The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Royalshifter, Dec 12, 2007.
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And that was the run that instigated the NHRA fuel ban. ^
Good sponsorship and advertising can keep your moment of fame , nomatter if its a one ttime event or several, going for along time.
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A few more ...some of the odd ones
The early years just had to be a major thrill...idea's on how to go faster than the other guy , when the thoughts of going faster came before the thoughts of safely going faster.
Not saying that safety and technology is bad , a nd when your driving them your nuts are still up in the back of your throat .
Honestly....I think back in the days of experimentation in the unknown world of what it takes to go faster especially for the guys with the dirt under there finger nails and working in a dirt /wood floored little garage, is more exciting than the rubber gloved , computer key punching ,working in a laboratory type warehouse/shop that is unattainable for the average guy way of doing it nowadays.
Just my opinion....but I'm just a nobody...and I have had a hell of a good time being one.
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I'm thinking some of those guys might have figured they had survived a war (or 2) and they would take their chances.
What the holy hell?
The "odd ones" are very cool..!
The first one is Zane Schubert in Chet Herbert's "Sidewinder".
"pics and/or real info... or it did not happen...."
taken from the automatic transmission post:
When we were teenagers and 20 somethings, there was nothing we would not at least try to fix ourselves. We used to rebuild those old LaSalle three speed transmissions, because there were a ton of used ones available and parts were always around, especially at the nearby Terminal Island Surplus Yard near the big bridge. But, it was relatively simple.
An automatic transmission was a different ball game. There were several teenage cars that had automatic transmissions, and they took them to a place called Stu’s AE Transmissions in Northeast Long Beach. That shop could fix or replace anything in any car. The shop was famous for their complicated rear engine tiny dragster. A mini sidewinder with an SBC motor for power.
But, for every day transmission woes, even the families of our friends took their big sedans to Stu’s Transmission shop to get their automatic transmissions fixed.
But as simple as driving an automatic transmission car, we did make a cool automatic transmission floor shift lever. But, we stayed away from any internal problems or repairs. That northeast Bixby Knolls transmission shop was so close and the work done there was top quality, so they had cornered the market for many years.
I went to the Stu’s Transmission Shop many times with other friends, but never had to have any service done on our teenage hot rods. When we got the C&O Stick Hydro installed in the 58 Impala, that small shop in Torrance/Gardena was an automatic transmission shop bar none.
They had all sorts of auto trans in various states of being worked on and torn apart. Plus, below the counters were complete modified transmissions to fit every stock car or race car. That C&O Stick Hydro Transmission worked well without any problems from 1960 to late 1964 when I sold the 58 Impala to a friend. They, too, knew their stuff.
Here is a creative solution to using an automatic transmission in a rear engine sidewinder dragster. SBC powered. Designed and built by Stu’s Transmission Shop.
When we saw this silver rear engine race car at Lions, we knew where it came from, in northern Bixby Knolls. The race car was built at Stu's Transmissions in NE Long Beach, just past central Bixby Knolls. That place was a gathering of almost anyone with transmission problems or set ups. The mechanics there were very good and popular with the drag racers and street cruisers/racers. Out of all the different transmissions in our high school group’s sedans, at one time or another, they were all in Stu’s Transmission parking lot and shop. Stick shift transmissions, automatics, old and new, were all serviced at Stu’s.
In this NE Long Beach locale, there were plenty of outstanding shops that catered to the drag racers and home builders. From Stu's Transmissions, to Henry's Machine Works for axles/frame mods, etc. A great tire store and alignment place, as well as several muffler shops for the custom pipes and exhausts, were all within a block or two along Cherry Avenue. (just North of the famous Cherry Avenue Drags location) We all knew the location and directions on Cherry Ave, South meant the drags location, North meant the hot rod shops.
We were fortunate to be able to drive a short distance to give our business to those shops and mechanics. It was a hot spot just north of Bixby Knolls. Jocko's Porting Service was also nearby.
This unusual race car was a fan favorite, just because it was unusual and rather odd. The noise it made was not like a 671 supercharged SBC motor (like our 292 SBC in our Willys Coupe,) but an ordinary SBC with long, straight pipes that made a different sound.
For some reason, those 8 pipes made kind of a bee buzzer noise and not the heavy throated rumble of a supercharged SBC motor. The engineering was there, it ran well in its class, was a fan favorite, but dropped out of the scene rapidly. Luckily, we were there in 1959-60 to record some of the only runs made by this little dragster.
