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History Halibrand - In pursuit of history & stories

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by flatblackindustries, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. For the record- I HATE THE TERM "KIDNEY BEAN" TOO.
     
  2. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 637

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    For those of you who are interested Bob Falcon has a booklet with instructions and all manner of information regarding the developmenet and building of the 1964 and 1965 Halibrand Indy Shrikes.
    PM if you are interested in obtaining one of his books.
     
  3. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 637

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    Another interesting note. I am starting to see castings pop up with "El Cajon" identifiers.
    Anyone have any info on this? I would suspect that these are very late 70's or 80's and above castings. obviously indicating a move from the Torrence facility.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  4. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 6,869

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    I would suspect those are the Waters/ARC Industries versions. Santee is right next door to El Cajon.
     

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  5. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 637

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    Any more stories or info?
     
  6. J&JHotrods
    Joined: Oct 22, 2008
    Posts: 536

    J&JHotrods
    Member

    Just a noob(shit-I'm not even to that status yet:rolleyes:). Status is over-rated anyway. I would think someone here has probably passed by this site, I can't help but to keep going back to see if it's been updated. Info on halibrand, cragar industries, american racing and the other TT knock offs and how to i.d. them. Here's the link: http://www.roadsters.com/wheels/#Intro

    Figured I'd post it in case it's news to ya. I think its a cool site for vintage stuff.


    Jay
     
  7. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 637

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    Thanks Jay.
    I am very familiar with that site, but it is great reference to pass on to everyone else.
     
  8. Mazooma1
    Joined: Jun 5, 2007
    Posts: 17,643

    Mazooma1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    this story is from the September. 1953 "Honk" Magazine

    [​IMG]
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  9. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 637

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Las Vegas

  10. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 637

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    Back up for old times sake.
     
  11. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 2,779

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    I suspect the "El Cajon" marks are from Jackman Wheels. If I remember correctly, Curt Waters was working out of a small fab shop in an industrial complex in Santee.
     
  12. HOTRODRUBBER
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 770

    HOTRODRUBBER
    Member

    Quit Touching Yourself!:D

    Hurst Racing Tires
     

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  13. T Halibrand
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 2

    T Halibrand
    Member
    from Torrance

    It's good to see people are still into Halibrand. I worked with Ted during his Final Run.
     
  14. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 637

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Las Vegas


    You must have some stories to share! Lets hear them.
     
  15. riceman
    Joined: Oct 8, 2006
    Posts: 744

    riceman
    Member

    What a great history lesson of Ted Halibrand and the men who worked for him. The 16 x 11 Sprints are like GOLD today. I am the proud owner of of two sets that are in great condition.
     

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  16. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,515

    -Brent-
    Member

    Nate,

    Your initiative for this information has turn into a really great thread. Care to post any of the links you have to consolidate info?

    Again... really cool, I learned a bunch.
     
  17. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,210

    Algon
    Member

    Here are the above pictured hats but in direct bolt 5 on 5-1/2.
     

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  18. Here are 4 magnesium early style covers - with a slight twist :confused:

    These are Halibrand/National covers, original midget application, have both Halibrand and National cast into them. Dimensionally identical to a comparable Halibrand. And they are definitely magnesium...and for sale:)

    Steve
     

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  19. tltony
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 257

    tltony
    Member
    from El Cajon

    Harry Jackman and his main guy Jerry Gilb are here in the San Diego area, they're both friends of mine. I got a couple of different set of wheels from them when they were in El Cajon and later, Santee.

    Tony
     
  20. bobbleed
    Joined: May 11, 2001
    Posts: 3,048

    bobbleed
    Member
    from Awesome

    So did I miss it? What year did Halibrand move from Culver city?
     
  21. Conder
    Joined: Jan 16, 2005
    Posts: 983

    Conder

    Thank you Bob Falcon and Ed Weimer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  22. Conder
    Joined: Jan 16, 2005
    Posts: 983

    Conder

    ...
     

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  23. 85-percent
    Joined: Apr 5, 2005
    Posts: 323

    85-percent
    Member

    It's easy to see the connection between the WW2 war effort and the post war speed equipment boom. A lot of 50's speed equipment manufacturers learned their craft working in production at the many socal aerospace manufacturers like Lockheed, douglas and others who's names I forget.

    All Halibrand stuff comes from such wonderful pattern making. I'm a CAD guy, but that doesn't do anything for the artistic design sense the old pattern makers had!

    Does any one know who the guy was that first designed the five spoke 'mag' that I think evolved in to the present day torq thrusts? The classic five spoke American mag wheel is the pinnacle of mag wheel design and who ever it was deserves a lot of recognition. That design is as classic as the Egyptian pyramids! I think Romeo Palimedes had something to do with it, but I doubt he was the pattern maker?

    Tim - what's up with all those patterns on the wall in your right most pic?

    -90% Jimmy

    Ps - please correct me if I'm wrong, but are you guys saying there is no longer anybody in the USA that could make halibrand pieces in cast magnesium? Do I have that correct?


    awesome thread!
     
  24. Didn't Romeo Palimeides design, and make the first 5 spokes that became American Racing.

    Frank Kurtis worked with Ted Halibrand on the designs, and did the drawings for the first Halibrand disc brakes and rear ends.
     
