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History Early '50s Stock Car Racing Pics

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ClayMart, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. A friend of a friend had a couple albums of old stock car racing photos that I was able to copy. Most, if not all of the shots, are from the old Fort Wayne Speedway in northern Indiana. I vaguely remember going to the track maybe once in the early to mid '60s to see a demo derby and then the place was torn down not too many years later.

    These shots appear to be from the early '50s; only one picture had any date information indicating 1953. I've been doing a bit of cleaning up and enhancing on the pics and where there was any other names or info attached I've added it at the bottom of the photo. Thought I'd post a few of the first batch so you can enjoy them too.

    If you're particularly sensitive about seeing some fine old tin getting torn up, you might want to look away. But these guys look like they were having the time of their lives! :D

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    Even Crosleys weren't spared from on-track duty! :eek:

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  2. Another batch...

    Dutch McKinley was the owner of Fort Wayne Speedway, I believe. He was a local businessman with a bit of a "reputation" as I recall.

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    Pretty classy ride for the track officials. :cool:

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    Car in background was driven by the father of a coworker.

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    May not have made it back for next week's races!

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  3. Ahh yes, the early 50's, when 'stock cars' were stock cars. Gotta love it! Here are a few I've got saved to my fotki acct.

    Dick Meyer at Gardenia(?) 1951-ish
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    Meyer & Lou Figaro at Gardenia ca. 1951
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    1950 Darlington Southern 500 action-Johnny Mantz leads Glenn Dunnaway's 1949 4-door Plymouth through turn 4 at the inaugural Southern 500. Dunnaway would finish out of the money at 39th, 67 laps off the pace.
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    Johnny Mantz in the #98jr Plymouth takes the white flag at the inaugural Southern 500 Sept 4 1950. Shorty York's #43 Studebaker would finish 20th, 42 laps down while Bob Flock's #7 Olds would cross the finish line 27th, 52 laps off the pace.
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    Despite being one of the slowest qualifiers in the field, Mantz would cruise to an easy (and unbelievable) 9-lap victory. Here's the man of the hour $10,510 richer.
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    Just two weeks after one of the greatest upsets in NASCAR history, Leon Sales pilots the #98jr to victory at North Wilkesboro. Note the "Winner - Darlington S.C. Southern 500" lettering on the quarter panel.
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    Despite starting only 4 races, the Hubert Westmoreland-prepared 98jr Plymouth ranked as one of the winningest cars for the 1950 season. Only the Oldsmobiles of Bill Rexford (3 wins) and Curtis Turner (4 wins) visited victory lane more. Here, the 98jr makes a guest appearance during the winter of 1951 at the NASCAR exhibition in Washington DC.
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  4. Thanks for posting your pics. I was hoping that this would bring out some more shots from some other collections. Great to see shots of the old MoPars doing well at the track.:D

    Here's my last few additions for the night. As I get more of these photos cleaned up I'll add a few more posts.

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    To me, these "car & driver" photos are the real gems! :)

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  5. ^Sweet! Thanks for posting!
     
  6. hotpilot
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 5

    hotpilot
    Member

    Car #111 in the first picture was driven by Russ Brown. Car #5-H was owned and driven by Dick Heeter shown in the picture. Dick was from North Manchester and passed away within the last year.
    Please research your other pictures as my Dad, Russ Tracy may be in one driving car #U-2 or #5. He was driving at the Ft. Wayne speedway when Russ Brown and Dick Heeter and many others drove there.
     
  7. hotpilot
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 5

    hotpilot
    Member

    My Dad, Russ Tracy drove in the Crosley races in the coliseum; I don't know the numer of his car. The driver standing beside a Crosley appears to be Ed Shenk although I didn't know he drove them. I will check with my stepmother, Edna Tracy, who drove powder puff derbys at the Ft. Wayne Speedway as she my remember (she's 87 now). Russ Brown was my favorite driver. His car was owned and built by Ed Shenk of Laotto. Ed also built the engine in my dad's car which he drove at the speedway.
     
  8. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,357

    el Scotto
    Member
    from Tracy, CA

    Need... More.... Pictures... :)
     
  9. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,936

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Loved the pix. So many potential hot rods got the axe in those races!

    But... I sure wish you would have either put them all on that other, very big thread on early stock cars, or... titled your thread something different, perhaps bringing in a track name or something else so we can tell the difference between your new thread and the older, much longer and long-lived thread on early stock cars. Gary
     
  10. devilscustom
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 286

    devilscustom
    Member
    from Sweden

    outstanding pics thanks for posting
     
  11. rjaustin421
    Joined: May 1, 2009
    Posts: 337

    rjaustin421
    Member

    I like this thread and hope it will continue. The stock car thread on the HAMB is mainly 1950 & up cars while the 50's to 70's oval track modifieds site is primarily east coast modifieds which I grew up with. Having the chance to see pre WWII coupes & coaches from other regions of the country would be great. If some of the upper Midwest people post some of the photos of the Wisconsin the cut downs it would be quite an eye opener for those who have not seen oval track cars taken to the extreme.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  12. Did a quick scan thru my pics but didn't see a car #U-2 or #5. There was a picture of a car #64 though, with the name "Russ" lettered very small on the door. In with the picture were two slips of paper with "Russ Tracy" and "Barney Barnhill" handwritten on them. It's a pretty nice shot of the car on the infield with, presumably, the driver standing next to it. Could this have been your dad? I'll try to finish prepping this shot and and post it.

