The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by frank spittle, Mar 18, 2011.
Thanks, Jeff. I went back and read the story, very cool. I'm not sure how I missed it. Love the history.
no , spiderman , i'm not a smokey hater , but neither did "everyone" else love him . big bill and lee petty were 2 that did not like smokey . smokey was very outspoken , and there were a lot of folks he couldn't get along with , or conversely , couldn't get along with smokey .
of course i'd noticed that you're from north jersey , but hadn't realized we'd crossed paths before . do we know each other ? what's your name ?
By '72 there were some pretty good deals coming out of the front office. I remember a new '70 or '71 Torino rolling chassis, full front & rear suspension, roll cage, instrument panel/gages, etc... that Gerd sold for $3000.00 & a '71 Maverick drag car that sat on a full frame, it had a 5.13 Dana 60 that I built under it & a full modified front end with cage set up for a Boss 429. Car was being built for some guy named Lingenfelter (sp??) the best I remember & the deal went south. Gerd sold it for $2500.00. Lots of good deals on engines, parts, cars, etc.. if you just had any money to spend. Most of us were either too broke or just worked on the stuff soooo much that we didn't want to see any of it after we got out of there. We might have made some wrong decisions...... Rick
Funny (?!) how those '70-'71 price$ seem so cheap today but, as a "college kid" makin' $3.25/hr at the time (part time), it took a LOT of hours' work to buy things, then. Those prices were a year's tuition...
Lingenfelter "almost" in a Ford?! Wow.
John Lingenfelter drove the ex-Bob Glidden pro stock pinto for a while--sponsored by the "Decatur Daily Democrat" and others. I have pics of i but am unable to post them. . Syl
New guy here, at least to this forum..When I got out of the Marines in late 67, I came back home to Miami, and went to work for Holman Moody Marine..We built the ocean race and GN boat engines, and were the distributors for the marine engines in Fla. I was one of two race engine builders at the shop..I built 427's and 468's, supercharged, or with Webers, depending on what the customer wanted..I have lots of stories..I worked for them until 1970..Both Randy and Lee worked with us at one time or another, although Lee didn't stay down here too long.. for some reason I think he went to Palm Beach to work for Rybovitch Yachts. He was a little more down to earth than Randy was...Randy was here about a year. I was sent to Charlotte for some schooling on the TJ fuel injection, which we wanted to replace the Webers with. I got to work with the great Lee Terry, who is an induction genius. Jack Sullivan ran the shop in Charlotte then.. When I got there and walked in the hanger doors, they had a service writer type desk in the middle, and Cale was sweeping the floor..I hung around the engine shop with a builder named Tony..don't remember his last name now, but he had been a dynamite truck driver..He was building for Bobby Allison..Waddel Wilson and Robert Yates were in two of the five engine rooms..What an operation..The guys working there, in 3 eight hour shifts, 24 hours a day, were great fun to be around..There was so much to learn there, it was hard to soak it all up..They gave me a Falcon Sprint to drive, with TJ injection on it, and cord showing through all the tires..It rained the whole time I was there thank God..Lunch time and Lee Terry and the guys would take me to a Bar-B-Q restuarant..great food..
We were developing a 427 tunnel port with TJ on it..Did a lot of dyno work, and it pulled 100 more hp than a GN engine..I think 700 was the number..motor went to Dan Gurney to put in a Group seven car..that's another story..
Started this thread late and haven't read half of it yet, but I can comment on some of the early posts..post 44..The guy with the cigarette in his mouth is Lee Terry, genius..
post 56 on the TJ inj, I think they got that stuff around mid 60's, not the early 50's..
post 62..those are marine engines, 302's and 351's..
post 87 looks like the truck they gave us to haul boats with..I have many miles in it, and it was worn out when we got it.. It had a 390 four barrel engine, stick tranny, 5:12 rear..I lost a tranny bearing towing up Mount Eagle in Tennessee once, but it never quit..
gotta go for now..maybe more will come later.