Stu’s AE Transmission rear engine
love this thread
This became the Cook & Bedwell car, but here it is the Yeakel Cadillac-sponsored dragster that had Lou Baney's engine, Kenny Arnold driving. It was one of Scotty Fenn's first Chassis Research car. That's Kenny Arnold in the driver's seat, Baney in the white shirt, center, with Wally Parks shooting the movie camera. Scotty Fenn is at right. Later Emery Cook took a ride in the car, and he and Cliff Bedwell wound up with it. It was with their engine that it ran 166 at Lions, accelerating the fuel ban. Some say that this "sled runner" roll bar was cut off and replace with the more familiar one. But I think the car that they went 169 with is a different chassis, as I have found a photo in Drag News of a car in Nebraska that resembles this one, run by Scotty Fenn.
Here it is in "Baney iris," Armstrong driving
With Cliff Bedwell's Chrysler, Emery center
As you remember it, Colton, HRM cover
jnaki, 296ardun, Dean, and some of your compatriots need to write a book. Seriously, the knowledge that you guys have is much needed to continue the sport, or lifestyle, or whatever you may want to call it.
Comment on post #59921. I relate to your comment about the days of trying new things and thinking outside the box. I miss the long nights with my racing mentor Clayton Harris in the shop machining up the next trick part that we were going to try the next weekend. Make no mistake I have no problem with the state of the art cars of today. But something has been lost along the way.
Dave is the one with "The History of Drag Racing" in his head. I am continually amazed at the facts he shares on this thread. I learn something every time he posts.
Hell, he remembers sitting in my RPU in Pasadena one night. I don't, but I know he did because of the details he knows about the interior.
SPEED SPORT ROADSTER
A few years earlier in a new build up from the original… 1959 Riverside Raceway East Vs West Meet. This modified roadster is well known in most circles and when we saw it in the weekly, Drag News paper, it was impressive. The stories were incredible for a modified roadster to perform well against the top FEDs of the day.
Upon seeing a bright orange flash in the early morning pits gave us a good look at one of our favorite modified roadsters of all time. The sleek orange/red body, the wire front wheels and the coolest scoop in all of drag racing. It looked as if it were built to take care of business anywhere it ran. The topper was the actual sound of the modified roadster firing up in the pits and approaching the starting line.
The Riverside Raceway course was made for spectators to see all different aspects of drag racing. Of course, the pits, the starting line and then there was the long dragstrip built in between two canyon walls, with the spectators lining both sides all the way down the strip. It was a different look, but the sound of this roadster at the starting line and then the advance of the sound coming our way down the canyon was tremendous. It was a sound that will last for a long time in our collective brains.
A few months later, my brother and I were fortunate enough to be able to attend the 2nd annual Bakersfield Smokers March Meet. Talk about a repeat performance? Up close and personal with the bright orange/red modified roadster started the day for both of us.
And, it did not disappoint the race fans in attendance, including the two brothers cheering for their favorite modified roadster flashing by our sacred filming position.
DRAG CARS IN MOTION...
:38 sec in the total modified roadster film…
Fred Seffton's "Lil Miss Carriage roadster, Arizona based, with a 331 Chrysler. I would have loved to see it in color. I understand that Fred died in a boating accident. Hot Rod photo.
Bob Armstrong looks on as a member of the Throttle Queens paints his letter on the Armstrong and Richter dragster. "Z"? I have no clue. This was an early San Fernando meet. Bob once ran a chopped Merc custom in the fuel coupe ranks, then built this dragster. It first ran with Hal Williams Ardun, and then with Maurice Richter's fuel Chrysler. It was probably the first dragster to get major company sponsorship, from the Nesbitt soft drink company. I found this photo in the Los Angeles Public Library archives.
This is Warren Poole's blown Chrysler dragster, most likely at Cordova, IL. Warren was from Muscatine, Iowa, and built this car himself, with a space tube frame and a homemade induction-fired Chrysler. The roll bar was in front of him, but the rest of the car was really well engineered. It reached over 130, sometimes with Warren's wife at the wheel. Photo from Don Ewald's site.
Howard Weaver's "Mr. Auto Store" was the ultimate in modified sports cars, using an early "barn door" Endrele injection. I think this is a Hot Rod photo.
The "House of Sound" Olds powered dragster, at San Luis Obispo "Pride of the Pacific" dragstrip. Karen White photo.
Timing in the Pomona tower. The Pomona Valley Timing Association helped found and operate the track in the good old days. Photo found in the Los Angeles Times archives.
An earlier photo of the Soto Brothes Bantam coupe, here flathead powered.
Same car as above, with new paint and a Chrysler...at Fremont.
