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Hot Rods Found Bob Trostle Sprint Car/Super Modified

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LM14, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,453

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    I know this may be a year past the cutoff, kill it if you need to.

    Last weekend I was honored to be part of a group that rescued Bob Trostle's Personal sprint car #2. Car was built in '65 or so. It was considered lost by many but apparently Bob knew where it was at. It's now had our rescue pictures reviewed by some experts and they deem it the #2 personal sprint car of Bob's. We even have an old driver involved.

    We went after it thinking we were getting a frame, a few body parts and some minor pieces. What a surprise! We basically ended up with the makings of the car less rear wheels, brake calipers and engine. Almost everything else is there. We even have what appears to be the original super modified AND the original sprint car aluminum bodies!

    Here's the story so far:
    Just had a "historically significant" Sunday morning. I've been involved in some really neat things in racing. I've been the spokesman for a group that saved our local race track and completely rebuilding it. I got to survey and design that track layout myself. I've built cars from a pile of tubing and won races with them. From saving a track to owning race cars to being part of a promotional group, I've gotten to be involved in about every facet of racing. I've done some really neat things and hung out with some really famous people doing it. I've made a ton of friends (and a few enemies) along the way.

    Today we took it up a notch. With my good friends we rescued a vintage sprint car from further decay. It is believed at this time this is Bob Trostle sprint car #2. It ran as a sprint car and a super modified in it's life from the looks of it.

    Without really knowing it, I had ties with this car when I was in Junior High. The car was sponsored by the Bloomfield Jaycees in the 60's and driven at times by my Jr. High and High School shop teacher, Mr. Jim Lowary from Atlantic, Iowa! Jim only lived about 4 blocks from me where I frew up in Atlantic. When I messaged Jim and told him about finding the car and asking if he ever raced against it or knew anything about it, his reply was, "Steve, I drove that car". Could have knocked me over with a feather. That's Jim posing with the car back when he drove it.

    This morning we went after it. It has been stored by a gentleman for a number of years, ever since it was retired from racing. He somehow managed to save most of the parts to the car. It was rescued from it's resting place (where there is just a sprint car hood in the picture) and loaded on my trailer. We then cleaned out a pile of parts that are associated with the car throughout it's racing career.

    Inside a shed we hit the mother lode. The original front axle, spring with weight jack, rear torsion bars, complete quick change rear, birdcages, all the radius rods/nerf bars, the sprint car roll bar and hood bar, front and rear bumpers, more body parts (looks like 3 complete sets of body panels, 1 aluminum and 2 fiberglass), sprint and super modified tail tanks (again, aluminum and fiberglass of both styles), some vintage wheels and tires, the steering box, the in-out box and motor plate......we ended up finding nearly every piece to the car except the actual engine. We even found the original seat belts.

    We ended up with a few parts that weren't on the car originally and it will take some research and sorting to find out what is what.

    I am honored to be included in the group that is saving this piece of history. We know it was driven by Johnny Babb and Jim Lowary in it's lifetime. We're just sorry it was obtained after Bob Trostle passed away but this one will be saved and displayed for others to enjoy. After loading everything I heard a statement "We're taking it out for one more lap when the restoration is finished, it deserves one more lap". I think that can happen.

    No, it's not for sale, please don't ask.

    Enjoy the pics
     

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    Frames, Roadsir, loudbang and 6 others like this.
  2. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,992

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good find. I am just in the opposite situation. I found a famous car but didn't know that it had any significance until I owned it a few years. Knowing what you have from the start is a real advantage. Congratulations on the find! Arlington IMCA Oldtimers 1999.jpg
     
    VTjunk, King ford and chryslerfan55 like this.
  3. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,047

    drtrcrV-8
    Member

    PLEASE REPOST THIS ON THE RACECAR THREAD, AS IT CERTAINLY DESERVES THE RECOGNITION OF BEING IN THAT COMPANY!!!! THANK YOU & GREAT RESCUE!!!!
     
    chryslerfan55 and tractorguy like this.
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  5. BZNEIL
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 656

    BZNEIL
    Member

    Great find!!
     
  6. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,269

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    Hell yeah! Great find! Congratulations and post it on the vintage srint car picture thread.
     
  7. tractorguy
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 518

    tractorguy
    Member

    That is just AWESOME. I was very blessed to watch all sorts of great drivers wheel Bob Trostle cars from 1970 thru the 1990's when I lived in the Des Moines area. It is just amazing that this car and all the parts survived all these years.

