The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Royalshifter, Dec 12, 2007.
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Doug Cook in the ‘37 Chevy.
This one pops up in this thread every couple of years or so and as Fordors notes it is Doug "Cookie" Cook in the near lane. The event appears to be the NHRA Nationals in Detroit which would make it 1959 or 1960.
Again, a little new for this thread.
Virgil Cates, another photo that is a regular visitor on the HAMB although it is four years since it last appeared in this thread.
This 37 Chevy coupe has a long history, was one of the most consistent gas coupes in our era of drag racing at Lions Dragstrip and ruled the class throughout all of So Cal. Besides Junior Thompson's 41 Studebaker B/G sedan and Doug Cook's 37 Chevy ruled the C/Gas class. So our future was going to be daunting, but it was a challenge for a couple of teenagers in our 40 Willys build. We started in B/Gas and then rebuilt it to be more competitive in the C/Gas class.
Our path was set for competition and we were doing well. All this time, Doug Cook's Chevy went to B/Gas. In a recent 2017 conversation with Mike Cook (Doug's son), the 37 is in the garage being planned for some history.
We are very glad to have picked up some build tips scrutinizing both of those top gas class runners. These are the Doug Cook movies that I took back in the 58-60 era and it looks as if it just happened last week. (my brother took the Lions pits movie clips...) Those memories, the smell, the consistent shifting, all made that Tahitian Red 1937 Chevy one of the top competitors in the USA.
Doug Cook total, including some teenager sneaking around for some racing build tips and advantages.
I posted most of these photos here some years back but that was in the Photobucket days and they have been reduced to a red X or a blur by the fact that I was unwilling to send Photobucket a bunch of $ when they changed their hosting policies.
The pix are from Brooksfield Dragway , about 16 miles north of Adelaide, South Australia. It was a club built and run 1/8 mile strip that had a small area of real hot mix blacktop at the start line with the rest of the track being tar seal gravel. It was not much but it got the sport off the ground in South Australia and was also the first place that I raced at when I was 18. I will start with the dragsters.
In the near lane is "Zeke" Agars in a Holden (GM) six cylinder B/D that was usually one of the finalists for Top Eliminator at most events. Zeke was a well known circle track racer and the car was sponsored by John H Ellers, a local Holden dealer.
On the return road is local speed shop owner Chris Marriott who started out with a modified production Holden before putting the motor in this dragster. His mother was my English teacher in high school and I crewed on both cars
Bob Skoglund was a member of the long established Eagles club in Victoria and made the 500 mile tow for this event.
Serge DeLuca in lane one with six cylinder Holden power faces off against Howard Taylor's Y block Ford digger
Dave Gale was another Victorian based racer who made the long haul to race at Brooksfield. This was the final run for this car as a cross wind took him off the right side of the strip on the top end and he rolled the car.
Rex Brown's six cylinder Ford Zephyr powered D/D on the return road.
A pit shot with the Marriott car, Howard Taylor, Serge DeLuca and Jeff During's dragsters
Agars and DeLuca in the top elim final
Brain fade on who this was but Taperoo Service Station was known for tuning the early Holden six cylinder motors
An earlier run for the Dave Gale car with John Bell's flattie powered car in the far lane
The first (and only ) fuel car to run at Brooksfield- Graham Withers and Hans Klemme with Withers' Ampol GT sponsored T/F
Clive Ward's Jaguar powered D/D.
Hans Klemme's Y block--another car that made the long tow from Victoria
The Agars car (brand new at this race) before it was lettered. This went on to become (much later) the first ride for Robert Schwab the aussie funny car owner/driver who lives in the US
Early six cylinder Holden power (basically a scaled down Blue Flame Chevy) hence the four pipe exhaust
Serge DeLuca in the near lane and Zeke Agars in yet another top elim run off.
A better shot of Bob Skoglund's hemi digger.
Another early Holden powered D/D. And in the background is a Vanguard powered X/D (Think Triumph TR sports car style engine)
Dave Gale's poly head Dodge chute tail car
Withers' T/F being pushed down to start
Rex Brown's D/D
Roo I "like" when you put all the pictures in one post. I don't "like" when there are a bunch single pictures by the same poster. Thanks.
I love these photos of Australian drag racing...and thanks for explaining the X on the Photobucket pictures, they are all over the place on this site...now I understand what is happening.
Thanks for the effort to bring them back again.
Roo, thanks for posting those great shots, especially the return road, showing the enthused crowd along the fence !
I gave him one job, ONE job, don’t touch the brakes!
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Airoso Brothers, San Luis Obispo, Karen White photo. Airoso Brothers ran a blown Desoto, competed well agains teh more common Chevy powered gassers.
Before the Dragliner, there was this club car of the Oceanside Oilers, driver Jim Nelson taking notes.
K.S. Pittman, Dave McClelland photo.
Ohio George Montgomery, at the '59 NHRA Nationals at Detroit. George was running a blown Cadillac before he switched to a SOHC Ford. Notice the the car has a windshield wiper, working headlights, taillights, all gassers had to be street-legal.
Driver Don Rackmann gets ready to run Lions with Lou Baney standing at right.
Rudy Perez at a San Mateo car show, 1959, Rudy photo.
Rakers Car Club, Bruce Woodcock driving, Ronnie Rapp on wrenches, Steve Gibbs photo, 1962. Ended badly...