I forgot something that will make everyone go weak all at once..The boss, Keith Hazell came out in the shop one afternoon and asked if anyone wanted to buy a SOHC engine, complete with headers, carb, starter and bell housing, clutch, ready to bolt in..They were on pallets and Ford said to get rid of them, for, are you ready? $1000.00 each..brand new..and I only made $132.50 a week with a new house and kid..needless to say, they went fast..
I worked at the Ford Engineering Dyno Lab when Bunkie Knudsen came to Ford and hired Smokey. The first thing Smokey did was sent us a Chevy 302 Trans Am engine which he claimed made 500 HP. Of course nobody took Smokey serious, or believed it could be done with a carbureted 302 engine. That is until Smokeys engine went on the Dyno and made over 500 HP. We tore it down and it was legal displacement, but contained engine building tricks, like fire slots in the pistons, small but efficient port sizing, piston ring, valve train and camshaft tricks that were years ahead of their time. He quickly and quietly made a believer out of all of us. In turn, he was given prototype Boss 302 and 351 engines, and his help was very valuable. His work on the Boss 351 heads became the first "Raised Port" heads I ever saw, and lead directly to the Jack Roush - Sid Batten 351 Pro Stock Heads.
Smokey then turned his attention to the Boss 429 Nascar engine, and was instrumental in developing the "Bathtub" tuned runner single 4V intake used in NASCAR replacing the original single plane uneven runner 4V intake. He was also involved in downsizing and raising the Boss 429 intake ports, which the public later saw in Boss 429 Drag Race applications.
Smokey was the most clever and innovative race engine builder I ever met, well ahead of his time who did not get credit for much of what he developed, as well as a very crafty and clever car builder and crew chief. Smokey wanted to win races, and took that challenge seriously. He was very good as well as very clever. He was also very unpretentious, who understood what he knew and also understood what others did not know. He did not suffer fools well. Personally, I liked and admired the man. Dave Lyall
He was one of the best - lot of others don't think so - He was a player
Smokey was one of my heros..We talked to him often at HM Marine..When the truck would come from Charlotte every week, it stopped by Smokey's first.And the first thing we did was go through it and see what Smokey was sending back to Ford..The all time best story was when his Chevelle was going through tech at Daytona..They gave him a list with something like 13 things he had to change..The last thing they did was drain the gas tank..Smokey said "They missed one", got in the car and drove it back to his shop..Clever man..
And don't think HM didn't cheat either..When they went to a displacement/weight formula around 69, a 396 engine could run in a lighter car..So the clever men at HM found you could fool the P&G displacement checker by drilling a metered hole through the lower exhaust manifold bolt hole to the combustion chamber..them drilling the end of the bolt about 3/4 of the way, and drilling another bleed hole in it..On the way to tech before or after a race, someone would loosen the lower bolts up a little, and just the right amount of air would show the 427 to be a 396..They were very good at this, since all bearings were measured installed with an air gauge. Plus the man, Lee Terry, would flow all the fuel lines and fittings in a system to make sure the right amount of fuel would be delivered..Air flow was his art..
Someone wanted to know what type of lathes they used..I don't remember the type, but I watched them make crankshafts for the Gurney engines and the GT40's..The mills were Bridgeports..They had a triple head with a tracer for heads..Mount 2 heads in it, and the tracer fingers would follow the combustion chambers of a sample and also port them out..Also did radius valve seats..no angles..Then turn them on the side for the next porting..
They only had one monster CNC machine..It did the intake manifolds for the tunnel ports..Over the counter engines had round pushrod guide tubes through the ports..Race heads had tubes that resembled a wing in them..One could go anywhere in the shop, but the Exhaust shop was OFF Limits...I think that is where the cars were built..It was off to the left of the main entrance..The offices were all glass fronts..Ralph and John were upstairs, Chuck Daigh's was downstairs..they could see everything..The middle was the parts and GT stores..I saw a lot of never before seen stuff..
