The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by elgringo71, Jul 2, 2016.
Hell of a story and hell of a talented guy. Good Find.
1959 Lions: Altered Class race Ford vs Willys
Hopefully, this will showcase that Willys coupes and sedans were not just for the Gas Coupe/Sedan classes. But, it is an early Willys coupe in an “Altered” coupe class.
Up to this point, we only saw Fords and Fiats in the Altered classes. The motors included everything from Flatheads to HEMIs. But, they were always in a Fiat or some Ford coupe or sedan, with a Crossley thrown in the mix. This light purple Willys was…”Doing his own thing.” In 1959, there were a handful of Willys cars racing in the Gas Coupes and Sedans Class in So Cal.
We never saw a Willys coupe in an Altered Class until one day at Lions in 1959. Not only did it have red wheels in the back, but a mean stance when it rolled up to the start line.(on a light purple paint job)
One of the earliest Willys Altered coupes, if not the only one…fits right in to this thread!
History lesson for a Willys Altered? Owner/driver/motor? Anyone? It was 1959 at the Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.
Junji, remember the Fantasia full bodied Willys that ran A fuel altered? Talk about a show!
@elgringo71 and @loudbang Heres the original article on Ollie Olsens car from Hot Rod May of '62 i found in my pile.
Porky Zartmans Filthy Fourty HRM March '64
Wow shift points at 8500. these are great reminders of how it was in the good old days.
@jnaki, that early footage is the closest that some of us will ever get to the golden age of dragracing. I like to study the details and see how things were.
@Dean Lowe, I love to hear stories from those that were there. I have seen pictures of the Fantasia and have heard that it was one of only a few Willys to run nitromethane. Do you know what years that it ran and do you remember anything that we would like to know about it?
@Speed Gems those early magazines articles give the true specifications on how the cars were built and get into the technical part way more than magazines do today (my dad was a big fan of the Filthy Fourty)
There have been times that I left this thread alone because I couldn't find anything new that hadn't already been posted but people keep finding great stuff to keep it alive and interesting. Thanks to everyone that has participated
Not sure but the cars in the background look to be very early.
Pomona 1963-64 I have now idea who this belonged to but it definitely has the early stance. Thanks Junji,
Which sanctioning body/era used MG classes(I'm assuming it stands for Modified Gas)?
I believe that it was AHRA
The Pan Draggers Car Club from Fresno California was established in 1948 and they built and raced this Willys Coupe in 1960.
Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
Heres a high resolution scan of the Gallopin Gasser article from Hot Rod Apr. '62.
how come this looks like it has a smaller windshield, almost as if its been chopped? Maybe just a painted window rubber perhaps?
That's a good question, it looks like the sheetmetal piece under the Windshield is taller but on the second to last picture it the Windshield looks very short too
Here are pictures of several coupes at a similar angle for comparison
July 2012 at Englishtown. Joe Black brought his new Green Hornet and I brought my Aurora 7 Willys. We were reunited after 42 years. Sadly he passed the following year.
Masters & Richter AGS 1941 Willys, built and driven by Don Jensen. Courtesy of Don Jensen
Mystery Willys at San Gabriel
Speed Specialists at 6 flags Dragway Texas
@loudbang , you found some cool ones. The Charger ll pictures was taken at Double Eagle Dragstrip in San Antonio Texas. The best find was the Masters and Richter Willys. It's definitely an early car and I hadn't seen that one before. I did some digging around and and found this information about it.
"Vaca Valley in 1958 had new pavement, but sometimes there was lots of wind! It ran north to south. The shutoff was in a 20-foot cut. Windy? Just run the other way. They did not even move the clocks. I only brought my twin-engined dragster once because the wind was so bad, They called it off. Later that year, I went to watch. A friend from high school and former Hayward Head Hunter, Eugene "Red" Case, was driving Clark Cagle's slingshot. He did not shut off! He hit a hay rake. Red was not killed,
but passed a week later from pneumonia. In the summer of 1959, I ran the M&R Willys A Gas Supercharged coupe at 129mph. There were no dragsters, so I made Top Eliminator. On the first run, I beat a 150mph Hot Roadster. Next I faced a 120mph competition coupe. But my engine did not run under 3000 rpm. I was ahead halfway when my engine quit! It was our only chance to win Top Eliminator with a street coupe. I let out the clutch on the return road. No fuel pressure! Sid Masters, who loved to tinker, fessed up. He changed the pressure adjuster on the Hilborn pump, something Hilborn says NEVER touch!!!! "
Don was The President of The Hayward Headhunters Club. I don't know what year the pictures were taken but the story adds a little history.
This is Junior Thompson's brother, Eddie. This SBC 4 speed Willys would literally stand on the rear bumper.
@Dean Lowe , Thanks for identifying it. I hadn't been able to ever find anything on that one. Do you have any idea what year he started racing it?
1963 The car was not run very long. Don't know who it was sold to.
Here is the movie that I took from 1960 at Lions Dragstrip in So Cal. The movie is real, I took the actual footage on my 16mm movie camera in 1959-60. But before I put on the name of the "Mr. Gasket" car on my original movie clip, something does not add up. (besides, there are no maroon fenders...)There were no Willys coupes painted black with maroon fenders during this time period...it was the basics back then...
In 1959-60 there was no Mr. Gasket.... that started in 1964. Progressive photos from 1959 to the present would help clear up the discrepancies. No one in So Cal has stepped up to ID that Willys or know who owned that Willys. Even the remaining Grist Bros family members cannot ID that car.
So verified proof of ownership, with photos would clear up any ID problems. It would help if there was a publicly produced photo or listing in a magazine or drag racing newspaper.
I do not want a label on my original films to be shown publicly (museums in various USA states) with the wrong information on them. So far, there are a lot of race cars on my films that go unnamed because no one can show proof. If it is in an old Drag News from 58-61, that is proof. I am still going through every So Cal archive and interviews with those old time racers to see if I can ID those missing names and information.
"The thing i don't get is why does Doug Hartlet's "E" Coupe have a (3)52 inch motor and the Benham and Wooden Willys run "C" Coupe with only a 300 inch motor. Typo?"
No -- at the time the SCTA classes were "backwards". . . E was bigger than C. And the blower brought the probable D Hemi "up" to E.
Safeway Sandblasting Ardun Flathead Ford. I believe that this one was driven by Bones Balough after he stopped driving the Willys for Big John Mazmanian. I don't know who drove it early on.
Bones drove the Safeway ARDUN Willys while he was driving Maz's Corvette. He stopped when Maz built the Willys. The Blown SBC in the Vette belonged to Bones, and was the first engine they ran in the Willys.
Separate names with a comma.