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History Help! Chrysler 300 Racecar (Daytona Beach)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hyfire, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thank you guys! Keep the suggestions coming, I'll follow-up on every lead.

    I had a chance to talk with Buzz. He's a really great guy. He gave me the contact for the Speedway archivist. I also spoke to Dan at Vintage Oval... Also a good guy. He did make an offer to write about it. I told him I'll definitely give him a call when I make some progress on the car. It's a little sad at the moment, but it will get there eventually. Keep the suggestions coming guys...

    I'm going to have to decide the direction of it. There is rust to address, but the interior is surprisingly workable. Naturally, I want preserve as much as I can. But the car has to come apart to address rust...
     
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  2. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Vicki made a point of telling me she never drove fast on the road, except for one time she got a ticket. While at Florida to race the Chrysler, she got a ticket for speeding in Skeeter's Ford. Of course it is in her scrapbook.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    And surprisingly, Vicki still had these... They are original to the Chrysler C300 in the garage. These alone would have made the trip worthwhile.

    The original Competitor Permit that every registered driver had to carry on them.
    [​IMG]



    The original time slip and permit for Chrysler #001.
    [​IMG]


    And the original NASCAR certificate, certifying the clocked time of Chrysler #001 with Bill France's hand written signature.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  5. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    [​IMG]
    Here's an interesting letter. Vicki was nominated as the letter requested and ended up being awarded the Sport Guild Trophy of 1955. She has the trophy hanging in her kitchen across from her fridge.

    She probably had over a hundred trophies. She didn't really know what to do with them and didn't have a lot of space, so after years of kids and grandkids asking for them she decided to give some out. She took the biggest ones... removed the NASCAR cars on top and made lamps out of them. It sounds a little goofy, but she went into her bedroom and came out with a huge NASCAR trophy with a lampshade on it. It was 2/3rds the size of her. It was awesome. She gave one to each family and dispersed many of the small ones to the grandkids.

    Just like all the Norm Thatcher trophies, the families appreciate them at first and then slowly tossed them out over time.
     
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  6. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    In 1956 Vicki and Skeeter again brought their own personal Ford to Daytona. The 1950 Ford must have been sold sometime in 1955, because they had this beauty. They ran their personal Fords in a modified classes, not the production classes that she raced the Chryslers in.

    [​IMG]


    For those who haven't heard the story about Vicki in 1956, Ford Motor Company was supposed to provide Vicki with a brand new Ford to set a record with at Daytona in 1956. When they got to Daytona, the Ford guys began jerking Vicki and Skeeter around. They would no longer commit to either providing or not providing the car, so Skeeter and Vicki told the Ford guys to stick it.

    In 1955, Vicki and Skeeter briefly met Carl Kiekhaefer after winning at Daytona. So in 1956, after the falling out with Ford, Vicki and Skeeter approached Carl and asked if they could use one of his cars. Carl loaned Vicki the Red 300B and Vicki went on to stomp the Ford she was originally scheduled to drive in the Women's class.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I know nothing about Flat Rock Speedway, but the guy who built the track was named Sheldon Hayes. He made his money in concrete. He was the one who organized the trip for all the fellow Michigan racers and friends, to accompany Vicki. Here's a better photo of Sheldon and Vicki at the dinner in Daytona.

    [​IMG]

    And a related photo of what looks like a Flat Rock pace car. This was taken at the Toledo, so I'm guessing it is the forerunner to the Toledo Speedway? Flat Rock and Toledo are sister tracks and I've read that Sheldon and his son maintained both tracks concrete.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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    I had access to all Vicki's stuff, she was extremely generous and patient. Since I had to pick and choose, I only got so much. No matter how you look at it, this photo was a must scan...


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
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  9. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,117

    k9racer
    Member

    i had a talk with a man who attended speed week daytona 49 until mid 60's. He was in the riot and he thought number 1 was the car that NASCARS first black driver Charlie Scott of atlanta who drove for Mr K team. My friend drove 3 of his Buick.s on the beach flying mile several times and said his fastest was 105 mph. It only cost 10 dollars to go down the flying mile.
     
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  10. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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    Thank you for the info, I'll see what information I can find. I know there is a story about Charlie Scott in an old 300 book. I think the timeline is different, but I'll definitely look into it. I appreciate any lead I can get.... you never know.
     
  11. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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    I've got a bit of a mystery. Just a refresher, James Gilley was the the second registered owner according to the car's sales record. James lived in West Virginia and drove all the way down to Daytona Beach to buy the car from San Juan Motors. James owned the car from 1955 to about 1969.

    What doesn't make sense is why someone would travel so far just to buy a pre-production car that will be on the market and available within 30 days. (These are the days before things like being a racecar would add any real value)

    As mentioned, I contacted James' grandson and he always heard that his Grandpa was part owner of the car before it raced and that his Grandfather also was personal friends with Bill France. There is absolutely no information on any of this so we kind of have to take this with a grain of salt until a photo or document showing some kind of connection is found. Gilley says he has a photo of his Grandfather at Daytona Speedweek in 1955, so that would imply a lot if he does. He is currently looking for the info he has.