I built a lot of Weber engines for Race Boats..all the intake manifolds were made for 58mm Webers, but most used 48's..A good friend of mine has a complete set of 58's like brand new (Original Italian Webers) on a manifold..He also has a complete TJ setup..They were used on the same manifolds..Lee Terry gave them to him..He has been offered 10G's for the Webers, but doesn't want to sell them..We ran his GN Mandella together..His next boat was a Howard SK boat with a KB Hemi 392..Our Shop Foreman built a SK boat, and they sent us a David Pearson 396 qualifying engine with a bundle of snakes GT40 exhaust..Wouldn't get on a plane easy, not much low end, but when it did, it never got beat..These were APBA closed course boats..
One quirk I remember at lunch time when the bell rang..everyone walked by the sonic cleaner tank, which had to be 5 feet off the floor, and dipped their hands in it to wash up for lunch..It was a ritual..
Engine building comes next..
Hi Dave Lyall, glad you found this thread. Look forward to some more Ford engineering stories. I bet you had ties with Holman & Moody during your Boss 429 Pro Stock years.
LilAbner ,thanks, one thing we have been missing here are HM Marine stories. There were plenty of HM powered boats on Lake Wiley and Lake Norman, two large lakes around Charlotte for those who are not familiar with the area, but so far not much has posted about them. I have seen many myself over the years. Some of the NASCAR stars had lake home even back in the '60s. A friend purchased 2 HM prepared 427 Hi-Risers a couple years ago that were from a delapadated boat. He had to change one from reverse rotation. I bet there was a good story that boat could tell. Not much has been mentioned about HM Marine but it was big business too during the glory years.
1964 H&M sbf intake I have
Dave Lyall is a FNG!!
Sometimes this site cracks my ass up !
Frank: Good to hear from you also. My Holman & Moody ties go back prior to 1958, when they were known as T-Bird Power Products. I raced and built Y-Block and FE engines for my then employer, and we bought parts through Jack Gray and his Holman & Moody connections. Holman & Moody were instrumental in the success of our (Jack Gray & Bob Ford Inc.) 1961 401HP super stock. (Picture attached) Undefeated after our H&M blueprinted engine and other H&M goodies were installed. Later, with my own Race Team, as all Ford-supported teams had a Holman & Moody charge number, (paid by Ford) I would call Jr. Martin every Monday and tell him what I needed that week. When the Holman Moody truck came to town each week, it would stop by my house and drop off my order. That included a body-in-white to build my '67 Fairlane. (After 1964, all my race cars were built from a body-in-white) That H&M connection continued as long as I raced in the big leagues. I called Holman & Moody a while back, and to my surprise Jr. Martin was still there. I knew John Holman, Ralph and most of the truck drivers. Dave Lyall
Let me just slip this in here - lilabner the reason I asked about the lathes - I was told
that there was some kind of super type secret metals Ford had for cutting tools - And
a person that did not talk much english came with said lathe? ( HEAR SAY! )
While I worked there, the most special metal products were the con rods..A pure work of art. The marine division had to use Ansen in the blower motors, and Carillo in the Weber motors. I think they came from Ford and not HM..They were called LeMans rods, but nothing like what was being sold as LeMans to the public, which was a C6 rod with a C4 cap, for $15.00...We finally got some of the real stuff after a few Ansen failures..We could only get rods that had been run 500 or more miles..We sold them for $125.00 each, used, 1969 dollars..the SPS bolts were $17.00 each, and were 7/16 I think..Had to stretch them to install..I don't think one ever broke in a car or boat..Leroy Y. broke a piston once and the rod came through the block..When they drove the car on the trailer, the rod was slamming through a hole in the block, bearing intact, not even appearing bent..
I'm sure they had some trick cutters to make those cranks out of a solid billet, but everything there was trick, thanks to Ford..
dave your credentials are beyond reproch. the fng referance refers to your number of post on this site. as your post number goes up your status will change.
