. FromFUEL AND GUTS – The Birth of Top Fuel Drag Racing, by Tom Madigan. (Harry “Hand Grenade” Hibler Photo)
Doggone dragster! Bob Muravez watches as his pooch Prince checks out the cockpit of the fabulous, twin engine “Freight Train” dragster in the mid-sixties. When Bob himself climbed in, his name changed to Floyd Lippencotte, Jr. That’s because his parents wanted nothing to do with racing, and certainly wouldn’t have appreciated Bob doing 200mph. FromFUEL AND GUTS – The Birth of Top Fuel Drag Racing, by Tom Madigan (Bob Muravez Collection)
Gary, glad you are back! Great pictures, and captions!
Pete Robinson cammer in color
A couple B&W
Separate names with a comma.