The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gary Reynolds, Jan 17, 2012.
Oh, not every time, the "King" was very dominant throughout the 60's and 70's.
A couple Ireland stories:
Went to his shop (An old Richfield station as I recall) to get some Ireland magic on my '65 271 HP Mustang.
Bill recurved the distributor (dual point and tricky to set the dwell) new plug wires and putting in new plugs, he broke one and I got a free lesson on some choice words. Loved it!
Sitting in the stocker staging lanes @ Woodburn Bill & the '65 Tbolt did this humongous burn-out in the staging area.
Very impressive. I think he was running A/MP so with the 7" slick rule,kinda sideways and a lot of smoke.
Ford really screwed up when they rated the little 289 at 271 HP which put it in B/S (C/SO for the fastback.
Still with 5:13's a good 1/8th mile car.
Can't beat the CU's after that
Fun car on the street
Anything going on here?
Thought maybe a bump was in order.
I believe the “kid” who bought this car was a person I knew as “Big” Steve Asher who did have ties out Yakima way at the time. Big Steve was an associate of Sonny Wells and Sonny’s step (or maybe half) brother Gene Hall. Big Steve would R&R Sonny and Gene’s customers engines out of their cars when Sonny had an engine rebuilding shop in Vancouver, WA, near the Pearson airport.
People I met during this era (probably mid to late 1970’s) besides the above mentioned three are (some I never knew their last names):. “Big Ron” (who was 6’-9”), “Tiny” (who was fairly tall but also pretty heavy), Arlen Benda, Steve Hicks. I never met Harold (or you Alan) to my knowledge, but all the above people spoke about your family often and I remember your family’s names being brought up. Always with respect I should add.
I remember when Arlen Benda had Blown Vincent in the mid-60's, and in the 70's ran a Kawasaki, always a fun guy ! Welcome to the HAMB.
I learned a couple of days ago that my old friend Ralph Young passed away. I met Ralph when he was working for Jerry Hill in the 70's. Ralph was an excellent fabricator, and had also worked for Rolla Vollstedt on Indy Cars and for many other N.W. road race teams over the last 40 years. Around 1970 Ralph had George Benson, noted racer and fabricator, build him a Midget. At the time most Midgets had Offenhauser, or other wild combination highly modified 4 cyl engines. Ralph chose a Daimler V-8, with a small displacement, and Hemi heads, to meet the rules. It was highly successful, and smoked the best teams from California, with a 17 year old J.P. Standley at the wheel. Ralph will be remembered as the bright, kind, and special person he was. Here is a shot of Ralph's car, battling with Palmer Crowell at Spanaway Wa. R.I.P. old friend.
Yes thats the same Arlen for sure. When I met him he had just started racing Z1 Kawasaki 900’s (later on the KZ 1000’s). He was very much in to the “less is more” philosophy due to the very real reality of his limited budget and the underlying sub-law of physics, that being the irrefutable “Law of Diminishing Returns” when going ever upwards in costs for new and better parts that yields only incremental more gains than your last mod. He was a minimalist not unlike Burt Monro in that he fabbed his own parts or reused from what he had laying around and he did well with that. He put together a 1013cc Kawasaki street engine for me that he used Honda 450 twin pistons that were like 10% of the cost of a name brand aftermarket set of a 1015cc kit, an only 2cc difference. The bike was my daily driver, with modest cams and RC engineering exhaust, ran 11:30’s consistently on pump gas which in the 1970’s, was pretty great. Nowadays its pathetic, but it was way more engine than the brakes and handling was engineered for on a 1974 Kawasaki.
Arlen enjoyed ET bracket racing almost right up to the end. He never tired of it. He could, at times be cranky, but aren’t we all. He was by far, most of the time, a great guy to have fun around with as you say. He did a lot for me in my amateurish racing efforts. Got me used parts cheap, charging me almost nothing for labor and especially was willing to show me how to work on stuff at his place when I could be there. His mantra of “less is more” had to be demonstrated to me when I wanted to go to an 1170cc kit, more compression, bigger cams/carbs etc. suddenly I had a bike that was really not that fun anymore on the street. It dropped about 3/10 ET and more mph but had to add additive to the gas, it ran kinda hot, wheel standed or smoked the tire like crazy, or both (shoulda’ been a 10 sec machine but couldn’t make it behave). Suffice it to say I no longer had a pleasurable fast street machine, just a machine that was crazy unpredictable (cause I was young and dumb) and not really something that should be a daily anymore. Arlen, although he helped build it, had been right all along.
Thanks for that pic Marty. That's one I didn't have. We did the work on the 12 car.