    While in Daytona a week ago we took a trip out to the site of San Juan Motors. I knew that it was gone, but I still wanted to get a feel for it's location and surroundings. While passing a small street just seconds away from San Juan Motors, I noticed a sign of a local business. It was Gilley's Shoe Shop. They had a banner saying they've been in business for over 50 years and I've found ads from 1955 confirming that they were in the same location, just around the corner from Shaw's dealership.

    I called the business and asked it's history. It was run by a Dan Gilley, who retired in 1962. It was then sold, but kept the name. I've traced Dan's family back several generations, back to Ohio. According to James Gilley's Grandson his family are all out of Tennessee and West Virginia... with no Ohio connection.

    Personally, I've never met another Gilley, so I imagine it's not a common name. It seems like a heck of a coincidence that there's a Gilley's Shoe Shop just 0.3 miles away from San Juan Motors and it isn't somehow connected ... Time will tell I guess.

    (Old San Juan Motors Site)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Gilley's Shoe Shop, 0.3 Miles away)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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    There seems to be a lot of Karol Miller fans on the Hamb. Pretty impressive numbers:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
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  13. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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  14. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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    And 1957... (Edit: 1958)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
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  15. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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    It's time to start moving on this car.

    So what do you do with a car like this? It's historic, but deteriorated.

    I'd love to say do a frame off restoration, but then you end up with a dumpster full of "historic racecar".

    Rust is job #1. I'm looking for the least invasive way to go after surface rust and then preserving what I can of vintage surfaces and textures.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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    If you strip everything you need to replace the paint with something or it's going to rust up again. Newly painted parts are going to stand out like a sore thumb. So I'm trying to not get down to bare metal if I don't need to. I'm relying pretty heavy on two methods of cleaning.

    1. SD-20 Degreaser. It's a very efficient, yet very mild degreaser that eats away at oils and grease, but isn't aggressive on vintage paint. The stuff is also not like regular degreasers which are super toxic and caustic. It also doesn't need to be washed with water when done, so it's super clean to work with. It also foams, which lifts stuff out of the crevices.

    2. EvapoRust. It's also a very mild chemical. It doesn't eat at rust, it converts rust. This means it is less brutal than other rust removers. You can theoretically save vintage painted surfaces even though they have some rust through. There is a balance here. It does soften and remove certain paints if you leave the part in a bath too long.

    Obviously, a powerful shop vacuum helps. Also, plenty of fresh 3M pads and microfiber towels which work great with the SD-20. Once you loosen dirt and grease, the foam lifts it up and a microfiber cloth absorbs it. It sounds expensive, but they work better and last longer than rags with the SD-20.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
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  17. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,598

    squirrel
    Member

    park it inside, as long as there isn't a lot of humidity in the building, it will last a long long time. You're inland far enough that you don't get that much humidity, right?

    Cars get rusty like this from sitting outside in nasty weather.
     
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  18. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yeah Jim. Dry and miserable ;).

    [​IMG]

    So for the body rust I've been rubbing it down with SD-20 and I've been able to get most of the surface rust under control. For the large spots I hooked up a fountain pump with Evaporust. After 24 hours, moving the hose around a few times it looks like this. I smeared a layer of wax on it until I figure out what I want to do next.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 40,598

    squirrel
    Member

    I guess you missed my point...it's rusted from sitting out. If you keep it inside, it won't rust any more.
     
  20. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,402

    Ebbsspeed
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    There is also a product called CLR which I've heard works pretty good. CLR.jpg
     
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  21. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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    I've stayed away from CLR because it needs to be thoroughly washed off (more acidic), but with results like that I might give it a shot... It might be ideal for the heavily rusted rear. I'll try it over the weekend. Thanks!
     
  22. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,402

    Ebbsspeed
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    Please note that the CLR picture is one I copied from the internet, and is does not represent personal experience. I have heard the stuff works pretty well though.
     
  23. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,541

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    A friend of mine did the CLR bit on his '60 Chevy wagon, then had the car cleared. Just to give you an idea of what it looks like...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,541

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

  25. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,541

    Gotgas
    Member
    from DFW USA

    Here is the first swipe with the stuff.

    [​IMG]
     
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  26. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
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    That's super impressive. The rear valance is severely rusted, so I'll try it on that. Nothing to lose.
     
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  27. Factory race cars do not get undercoated. Not even in the wheel wells..
     
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  28.  
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  29. Hyfire
    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,404

    Hyfire
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Great eyes Wayne! Vicki drove a Pontiac in '58, so this car is probably Shaw's 300D, huh?

    I know that Skeeter is in that photo, so one of the Pontiacs in the lineup must be Vicki's...
     
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  30. Yes, Could be Brewster's.
     
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