    My last memories of Bob was a great encounter I had with him when I took a trailer load of parts (sprint car, midget etc) to the Des Moines Goodguys. I had a sprint car project for sale and it drew lots of attention. Several guys were standing at the rear of my trailer telling tall tales about Knoxville racing.......Doug Wolfgang......great Knoxville duels etc. The stories were getting more and more questionable as the guys tried to outdo each other . I looked out the corner of my eye and saw Bob Trostle walking up behind these guys......he listened for about 30 secs. and then said " that was 1979, and we went thru the C main to get to the B and A Main and had to put a slide job (I don't remember the driver).......both guys paused and shut up immediately......and listened to Trostle talk for over half an hour.
    At the time, I think Bob's daughter was working with him doing some welding and fabrication. He was doing some hot rod stuff at the time. I was not very savvy on Halibrand Q/C stuff and Bob quickly bought a complete center section for a champ car that I had on the trailer.

    Please keep us in the loop as to the plans and progress on the car.
     
    325w and loudbang like this.
  8. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,453

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    We now have confirmation. This is indeed the #2 Bob Trostle car. No doubt about it!

    We've had a few experts look at it, including one of the past driver's sons that worked on the car and one of the original 1966 drivers of the car (he's only seen pictures so far but is trying to make a trip down to give us all the info he can). In addition to those 2 men, Bob's Autobiographer has gone over the pictures and confirmed the past owner's list and confirmed it all with Bob's widow. It is officially confirmed. The linage has been proven, we've started sorting all the parts and pieces and the restoration is set to begin.

    Anyone reading the Bob Trostle autobiography, there is a mistake in the book. The #2 car wasn't destroyed, it was living 20 miles from where it always had, behind a house in the country covered in weeds and old car parts. It's on it's way back!

    We're jacked up at this point. A few people have stepped forward with offers of help in specialty areas and they are people that already have cars in national museums and know what is needed to bring this car back to it's "as run in 1965/66 condition". Looks like it will be restored to the Hot Rod Magazine car from the March 1966 issue when it was owned by Bob and driven by a cast of many while it was sponsored by the Bloomfield Jaycees and run as a deep red super modified.

    Game on!
     

    Attached Files:

  9. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,453

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    Just had a '66 327 donated to the project, already have a vintage Hilborn unit that is correct for the time period. This car has a unique weight jacker on the front axle that was run from a cockpit lever (driver Johnny Babb's right hand is resting on that lever in the above picture). We have all those parts now, we think.... Hopefully we will get all the details on the parallel torsion bar rear suspension this weekend so we can get started on that part of the restoration. Have most of the added on parts marked for removal so we can get it back to original.
     
    cactus1, loudbang and chryslerfan55 like this.
  10. LM14....Need some updates on the Trostle car. How is the resto coming?
     
  11. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,453

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    Front axle is being custom made, rear axle and a bunch of NOS small parts are headed this way. Have a ‘65 327 for it. Found the correct steering box. Found the correct timing corner and fuel pump. Have a fresh very early Hilborn injector ready to go. Figured out most of the original front weight jack but still need to machine a couple pieces for it. Found a new set of 40.5” long rear parallel torsion bars! Cut some of the added garbage off the frame and cleaning a lot of parts. Not much to see but a lot happening. Thanks for asking.
     
    s55mercury66 and cactus1 like this.
  12. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,492

    Offset
    Member
    from Canada

    Nice historical find. Looking forward to your progress.

    Best of luck with the project.
     
  13. haychrishay
    Joined: Jul 23, 2008
    Posts: 941

    haychrishay
    Member

    Awsome story! I hope you do get it resetored. This is a picture of my Brother sitting in the 96 Car that he bought from Bob out of the Knoxville museum.
    IMG_3102.JPG
     
    Roadsir and kidcampbell71 like this.
  14. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,453

    LM14
    Member
    from Iowa

    Update time.

    Got the frame rails all fixed. Front axle located. Made the original style dead perch for the front spring. Engine located. Retrofitted the cage to the way it was originally built, still need to add the early "X" in the back of it. Found some original style parallel torsion bars and making new torsion bar arms.

    Had my old school shop teacher drop by the other day. Took him out to see it. He won with this car in 1966. First picture is him beside the car in 1966 and the 2nd picture is him 2 weeks ago. The steering wheel he is holding is the same one he won with in 1966! We would hand him a part and he would tell us a story about it. Great time.

    SPark

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    Phillips, s55mercury66 and tractorguy like this.
  15. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,404

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

  16. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,269

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    It's interesting to know that a '60's era Supermodified was defined out there the same way it was in the Ohio Valley region, basically a cage vs roll bar deal. There was some discussion elsewhere on the 'net a while back concerning the fact that a lot of chassis builders from the late '70's into the '80's were building a Trostle copy, or a copy of a copy. Thanks for the update.
     

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