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Hot Rods Hot Rod Sports Cars

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ghornbostel, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 3,923

    1934coupe
    Member

    Here is the info I have found, I don't want to start a p#%ing contest this is just what I have heard. I lived in Syosset NY right next to Plainview and saw the Ford dealership. Supposedly they moved to an industrial park where I worked and had 273 in them then. Like I said it's what I read and heard so that's my disclaimer.

    The TVR Griffith Series 400 is a 2-door coupe sports car produced by Griffith Motor Company in Plainview, New York (a Ford Dealer in Plainview/Hicksville NY, Long Island), between 1964 and 1967. It was the successor to the TVR Griffith 200, featuring improved cooling via a larger radiator with twin electric fans, redesigned rear suspension, and a redesigned rear with better visibility and the round taillights sourced from the Ford Cortina Mark I.

    The standard engine in the 400 was the more powerful Ford 289 'HiPo' Windsor engine producing 271 hp that was available in the Series 200 as an option. The 400 weighed a few more pounds than the 200 due mostly to the new Salisbury independent differential with a higher gear ratio giving it a higher top speed.

    Grantura Ltd of England designed the independent suspension for the TVR automobiles which later became the Griffith 200 and 400. The Griffith 400 had then state-of-the-art unequal wishbone suspension on all four corners and the car weighed significantly less than its contemporary, the AC Cobra, making it a very potent racing car.

    As the Series 400 cars were being produced in early 1965, the entire east coast of the US was crippled by a prolonged dock strike. This not only caused a disruption in the supply of the series 400 bodies that were being shipped from TVR in Blackpool, UK, it also caused a delay in the shipment of the newer body design of the Series 600. Frank Reisner, whose Intermeccanica body works in Turin, Italy, was building the new steel bodied Griffith, was also unable to have the bodies shipped. Jack Griffith attempted to bring his car to the public by having these bodies airlifted across the Atlantic.

    With only 59 copies of the 400 and 10 600s off the assembly line at the Griffith factory in Plainview, Long Island, N.Y, USA, the company was dissolved.

    Pat
     
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  2. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,116

    loudbang
    Member


    That is what I read about them and the 273, maybe here on the Hamb I MAY have posted the story I found online but can't remember. :confused:
     
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  3. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 323

    Boodlum
    Member

    a Jack Griffith (as in TVR Griffith) story...
    After returning from Le Mans in June 1984 and sweating my balls off contracting to Lotus the next month for the Dallas Formula 1 race at Fair Park, I got introduced to Jack Griffith by Cyd Czekaj. Mr. Griffith was spectating but showed an interest in driving. He met Wayne Pickering who was lead driver for Davidson/Pegasus Racing for the Buick-powered and sponsored March at Le Mans in 1984.

    The friendship of Griffith and Pickering grew to include M.L. Speer (from Dallas) and Ken Marsden (from Atlanta) as the IMSA season wound down.

    Mr. Griffith expressed an interest about wanting to drive in a big professional race. So, in those days with money floating around Dallas like cottonwood on a breeze, it was decided Mr. Griffith should drive at Sebring the next February.

    Only problem was Mr. Griffith did not know how to drive a race car - he was a car dealer from Long Island New York.

    So a plan was hatched to get Mr. Griffith prepared for the Sebring race. Calls were made to Bob Bondurant in California. Bob Bondurant was known to us in Texas from his driving at Green Valley in the mid-1960's. Mr. Bondurant had a competition driving school at Laguna Seca CA and Mr. Griffith showed up for the first driving class of 1985.

    Sitting in the driver's first meeting with other student drivers and Mr. Bondurant's staff, introductions were made among the participants. When it came Mr. Griffith's turn to introduce himself and tell why he was there, Mr. Griffith calmly said he had no race driving experience and was entered to drive at Sebring the next weekend.

    You could have heard a pin drop...the entire room went silent and everyone turned to look at what kind of creature was in their midst.

    Anyway, Mr. Griffith finished the driving school, packed up and went to Florida for the Sebring race where a yellow Porsche 914 had been leased for him to drive.