Charles "Scotty" Scott at Pomona, no helmet, no rollbar, but really nice roadster. Scotty went on to build his famous Ardun T and a series of dragsters.
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I think there may be another motor lurking at the back of this car . . .
Dave, do you think that Rudy Perez shot could have been from 1959 ? The Gotelli car alongside has a chute tail, and Zoomie headers, looks more like 1964. What do you think ?
Marty, I think you are right, I got the date from the caption, but it is way advanced for '59 and, true, the Gotelli car has a chute pack, which came around '61....good point.
Nice array of great old drag racing photos. When we went back to Lions in 1964, it was to document the debut of Atts Ono’s newly finished 1940 Willys Coupe.
But, at the same meet was one of the best grouping of the West Coast Gas Coupes and Sedans at one drag racing event. This was the All Gas Coupe and Sedan Meet at Lions in 1964. It was a gas coupe lovers Nirvana. The pits were bustling with some of the best coupes, sedans and trucks in So Cal.
The Airoso Brothers Willys Coupe was in the same class as Atts Ono and got the starting line advantage for the win. I was in my secret spot (next to the ambulance for filming) the two Willys coupes were staging and all of a sudden someone yelled at me and the film gets shaky. I tried my best to record the start, but I could only get what showed up later in the developing. It was not a smooth transition from staging to start line to take off as normal. The security guard was not taking any stories from me. He told me to get the #@!! out of there, or get thrown out.
Airoso Brothers at lions 1964
At the same meet, K.S. Pittman was there with his newly created 33 Willys Coupe. It sounded wonderful on the warm up fire up in the pits, but when the anticipated race against Big John Mazmanian came about, K.S. Pittman had some throttle and steering wobbles. Big John Mazmanian had a smoking run and that race would have been pretty outstanding. But, BJM made believers out of all old style 41 Willys Coupes versus the new lighter weight 33 Willys Coupes.
That was the final Lions Dragstrip attendance for the Long Beach two brothers after starting back in 1957. Our drag racing days were over and life was making a big splash for both of us. So was the whole USA in love and war. Not only were the drag racing classes changing, the entire USA was in a quandary about love, inequality, and war. We just had to prepare ourselves to experience that whole new world that was coming our way.
1964 lions K.S. Pittman vs Big John Mazmanian
So for those in the day that got to live the life, what was the technique for starting? I have bump started many a manual trans car with clutch in, car in gear, bring speed up and let out clutch. Just don't know how to push-start fuel car or roller start? You guys that lived in this hay-day, I am so envious of, born two decades too late.
Push start---roll off with the clutch disengaged and wait until the push car builds some speed. Engage clutch and wait for oil pressure to come up (along with fuel pump filling the lines) and flip mag switch. And away you go.
The actual operation of the clutch varies depending on the style of clutch. With a "pedal" clutch you hold the pedal down and release it to get the motor turning. You then push the pedal against the stop when you need to disengege the driveline. With a Crower (centrifugal style) clutch you roll out with the pedal in the neutral position and push the pedal down when you want the motor to turn. Once it starts you then modulate the pedal to get it to the neutral position when required (doing the U turn behind the start line, staging etc).
The late Ray Godman's Tennessee Bo-Weevil. Ray in the wheelchair and driver Preston Davis by the left rear tire.
Roo, Tom Topping taught me, to engage the clutch at around 20 mph, when the oil pressure needle jumps, step on the throttle, count to 3, let off, and flip the mag switch. High gear, 2 disc, pedal clutch.
Thanks for the explanation Roo, I never realized there was that much to working the clutch with the later slipper clutches.
when Dan Horan Sr and I ran NT/F in 2010 the push start day were long gone. We ran a 'glide and a clutch stop. For the start up the clutch pedal was on the stop and I had a big handful of brake. Once it was running and settled down (if a nitro motor is ever "settled down") take the left foot off the pedal and bring the rpm's up until the car rolls forward into the water. Coming out of the water roll into the throttle until the tire smoke looks about right (we did not run a throttle stop). As the car slows with the brakes put the clutch pedal back on the stop and once the car is stopped select reverse. This may involve easing off the clutch pedal to rotate the output shaft until the reverser will engage. Come off the clutch and if necessary apply enough throttle to get the car going backwards. Modulate the throttle and clutch and work the brake to control the speed backing up. Behind the line repeat the above process to move forward to stage. Once the top light is on make sure the fuel pump is all the way open (some set ups require the pump to be "trimmed" to build a bit of heat) and step off the clutch and make sure that your left foot is well clear of the pedal because it comes back hard when you leave. Bump in with the brake and you are ready to go.
I am guessing that this shot is from the days when the Blue Angels car club from Massillon, OH still ran this car. Gary Biggins drove and Ralph Henson (who was a mechanic at Progressive Chevrolet which is still in business in Massillon) was the crew chief. The club raced the car up until the 1970 World Finals after which it was sold to Stan Bowman (whose altered has been featured on these pages). This was a "Roy" car (SPE's Roy Fjastad). There were several other Blue Angels cars over the years apart from the ones run by this club including the Andrews, Fisher and Fraley entry from Milwaukee, WI that had a Garlits chassis. Bob Ginther of Lansing, MI also ran an alky dragster with that name in the early 2000's.
This is one of the earlier Blue Angels cars as it appeared in restored form at the Blue Suede Cruise at Norwalk in 2018.
Dale Funk on the rollers at Bowling Green. His car is also on the left in the image of Ray Godman's car on the rollers.
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