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History Earliest Willys Racecars

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by elgringo71, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    Thanks for the information. There is no substitute for firsthand knowledge. Joe Airoso was asked to drive the Safeway Sandblasting car but turned them down. This must have been after Bones quit driving it and at that time Joe was driving the Airoso Brothers Willys.
     
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  2. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 7,038

    loudbang
    Member

    Loftin Steel Tying from texas looks real old from the other cars in the pits

    Loftin Steel Tying.JPG
     
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  3. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 7,038

    loudbang
    Member

    George Gilmore at Cado Mills 1956. Not sure exactly what year this one is.

    George Gilmore at cado mills and earliest.JPG
     
  4. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    That one is from 1956. It's one of the earliest Willys Gas Coupes that I have been able to find documentation of.

    IMG_4889.JPG IMG_4890.JPG IMG_4891.JPG IMG_4892.JPG

     
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  5. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    I don't know what year the Loftin Steel Tying Pickup picture was taken but it's from Six Flags Dragway in Victoria, Texas and the track was open from 1963-1975
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
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  6. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 7,038

    loudbang
    Member

    no more info

    and old.JPG

    and old1.JPG

    Herudka Bros Peters Meal

    Hrudka Bros Peters Meal.JPG
     
  7. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    Thanks to my friend Jim I have a few more Early Willys pictures to share. These cars were all from the California Central Valley area.

    One of the few pictures that I have ever seen of the Paladin Special. This one is a little later and the car only ran for a few years then it disappeared

    IMG_5166.JPG

     
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  8. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    Here are a few more pictures that are believed to be the Avila Brothers Coupe. This shot was taken at Belleco California. The car was running a small block chevy with (4) 97 carbs unblown and an Olds Rearend and a Lasalle Transmission. They added a Blower to it sometime later

    IMG_5169.JPG

    This Shot is believed to be the Avila Brothers against the Airoso Brothers and the picture was taken at Santa Maria

    IMG_5167.JPG

     
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  9. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

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  10. "Have Gun Will Travel reads the card of a man.
    A knight without armor in a savage land.

    His fast gun for hire heeds the calling wind.
    A soldier of fortune is the man called Paladin.

    Paladin, Paladin
    Where do you roam?
    Paladin, Paladin,
    Far, far from home.

    He travels on to wherever he must.
    A chess knight of silver is his badge of trust.
    There are campfire legends that the plainsmen spin.
    Of the man with the gun, of the man called Paladin.

    Paladin, Paladin
    Where do you roam?
    Paladin, Paladin,
    Far, far from home.

    Far from home,
    Far from home."
     
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  11. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 1,824

    rfraze
    Member

    That Palladin pic is after the change to a 33 front group, probably fiberglas. I had never seen it as a '33. I never heard Joe say it was from Tulare. I thought central coast somewhere and that Keiser worked at a Chrysler dealership. That's where I have been looking for info. Maybe that's why I haven't found any.
     
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  12. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    Yes it's interesting that they added a 33 front end to it. The car was ahead of its time in many ways. Light Model 77 Willys. Hemi powered (354 or 392 ?) B&M Hydro and possibly a fiberglass front end. They had trouble making the car go straight and pedaled it down the track.

    Rob, double check with the source but Bruce Keiser did work for a Chrysler dealership and I have seen the house that he owned in Tulare. I never asked if he lived there in the 60s when the car was raced. If you find out something different let me know because I want to get the facts straight.

     
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  13. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 1,824

    rfraze
    Member

    Getting facts straight will have to include, what appear to be, added or photoshopped wheel discs on the Special. Look at rears. ????
     
  14. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    Good eye Rob. There is definitely something strange going on with the moon disc on the rear. It's posible that something is also going on with the moon discs on the front. Probably Photoshop. I will see what I can find out
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  15. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    I talked to Joe and here is what he said about the Paladin Special. He first saw it run sometime in 1957. Bruce Keiser worked at a Dodge Dealership in Santa Maria. The car ran a 331 Hemi with the long bell and a Lasalle Transmission. It had a very tall Shifter with a Horse Head for a knob. In 1960 Bruce moved to Visalia and worked at the Chrysler Dealership there. He has no idea why he would want to move away from the coast. He became friends with HL Shahan (Shirley's husband) and HL drove the car down the track at least once in Visalia. He was a good driver and would drive anything. The car was sold in 1962 or 63 and the trail goes cold after that. He knows who bought it but wasn't able to find out where it went.

    Next I need to find out about the photo and see if it was altered.