    After successfully managing the race start and circulating about a dozen laps Mr. Griffith found a concrete wall to park the Porsche against and his race day was over.

    Great days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  4. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,050

    rooman
    Member

    Boodlum, you are correct about the heat at Dallas at the F1 race in 1984. I was there as a journalist and race day was so bad that I watched the majority of the race from the press room, sitting with Rob Walker (who was doing the GP reports for Road and Track magazine at the time.

    Roo
     
  5. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 323

    Boodlum
    Member

    Roo, it is said Goodyear recorded the highest ever track temperature at that race at 157degF.

    Lotus drivers were Nigel Mansell and Elio d'Angelis in Lotus 95T cars powered by Renault Gordini turbo V6 engines. As I had experience with turbo V6's at Le Mans (the March was powered by McLaren-prepared Buick turbo V6), Cyd Czekaj recommended me to Mr. Chapman to deal with engine thermal issues for Lotus. Mansell took pole and led most of the race until his gearbox overheated (not my area) and he was forced to push his car across the finish line. Lotus driver's suits were black in keeping with the John Player color scheme and that combined with 110 degF air temp and Texas July sun caused Mr. Mansell to pass out within yards of the finish line. Mr. Mansell revived and soldiered on pushing his car for a finish.

    Lotus pits were mere yards away from McLaren pits where Nikki Lauda and Alain Prost were drivers. Having worked with McLaren engine guys at Le Mans, I kick myself to think I did not avail the opportunity to at least meet them.

    Keke Rosberg won that day in a Williams/Honda that for me, notwithstanding John Surtees' Honda F1 victory in Mexico, was the realization of James Garner's 1965 movie "Grand Prix".

    ETA: I would have enjoyed meeting Rob Walker. Tremendous respect for the man.
    (lol as opposed to Alan Mann, but I'm an American and that's another story... )

    Nigel Mansell Lotus 95T/Renault at 1984 Dallas F1 GP
    [​IMG]
    Nigel Mansell heat exhaustion
    [​IMG]
    Elio d'Angelis, Keke Rosberg, Rene Arnoux (btw that's Linda Gray - Sue Ellen from TV series "Dallas" standing behind smiling and clapping - ask me how I know lol)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  6. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,116

    loudbang
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  7. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,116

    loudbang
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  8. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 3,923

    1934coupe
    Member

    It seems to be a Woodill Wildfire circa 1952. It is pretty early in racing with the square rollbar and is that a 64 Ford truck in background? B&W photo. LB I'm drawing a blank.

    Pat
     
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  9. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 323

    Boodlum
    Member

    I'm not a drag guy, but what years did NHRA(?) run Modified Sports Production classes?
     
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  10. j hansen
    Joined: Dec 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,569

    j hansen
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    from sweden

  11. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 3,923

    1934coupe
    Member

    Boodlum we ran M/SP from 1962 to about 1968 when it ended and became Gas or Altered. I don't know exactly when it started.

    Pat
     
  12. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 763

    SR100
    Member

    NHRA added modified sports classes for 1960. Haven't been able to find early regs for other sanctioning bodies.
     
  13. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,911

    jimdillon
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    Boodlum the NHRA designated modified sports classes starting in 1960 and ending at the conclusion of the 1967 season.
     
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  14. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 323

    Boodlum
    Member

    Sebring 1965 rain and finish at night. This year is known as The Flood.
    There are four other videos by the same Italian film makers, one shows Texan Delmo Johnson and his Grand Sport Corvette passing about twenty cars at the start.


    Video 2 of 5.
    Notes:
    At 1:47 & 2:02 the Ferrari 275P #33 loaned by Enzo Ferrari to Austin Texas based Kleiner Racing (KRT)
    At 2:05 Pedro Rodriguez, best ever driver in the rain. If you had to win in the rain, he was the man to do it.