Believe me Mr Lyle that no one on this thread would question your credentials. We are glad you are here and would love to hear anything you have to say. Any serious Ford Racing discussion would have to include your name! It's just that the "freekin new guy" that we all get hit with at first on here hardly seems to fit a few of the legends like you. Glad you are here. Tom.
This is what I absolutely love about the internet and HAMB.
Everyone is equal. One IP address, one story.
For the first time in my life I am able to actually exchange conversation and be on the same level as those with the highest notoriety. Exhilarating for some, humbling for others.
Everybody has a story, some famous and some never heard of, but just as entertaining none the less once they are able to be told.
Tom S. in Tn.
They told me FNG stood fo French Noodle Guru.
Well said Tom- I'm just quietly watching this thread unfold and I'm having a blast filling in the blanks of what was my fascination with Fords racing efforts all thru the 60's. I'm REALLY enjoying this "ring side seat". I'm hoping Rick will chime in soon too, as he has some fantastic stories about Fords R&D program to win at Lemans and eat Ferrari's lunch, and also some pretty neat stories about some famous drag racers that ran SOHC engines.
Bump to the top.
Most awesome thread anywhere!
I only have one H&M part (just a .610 lift solid cam for a 385 engine) left and no stories so I don't have anything to add here.
Just riding along and enjoying!
My stories would center around the inability to keep a Thunderbolt in competition after FMC decided to market share using a few of their own, and divorce from the people who actually consumed their products.
A Thunderbolt, not unlike BB Camaro or a Hemi Dart, were initially obtainable by regular folk, but unmaintainable when FE high riser and tunnel ports were obsoleted and all parts roads led to one source.
Pay no attention to the lad in the picture, but just know by this point in 1971, there was no longer a Fomoco brand engine in this actively competed car.
BLASPHEMY!!!!!!!!!! Stone him!!!!
About the Chevrolet-powered T-Bolt: All auto company's customers were equal, just some were more equal than others. Not all Fords ran like Phil Bonner's, just like not all Chevrolets ran like Bill Jenkins. And not all Mopar’s ran like Ronnie Sox. I have sold engines, cars and parts that I had just won regional and national meets with, to people with less chassis and engine tuning experience, less willing to work hard, and they ran so much slower they accused me of not selling "the good stuff", when they sometimes saw me remove it from my car and sell it, including turn-key cars. If Chevrolet had to rely on inexperienced tuners and drivers to represent the brand at major events, they would have been embarrassed, as would Ford and Chrysler. Bill Jenkins, Ronnie Sox, Don Nicholson each received parts from GM, Chrysler and Ford not generally available to the public at the time they received them. But, if you demonstrated you had acquired the skills and desire required, the special parts were available, regardless of Brand.
Just as the Green Bay Packers would not fill their line-up with kids right out of high school, Ford, GM and Chrysler wanted proven players to spend their money on.
The story about Chevrolet having better parts for the little guy is an old urban myth, which I proved to be false for over 50 years. I never raced anything but Fords, and I won races with flatheads, Y-Blocks, FE engines & SOHCs, 351's 429 wedges and Boss 429's. Racing, like every other sport is about how bad you want it and how hard you are willing to work for it. If you want it (winning) bad enough, you will acquire the skills, acquire the knowledge, you will find the parts, and you will work and sacrifice until you realize your dreams. The brand of car or engine is secondary.
Classic examples are Bob Glidden, Ronnie Sox, and Don Nicholson each won national events with Fords, Plymouths, Chevrolets, and back to Ford again when it suited their purposes. (Nicholson and Mopar not withstanding) Dave Lyall
Fundamentally you are correct sir. A small candle when lit in total darkness makes a huge difference in ones ability to see. No one - in auto racing has made it with no light - no one.
chevrolet wins again in atlanta , ga ....
hey spiderman -
why haven't you answered my question ? what's your name ?
Separate names with a comma.