Wasn't his nick name "Combat Boot" ? An example of his quick wit. I was a 17 year old kid, with a 500 Ariel Red Hunter single, and needed some help with parts. He was working on another guy's bike at McMinnville, and I asked him about some "Ariel Parts", he looked up and said "Venereal Parts"?
I went to High School with Steve Asher. About 1980 he bought the old Little Annie Fanny altered. Jerry Hill built a new "large" roll cage and updated the rear suspension. I helped Steve put together a low budget small block Chev and it ran 9.50 @ 145mph. I got to make a couple passes in the car and still have a soft spot for the altereds.
All the people you mention were friends of my Mom and Dad. I remember Big Ron as having an incredible sense of humor. Arlen Benda was witty and was always quick to throw you the curve balls. Steve Hicks had some engineering skills to put together a twin engine Royal Enfield. I still say I was lucky to grow up in a golden era.
My Dad and I missed the Max Wedge Healey so much we built another Healey in 1997. This time with a 400 aluminum headed small block and 4 speed.
Have been checking into this thread on occasion, it's been great reading the stories and info that's been posted here. I have ties to the Portland area as I have family there and have visited several times. Last trip I was able to see the now-closed World of Speed museum that housed quite a few historic Pacific Northwest cars. As I can remember reading and hearing about Bill Ireland back here in the midwest, it was great to see one of his cars on display (I know it's a few years O/T). I just hope it wound up in a good home after the museum's closure:
Again, this thread is great reading. Thanks everyone for posting!
Dick Bown - racer from Portland had this early circle track Chevelle.
On display in 2018 at the (late-great ) World of Speed Motorsports museum:
Here is a link to some racing at PIR 1969-76, Road Racing, Moto Cross, Drags, and Motorcycles.
Alan, thanks for posting the PIR footage, some good stuff there !
It probably is. Don said he did tech. Thank you!
Looking for some information on a FED car I just picked up and am wanting to restore. It’s an RCS Frank Huszar chassis with the SEMA tag 29 on it. It apparently raced on the west coast and was based out of the Vancouver Washington at some point. The last known driver is Greg Bryant as shown in the picture from the 80’s out of Vancouver Washington. Prior to being updated with a second roll bar hoop and the motor shown in that picture, it was an injected small block Chevy car painted red in color and had Gun Slinger on it. The last two pics are how I got it, and it’s original known motor minus the aluminum heads. Car still has original seat cover, Airheart brakes, and many parts dating it back to ‘65-‘66. Any information or leads would be fantastic. I would love to restore it to its glory days.
I just got a call from my friend Dave Wedlake who informed me that Ralph is still ALIVE, and I am getting a phone number to call him. This is' as far as I know, the first time I have reported some bad information, that I got from only ONE source. I apologize to Ralph on here, and will talk to him soon. Now, I think I will sit in the corner !
Neat story by Al Drake
Good story, nearly all are gone now.
Al Drake's latest book (one of his best) is now on the market. Pete Sukalac wrote articles representing the NW for Hot Rod, Rod and Custom, and other Peterson Publications. Very well written and a look into one of the best Photo Journalist in the business. Back in the early 60's the library in McMinnville JR High, received the latest Hot Rod. When I would open the magazine, I would go to the contents, and look for Pete's name, and check his articles first !
i love seeing the Arlen Benda stories! Arlen was one hell of a character.
The topic of Old guys on bikes, makes me instantly think of Don Vandehay and his Widowmaker bike from the 70’s and 80’s.
Since I just joined this site, and I see this thread is like ancient, one can easily deduct that I stay current and on top of things by jumping on here ten plus years later.
So I’ve yet to thumb through all of thread, there’s a ton of material! Figured I’d add to it since I can dump guilt free here!
My name is Steve Entler, I share it with my Dad Steve Entler. Technically not jr and sr, but I will use them for simplicity.
So, Sr came back from his 6yrs in the US Navy which includes time offshore in Vietnam, driving his 57-8Dodge(like Christine)completely gutted and stripped, sitting on an orange crate, throttling a 392 hemi for fun. He worked with his old man at an Enco station on Albina. Soon after, starting Entlers Auto Repair inside of the Radio Cab Co building at 16th and Nw Kearney, in 1971-2. Somewhere in the shuffle he got rid of the old Dodge and decided to make and actually racecar. He happened upon a 57English Ford Esquire and he scored a Pontiac TriPower I believe 489ci. Here’s some build pics. To be continued…
So how did it perform? That car must have been a hand-full. (Was that really a "489"? or a 389" Pontiac...)
