The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Royalshifter, Dec 12, 2007.
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Marty, do you remember the guy that flew into Woodburn to drive some fuel car. They shut the strip down and he landed and later drove. Rodgers or something like that as I remember. Impressed the heck out of me
I don't remember that, the only Rodgers I can think of is Rich Rodgers out of Puyallup, drove a lot of Top Gas cars. He had a Brother named Gary, who also raced.
Bean Bandits - our second known twin - 1951.
Has been suggested this car might have been the first "slingshot" - drivers butt behind the rear end and also the rear end being narrowed - pre-dating the Mickey Thompson slingshot.
The Ruddy, Wienstein Bantam above got the Ardun out of the Bonneville T and went 145mph
first time out compared to the rear engined T of 133 best. Still used a 2 speed LaSalle, the
bite a bit better but only weighed 1300#. The Bantam latter got an injected 354 Chrysler and
the Ardun was exclusively used in the modified roadster Bonneville car.
Yes...later Bernie Coughlin ran it with a fuel Desoto
Pat Akins from Pasadena ran this top fueler, early '60s.
Bean Bandits roadster at Pomona, Norm Grudem photo.
Gotta love the name of this club, photo from the first NHRA Nationals at Great Bend. The meet got rained out on the last day, so it looks like these guys are headed home in the rain. NHRA photo.
Norm Catton's blown flathead at right, at Santa Ana, April 1957, Life Magazine photo.
The view of the Leffler & Loukas coupe that many competitors saw. These guys towed out to the west coast from Parma, Ohio, and put a lot of California racers on the trailer. Neil Leffler stayed, and partnered with a lot of California racers on both dragsters and funny cars.
Jerry Dilbeck ran a Chevy in this nice '34 coupe, and held the Standard 1320 record and the NHRA class record for C/A.
Santa Ana claimed to be the first regularly scheduled dragstrip, mid'50s, but Salinas was in contention for that title.
Bill Traylor's Animal had an aluminum chassis by Al Williams and body and paint work by Dave Stuckey. It broke the Standard 1320 record at San Gabriel even after leaving the track and getting back on. It was hardly recognizable as a Bantam coupe in an earlier life. I pitted next to Bill, great guy.
After moving to top fuel dragster, Bill sold the Animal to Ray Witz, who painted it candy blue and ran an injected Chevy in it. The car went off the end of the track (Union Grove, WI, I think), and injured the driver. Ray never ran the car again, and reportedly cut it up for scrap.
Nice detail shot of Tony Nancy's Fuller-build Buick powered roadster, photo by Ken Crawford.
Nick Van Wagner's dragster at Pomona. Though it resembles a Chassis Research TE-440, Nick build the frame himself. The flathead seen here got replaced by a 364" carbed fuel Chrysler, and ran as the "Isky Marauder." Nick was going to build a blower car, but decided against it after buying the tubing, and apparently went deep-sea fishing. The last I heard, he and his wife run a trailer park in Oregon. I used to crew for him, but lost touch years ago. Photo by Bruce Wheeler, of "Wheeler-Dealer" top fuel fame, who sent it to me knowing I worked at Blair's Speed Shop, who sponsored Nick. I recognized it right away, the only photo of it with a flathead. That's Bruce's then-girlfriend posing in the dragster.
Lewis Cardin from Birmingham, AL, ran this TE-440 all over the east and south, winning and setting records where ever he ran.
The Nicholson brothers Bantam roadster at Santa Maria, Harold driving, brother Don at left. It ran a blown GMC, and first handled so badly that Pomona management banned it. Harold got it to go straight, finally. The Bantam roadster body later became popular in fiberglass, but I think that this was the first time it was used in drag racing. The Nicholson brothers were always ahead of the game. Harold died in 1959 at San Fernando when the front wheel came off the dragster he was driving.
"The view of the Leffler & Loukas coupe that many competitors saw. These guys towed out to the west coast from Parma, Ohio, and put a lot of California racers on the trailer. Neil Leffler stayed, and partnered with a lot of California racers on both dragsters and funny @ cars." @296ardun
Every time I see this Competition Coupe from Ohio, I get the chills. It was not the most streamlined of designs, but the powerful sound from the motor, the quickness of the starting line reaction, made it one of the fastest/quickest racecars around during these early 1959-60 racing days.
At the benefit drag race for Mickey Brown at Lion’s Dragstrip, we saw the Leffler-Loukas Competition Coupe get an award for setting a national record.
Then a few months later, we saw the Competition Coupe at the Bakersfield Smokers March Meet.
It is just one of those things to keep remembering those early days of drag racing and the effect they had on a couple of teenage brothers from the Westside of Long Beach, CA Sometimes, it seemed like everything was going great guns and then a future loomed for us. Then other times, the diversion was part of the grand plan that has kept us going during our lifetime. Old time drag racing was just the start… the new stuff, not so much.
Neil Leffler- John Loukas the Westcoast swing in 1959-60.
It was rumored that one or more of the team of Leffler-Loukas was going to come to So Cal to start getting involved in the Westcoast action.
Then, all of a sudden, this ad pops up in the local drag racing periodical, Drag News. The association with the Hirshfield Auto Parts Group was going to be really something. That group had ties to a lot of fast drag racing teams and record setters from So Cal.
But, the lure of the Westcoast, the year round climate, the laid back atmosphere of the people, and the access to the biggest names in drag racing all within the boundaries of So Cal was an alluring place. That would keep pecking at the brain, during those cold, freezing, no drag racing action times in the snow blanketed Midwest areas.
Thanks, Junji! I didn't know that Neil first started with Al Hirshfield, that was a great place to work.
From the Tom Scardina collection...says World's oldest operating drag strip since '47:
Here at the '62 March Meet is the car that first got Prudhomme's name in the headlines. The Fuller, Zeuschel, Prudhomme fueler, on Saturday morning. Wayne Ewing tin work. Don would take it all the way to the trophy. Fuller and the Mole by the seat. Don and McEwen talking to the ladies.
Big and Connie Swingle at HMB...
That's a bad ass picture......
From above -
Dode Martin, gone but not forgotten.
Dragmaster Two-Thing. Was later offered as a 1 / 25 scale auto kit by AMT corporation.
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