  25. hot rod pro
    Joined: Jun 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,655

    hot rod pro
    Member
    from spring tx.

    contact jack chisenhall at vintage air,he knows alot about halibrand.

    -danny
     
  26. Conder
    Joined: Jan 16, 2005
    Posts: 983

    Conder

    Who else besides Weimer were making patterns back then?
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  27. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 637

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    They moved from the Culver City shop in 1963 to Torrance.

    Ted sold the company in 1979 and it moved several times thereafter around California (San Diego/El Cajon) then finally to Kansas.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  28. flatblackindustries
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 637

    flatblackindustries
    Member
    from Las Vegas


    Thanks Brent.

    Heres is a neat article.
    TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM

    From Hemmings Motoring News:<o></o>
    This article originally appeared in the AUGUST 1, 2006 issue of Hemmings Motor News.
    http://www.hemmings.com/hmn/stories/2006/08/01/hmn_feature25.html
    <o></o>
    Like so many other people who became highly successful as racing and hot-rodding entrepreneurs in the years that followed World War II, Ted Halibrand learned his chops working in the West Coast aircraft industry, which grew explosively both before and during the conflict. Out of necessity, military aviation technology advanced with stunning speed, particularly the use of exotic metals alloyed for lightness. It was there that Halibrand learned about the properties of magnesium, designated as an element by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1808, but first discovered in the early 1600s by an English farmer, who was intrigued by his well water's ability to cure cuts and rashes. The use of magnesium in solution led to the development of Epsom salts.
    In Halibrand's world, though, magnesium was highly coveted for its lightness and strength, two critical considerations when designing airplanes. Once the war ended, Halibrand, who was already deeply immersed in<st1> Southern California</st1> oval-track racing, became intrigued by its prospect as a material for casting racing wheels: Less unsprung weight, and less weight, period, was obviously cheaper to find than additional horsepower. Not only that, he believed his wheel would be considerably stronger and safer. On all counts, Halibrand was absolutely right. Almost single-handedly, he put the phrase "mag wheel" into the automotive lexicon. <o></o>
    <table class="MsoNormalTable" style="" align="left" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody><tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> <o></o>
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table> Sand-cast, and usually alloyed with aluminum and zinc, the first Halibrand magnesium wheels appeared in 1946, initially offered to customers in 18-inch diameters for championship race cars. Halibrands would be mounted on the car that won the 1946 <st1><st1:city w:st="on">Indianapolis</st1:city></st1> 500, the Thorne Engineering Special driven by George Robson, and on every succeeding winner though 1963. Until the Halibrand's widespread adoption, the nearly universal wheel at Indy was a comparatively weak double-laced steel wire rim. The most immediately recognizable Halibrand wheel was the Sprint, known vernacularly as the "Big Window" wheel for the large, kidney-shaped cooling slots in between its structural ribs. Halibrand would also make major inroads as a wheel supplier for hot rodders, in drag racing and on the <st1>Bonneville Salt Flats</st1>, where its near-indestructibility and relative lack of mass made it all but mandatory. They were also specified for the original Shelby Cobras, the Ford GT-40, and numerous Can-Am sports racers. Briggs Cunningham used Halibrands almost exclusively on his <st1:city w:st="on"><st1>Le Mans</st1></st1:city> racers. <o></o>
    Though his wheels are likely Halibrand's strongest legacy, he also was a leading producer of quick-change rear ends for oval race cars. He sold the company in 1979; Halibrand died of a heart attack in 1991. Today, a <st1:state w:st="on"><st1>Kansas</st1></st1:state> company makes aluminum replicas of Halibrand wheels, mainly for street rods.<st1:city w:st="on"></st1:city>Racing historian and rod builder Dave Mann, who also operates the Roadsters.com Web site, reveres the engineering and quality of the original magnesium wheels that Halibrand cast. Mann offers a history of them on the site, and a link to a relatively new firm, Real Rodders Wheels, that will begin producing cast-magnesium Halibrands for the rod and nostalgia drag-racing communities this summer. <o></o>
    "I build traditional hot rods, and a Halibrand is what you would have used on a high-end, Sixties-style rod or race car," Mann told us. "Today, you could easily get $2,000 or more for a pair of narrow fronts that were never damaged. Ted Halibrand was an engineer, a good one."
     
  29. tltony
    Joined: Jan 11, 2009
    Posts: 257

    tltony
    Member
    from El Cajon

    I was told that a big problem in producing the wheels and other parts was the amount of rejects, often late in the production process. They'd have a wheel in final machining and open up a void in a polished surface and have to scrap the part. Apparently this happened pretty often, and was a source of frustration for them.
     
  30. Those molds are SUPER COOL HISTORY. Not real History, but I was told by the saleswoman "Karen" about 5 years ago when they were trying to "re-tool" and get the company going again that there were only 2 halibrand Champ rearends left on the rack. I bought 1 even thought I was told by some I just lost my money. 3 weeks later, a woode "rearend coffin" arrived with the rearend as promised. Ther transaction was a little shakey with halibrand in bankrupt, but glad to get the champ and under my Roadster and working well .
     

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