Garlits vs Kalitta, Island Dragway, 1963.
The Eliminator test car was built and owned by Bill and Al Dahms from East Hartford, Connecticut. It ran a Chevrolet 409 engine, and supercharger of their own design. They were the owners of New Trend machine where I worked part time for a while, and full time later on.
Warren Goodall from Australia. I sent a 1932 Ford Tudor body to Warren many years ago.
Just want to mention that is a twin engined / rear engine sidewinder.
Bob Gorman's Bantam competition coupe, Studebaker powered, ran high 120s...Tracy Price photo
Bernie Riegals, near side, in the A&B Speed Shop Logghe chassis car, racing Joe Jackson. Joe built his own car after being inspired by the top fuel cars he saw run at Sanford, Maine. Joe took his car west, but ran out of money, and tragically died at Lions while driving another top fuel dragster.
My notes say Pancho Gonzales, the famous tennis player, but not 100% sure. Connell Miller took most of his great photos in Texas, but also some California ones...Pancho did run a Cadillac engine, as this one does
Jim Seaton poses with the former Tony Nancy '29 roadster that Tony sold when Kent Fuller built his later '29 roadster with Buick power. Tony ran a Sparks & Bonney blown flathead in this one, which reached the high 130s on fuel. Jim ran a blown Olds in this car.
Stafford & Shores street roadster with Chevy 6 power. It survives today as a street-driven roadster.
Stafford & Shores today, owned by Brian Bauer.
Unknown, at Santa Ana
Jack Spencer's T coupe, with an added steel top...Jack ran out of northern California, and raced at both the drags and at Bonneville. Bill Hewitt photo.
Master tin bender Tom Hanna doing the tail for the Eagle Electric top fuel car. Tom passed away just recently. I found this photo on Don Ewald's site.
'34 roadster at Saugus, photo from the Screwdrivers of Culver City collection
Raker's Car Club Fiat competition coupe. Bruce Woodcock drove, Ronnie Rapp did the engine.
Emery Cook driving the Henslee & Cook modified roadster at Paradise Mesa. This roadster had a long history, as San Diego hot rodder and clutch builder Paul Schieffer first built as a front-engined roadster. It went through several different owners until Emery Cook and Red Henslee put a fuel Chrysler in it, and it became the first non-dragster to exceed 150mph. Some claim that the Bean Bandits also ran it, but their roadster was partly a copy of this one, though the Bean Bandits did put their engine in this car briefly. Red Henslee also partnered with Holly Hedrich, with Holly's Chrysler in the car, and then with Bob Wright's flathead. Stuff got passed around a lot back then. The Henslee & Cook roadster came to a bad end after a spectator mistakenly drove over the shutdown area at Paradise Mesa, and the roadster, driven by Paul Barcotte, hit the car and was destroyed. I will not post photos of the crash, though Barcotte survived, he was injured.
Prieto, Cagle, and Yates at Lions. Don Prieto built, using Clarke Cagle's front-mounted blown Chrysler, with Don "Cementhead" Yates driving. Clarke also ran this engine in Belmont Sanchez's Bonneville Stude. Yates was a construction worker who drove numerous top fuel cars, and with his brother Ray, built a strong running dragster in 1954, also using a Clarke Cagle engine, this one an Ardun. Don Prieto and I harangue each other almost daily about politics, but he is a great drag racer and drag race historian whose annual taco parties are a prized invitation.
Boyd Penington at San Luis Obispo. Boyd ran on the salt as well as on the drags, and drove both roadsters and dragsters. Karen White photo.
Dave, Burke LeSage drove for Boyd when the roadster was run at Bonneville.
That Cad powered FED is tennis great, Pancho Gonzales' race car. His brother, Ralph was usually the driver. It ran at Lions during our time there and somewhere in my films is a film clip of that Cad powered dragster. I am searching for the film clip.
FROM RODDER'S JOURNAL:
“...brother of famed pro tennis star and avid rodder, Pancho Gonzales, Ralph Gonzales drove the 4-71 blown Cadillac powered dragster that he fielded with his famous sibling. It is shown here in the staging lanes with its lowered and 57 Cadillac wheelcover-equipped 55 Ford push car.”
It was one of a few Cad powered race cars that ran at Lions Drasstrip regularly, the other being the Eldon Dye/Donnie Hampton Competition Coupe.
Boyd ran this deuce earlier, is this the one that Burke drove? Lindsay family collection
Great history lesson, and thanks for taking the time.
You’ll have to look close but this is the Gammill-Kesler Sidewinder at speed.
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