    Think I've seen your posts and a couple of your photos on the Fencepost Forum. If anyone's interested, here's a link to the site. There's some more infomation and history posted there about Ft.Wayne Speedway and racing in this corner of Indiana.

    http://www.kpcnews.net/fence_post/showthread.php?5397-Some-History-About-Former-Fort-Wayne-Speedway

    Don't know if I can change this thread's title or not. I started this thread seperately as the pictures I had were almost exclusively from Ft. Wayne Speedway in the early 1950s. The other big stock car thread seems to be largely 60s and newer cars and drivers, and guys that worked their way up thru ARCA, NASCAR and other racing series. I don't think many of the cars and drivers in my shots followed that same path, but several became well known, competetive drivers in this region. I was hoping that some other folks might have some old pics to share of some of their local legends who raced as more of a hobby.
     
  13. Hotpilot-

    Here's the shot I thought might be of interest. The name Barney Barnhill sounds kind of familiar, but I'm guessing he might have been a car owner rather than a driver in this case.

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    And a few more shots, including some action on the track.

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  14. hotpilot
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 5

    hotpilot
    Member

    Yes, that's my da, Russ Tracy. I think that is the dame car psted on the Fencpost blog before they added Don Btight's ad. Thanks a lot for the other great pics of the Ft. Wayne Speedway actrion. I can hardly wait until your next post.

    Is anyone out there familiar with Olin Friar's car? It sounded diferent than the flatheads and it has been speculated that he had a 180-degree crank in it. It sure was fast.
     
  15. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,936

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    A3.jpg melius2a.jpg
    Bud, you mean cars like these! LOVE them crazy Wisconsin modifieds. Gary
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  16. JimMcD
    Joined: Jan 27, 2011
    Posts: 1

    JimMcD
    Member

    Thanks for posting all of these great pictures from the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com[​IMG]</st1:placeType>Ft. Wayne Speedway! In the early 50's my dad, my grandpa and I seldom missed a Sunday at the speedway. I remember Olin Frier and his Case Dairy car very well. A really good, and fast driver. Jerry Ott (#9) also had a really good car for a time. He'd start in last place (inverted starts) and be in first by the end of the back stretch. I also remember Duke Crocker and Dick Hires but my all-time favorite was Lucky Long. He drove a brown and yellow car, #101 with a helmet to match. Always wore a pink jacket. Anyone have any knowledge of him and if he's still living? Hope to see more pictures. These are wonderful memories.
     
  17. Hot Rod Elvis
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 606

    Hot Rod Elvis
    Member

    Check our www.racersreunion.com over 40,000 vintage photos there. As soon as I can, I will post some of my old pics too....I've got loads! Also check out www.georgiaracinghistory.com It's run by a friend of mine who is a racing historian.

    -Cody
     
  18. Welcome to the H.A.M.B.! Thanx for the bump, glad you liked the pictures. One of these days I'll get a few more of them prepped and loaded up and posted here. 'Til then here's another link for you with more of the story of old Ft. Wayne Speedway and some more photos.

    http://www.kpcnews.net/fence_post/showthread.php?5397-Some-History-About-Former-Fort-Wayne-Speedway
     
  19. Karl stark
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 166

    Karl stark
    Member

    Attached Files:

  20. Karl stark
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 166

    Karl stark
    Member

    more
     

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  21. Karl stark
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 166

    Karl stark
    Member

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  22. Karl stark
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 166

    Karl stark
    Member

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  23. Karl stark
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 166

    Karl stark
    Member

    Louise Smith, Fireball Roberts
     

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  24. Hot Rod Elvis
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 606

    Hot Rod Elvis
    Member

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    Not EARLY 50's, but this is my cousin, Wilbur Rakestraw. Here he is in 1958 leading Glen Wood at Daytona. Trust me....I have plenty of early 50's photos, but give me time....they will come!
     
  25. Karl stark
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 166

    Karl stark
    Member

    This is a good thing, how much time do you need ;)
     
  26. Karl stark
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 166

    Karl stark
    Member

    Attached Files:

  27. Karl stark
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 166

    Karl stark
    Member

    How about a chopped 37 Ford coupe Early 50's Stock Car.
     

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  28. Karl stark
    Joined: Nov 12, 2008
    Posts: 166

    Karl stark
    Member

    Attached Files:

  29. bumper 29
    Joined: Jan 31, 2011
    Posts: 1

    bumper 29
    Member
    from banning

    im glad i found these pic my uncle was jerry ott and did race the number 9 for case dairy products a lot of his race pic has been lost and now im trying to find pic of him and if anyone has any please let me know ive been looking for some time now does any one rember ralph the clown and his baby buggy he pushed around well the baby buggy was my moms and he would come over to the house and take it for the races
     
  30. bigbore1934
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 7

    bigbore1934

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    In regards to Olin Friars #7 car, I think I can answer that.
    First off Olin was the father of my dad's step siblings ,and a close family friend recently shared his memories of Olin, and the case Dairy.Mr. Case who loved Cadillac's (hint) ,spending time at their shop,and riding with his buddy who hauled the Case dairy cars to Ft.Wayne.
    OK, here is what he had to say about Olin's car(did you notice it's a Cadillac?)Olin sent the motor(a flat head...Cadillac, to California to be balanced and who knows what else! for $1000,alot in the '50s)that should explain the different sound.It was also set back into the fire wall. He also remembers Jerry Ott driving the other Case car.
    On another memory, my dad remembers Olin,and has always been a car guy(my dad), and as a kid when he stayed at his step-moms house (Olin's ex)he always kept Olin's trophies polished in the trophy room!Sad to say but they are long gone now.
    And since my Grandpa married Olin's ex, he would have to sneak to the FTW race tracks to watch Olin race!He always felt uncomfortable being a fan of his ,but he was a great driver!
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016

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