     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  16. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 7,038

    loudbang
    Member

    Al Pfeiffer

    Al Pfeiffer.JPG

    Grist bros

    Grist Bros.JPG
     
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  17. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    Here are some more Grist Brothers

    IMG_5248.JPG IMG_5249.JPG IMG_5250.JPG IMG_5251.JPG IMG_5252.JPG
     
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  18. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    IMG_5260.JPG IMG_5261.JPG IMG_5262.JPG IMG_5263.JPG IMG_5264.JPG IMG_5265.JPG IMG_5266.JPG IMG_5267.JPG IMG_5268.JPG IMG_5269.JPG IMG_5270.JPG IMG_5271.JPG IMG_5272.JPG IMG_5273.JPG IMG_5274.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  19. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 1,556

    jnaki

    upload_2017-9-6_8-31-22.png

    Hey Jason,
    Here is one you sent me that is an early Grist Bros. Willys in the pits. One of the best in A/G at Lions back in 59-60, a true record holder. They had just made a run one race before our 40 Willys made its fateful race at 9:00 pm. Eddy Grist told me that he was on the return road with his dad and family. He saw the whole explosion, fire, and crash of our Willys against the fence. As a little kid, he remembers it like it happened yesterday and can't forget it.

    Junji
    He is alive and well back east...The car has been redone as a street car. It is somewhere here on the HAMB in its current version.
     
  20. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    Junji, that is a great shot and an an interesting story but I wish that your brother hadn't been hurt.
     
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  21. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 1,556

    jnaki

    Hey Jason,
    Thank you for your kind words. If that accident did not happen, things, today would be much different. It would be another whole family timeline/history and drag racing/hot rod involvement. So, in a way, what happens, happens for a reason for all of us to lead the lives that we currently have.

    Thanks,

    Junji
    It is always fun to play the "what if" game with many different scenarios. What if this happened or that happened? What would the be the outcome? Who would I be with now? Where would I be, etc.
     
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  22. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    I got these pictures from a friend. Thanks Rob, I am not sure what year they were taken but they look fairly early. The car racing the 33 says Leemans Texaco Bonham Texas which is north of Dallas and gives a clue to which area the Willys might have been from.

    IMG_5702.JPG

    No idea on this one and even though the photo is dated 1970 I am trying to find out more about it.
    IMG_5703.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
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  23. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,118

    Jimbo17
    Member

    Love the Shiftmaster Special car!!!!!

    Jimbo
     
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  24. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 1,556

    jnaki

    upload_2017-9-28_5-26-22.png upload_2017-9-28_5-26-35.png
    Bakersfield Smokers Meet 1960 Altered Coupe elimination race...

    Hey Jason,

    I was looking over my 1960 Bakersfield Smokers Meet film clip and saw this orange, early Willys running in the altered class. (or are my eyes deceiving me, again?) He had some difficulties against the 34 Ford altered. Any thoughts on the owner, motor, driver of the Willys? Or for that matter, any background information for the red Ford altered?
    Both cars just had that look of being fast race cars…


    Thanks,

    Junji
    Sorry about such a small image, but a color, fixed lens 16 mm movie camera just did not have the modern zoom feature to get those cool close ups. Plus, I had to fight off several people to get a front row fence position for the filming. It was a good thing I was a bigger teenager than most, as I wiggled up to the fence in one of my many places to film at that Smokers Meet.


     
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  25. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,275

    elgringo71
    Member

    Junji,
    I agree it looks like a 1937 or 1938 or possibly a 1939 model 48 Willys Sedan.

    No need for apologies, you got some great footage that we are enjoying today.
     
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  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 1,556

    jnaki

    Hey Jason,
    If any of the older guys from the Bakersfield region can start up their collective memories, that would help. I will also contact my friends from the Smokers Club in Bakersfield, too.

    Thanks for the nice comment,

    Junji
     
  27. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 1,903

    Speed Gems
    Member

    Here's a couple form @Dave Downs Indy '61 thread that should fit the original time line.
    INDYNATS009x.jpg INDYNATS107x.jpg INDYNATS104x.jpg
     
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  28. pzlpesd
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 8

    pzlpesd
    Member
    from Portland

    vlcsnap-2017-07-08-11h52m42s248.png
     
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  29. pzlpesd
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 8

    pzlpesd
    Member
    from Portland

    vlcsnap-2017-07-08-11h33m16s739.png
     
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  30. pzlpesd
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 8

    pzlpesd
    Member
    from Portland

    Just a few of the car when my father ran it. Clipped and snipped from home movies quality not the best.
     
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