Hello Steve, and welcome to the HAMB ! I remember that little wagon well, it was a staple at PIR when I got back into Drag Racing in 73. I also remember it was Pontiac powered, looks like a 389. Who was driving it, when the Chimp rode along ? Also, Morris Hasson was a Cab Driver for Radio, and raced a 27 Roadster PU, with a big block Chevy, sponsored by Don Geddes Motors. I thought he drove the English Ford for a while. We had some fun times at PIR, on Wed nights 1/8 mile, and 1/4 mile at the big races on the weekends. When posting pictures, you can click to make them full size, and it makes it better to view the posts.
Hey Marty, you’re absolutely correct about Maurice Hassen being there. He actually drove cab for Broadway cab while dads shop was/is in RadioCab just up the street. Candy the Chimpanzee was Hassens little girl that brought up from California after his animal training/show biz adventure went upside down after a male chimp attacked an actor. Candy was the only animal that he was able hang on to while the rest were euthanized. Maurys Ford Pickup Bodied street roadster was 454 Dominator motor and it was a healthy ride. There was also Ben Hassen with his 440 powered topless Plymouth Gtx called TransAction if I remember correctly.
It was a 389” Pontiac. Not sure how that number got into my head. It was no rocket ship, but as a kid, scared the crap out of me! I want to say it was a low 12 second 1/4.
I have been flipping through old Hot Rod magazines that I just added to my collection, and have been running across alot of Oregon ...and Washington racers , cars and track history.
The collection dates from 1953 to 1965, so if you all don't mind I will start posting what I find.
I'm starting with this Ernie Hall piece, mostly because it's the first one I run across and ....well it's like this .....my dad was a firefighter, retired after almost 30 years service , and he had spent a fair amount of time at Ernies shop...fire truck stuff..picking up or dropping off equipment and that's how I first met Ernie, I rode along when picking up a new fire engine a couple times.
My dad past away this last Christmas, actually the day after, so of course things have been kind of crazy around my parents place , they had been married 61 years, well yesterday I finally went out into his shop and was looking through some stuff...grabbed a book from a shelf and something fell on to the bench top....looked down... .a book of matches and not just any matches...and just a couple days after finding the piece on Ernie in the magazine....crazy.
R.I.P YOU GUYS
Thanks for posting that Steve, great memories of PIR in the 70's.
Posting magazine articles is great way to further the history of the Northwest racers and their cars. Most of the HR pieces were done by Pete Sukalac, one of the best in the business. Thanks for the one on Ernie, and Ed. I knew Ernie well, and he sold me some wire wheels off one of his last cars, after NHRA didn't allow them on T/F cars. They were right at home on our 1968 Don Long car, along with one of his old clutches. Thanks.
This is one of my favorite stories, about a couple of friends of mine. John Anderson and Chet Thomas, were a couple young gearheads in the early 60's from Portland. They built an A/Gas 36 Willys Sedan, powered by an injected 421 Pontiac. They battled back and forth with Ed Smith from Vancouver, who had a 40 Willys coupe, also with a 421 Pontiac, for the Top Honors in the class. After a while, they re-worked the car and switched to and injected Chevy, and glass 33 nose, and raced and showed the car for a while. They were friends with Jim Barnard, who had a AA/FD, with a 354 Chrysler. The trio decided to pool their efforts, and convert the Willys into a match racer. They started by chopping the top 5" and laying back the windshield 2". At the same time they had Phil Schaefer paint it green, with gold leaf lettering. They installed, Barney's engine, with lots of Nitro, coupled to a Torqueflight. Chet did the driving, and the car ran in the 7's @ 190 ! I know most of this, because I met Chet when I was working at Freightliner. I met John many years later when we were Nostalgia racing, and he had a couple very sanitary and hard running cars, a Corvette and the Black 62 Bel Air Bubbletop. Chet passed some time back, and John's Daughter Jill, contacted me, and asked if I would write and post pictures, as John passed in March. The pictures tell the story, of what these 3 accomplished, doing the majority of the work themselves, building it, tuning it, and getting it sorted out to run the numbers they did back then, and I certainly thought a lot of those guys. The final picture is my favorite, as it was taken around 1968, at the Delta Park Road Race Track. They took the car there, to fire it up, and there are some famous faces in attendance. On the far left is Ed McCulloch, working on the Barn Door Enderle Injector is Sid Waterman. Gary Parham, Dave Skeans and Dave Jeffers are there as well. Jim Barnard is in the seat, Chet is in the checkered shirt, and the big guy by the parachute is John. John and Chet RIP, old friends.
Separate names with a comma.