    Video 3 of 5 - The Start
    At 0:20 and 0:50 Delmo Johnson in his Corvette Grand Sport passes about twenty cars to lead the first lap!
    "Cannon in the Lola" is John Cannon Driving John Mecom's Zerex Special Lola T70, a Houston Texas car
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
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  15. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,116

    loudbang
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  16. SEEKONK JIM
    Joined: Oct 22, 2017
    Posts: 106

    SEEKONK JIM

    the car shelby wanted to build..an austin healey with a chevy motor..
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,714

    Offset
    Member
    from Canada

    Had a 1960 Austin Healey 3000 with a 327/350 combination. The car was really a poorly built machine but it is one car I wish was parked in my garage. With the knowledge accumulated over the years it would have been nice to have another shot at doing it right.
     
  18. SEEKONK JIM
    Joined: Oct 22, 2017
    Posts: 106

    SEEKONK JIM

    to do it wright you have to start with a new tube frame the rest is easy...
     
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  19. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 323

    Boodlum
    Member

    At Shelby's Dallas dealership we put Chevrolet 283's in several cars, Austin-Healeys included.
    That's why Carroll Shelby's former accountant JRLee has a 1956 AH 100/4 BN2 Le Mans with a small-block Edelbrock 525 engine in his collection. Hard to make that engine cool with the small radiator. Hardest part to find was a factory Le Mans windshield.
    I wanted to try using BOP Buick/Oldsmobile 215 aluminum V8 engines but Shelby's Dallas operation was getting ready to close by then (taken over by Coker Automotive) and I was busy at Tom Johnson's shop building Warrior 1 and Vetta Ventura cars.
    Not JRLee's car - among many differences, his has front fender cooling vents in aluminum fenders like factory Le Mans cars.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Carroll Shelby sitting in a Maserati 450S in front of his Dallas dealership at 5611 Yale Boulevard (now SMU Blvd)
    [​IMG]
    Same building as it exists today. The single story "Twisted Root" burger joint surrounded by what is now the Shelby Building. Back then it was the Vaughn Building.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  20. SEEKONK JIM
    Joined: Oct 22, 2017
    Posts: 106

    SEEKONK JIM

    look at my video on u tube to see how i keep my 462 bbc cool....awesome healy...
     
  21. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,116

    loudbang
    Member

    posted by 40ragtopdown in the traditional photos thread

    sport 40ragtopdown.jpg
     
  22. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,116

    loudbang
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  23. quick85
    Joined: Feb 23, 2014
    Posts: 2,040

    quick85
    Member

    img20200502_10505866.jpg

     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  24. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 323

    Boodlum
    Member

    MERCURY GT40 MkII/III
    Mark Donohue standing - Car has long nose from GT40 MkIII and has a whiff of MkIV styling about it, especially in the rear.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    1967 Ford GT40 MkIII - the street version of the MkI/II race cars
    Saw a yellow one near Dallas in 1967 and was told it was from Neiman-Marcus
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  25. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,116

    loudbang
    Member

    Masterson's Batmobile

    sport2 masterson's batmobile.JPG
     
  26. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 3,923

    1934coupe
    Member

    LB looks like they built the car around the guy and it was a bad fit!

    Pat
     
  27. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,116

    loudbang
    Member


    Another tomorrow that shows how low the rollbar is. :eek:
     
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  28. HealeyRick
    Joined: May 5, 2009
    Posts: 558

    HealeyRick
    Member
    from Mass.

    According to John Morton's book,"Inside Shelby American: Wrenching and Racing with Carroll Shelby in the 1960s" the Healey played a part in the history of the 427 Cobra as well. According to Morton, Phil Remington gave Ted Sutton the job of installing the 427 into the Cobra because he was impressed with the job Sutton had done installing a small block Ford in his Austin-Healey. Sutton said the task of fitting the 427 into the Cobra was very similar to installing the 289 into the Healey.

    The Sutton Healey:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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  29. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,050

    rooman
    Member

    Boodlum,
    I have driven two of the seven MK III GT40's. The red one was originally dark green and apart from some butchery in the fuel tank department was stock except for a Mallory BDI distributor which I replaced with the original dual point unit. The white one had been retro fitted with 48 IDA's and was vintage raced by the owner (the red one was his as well).
    You may notice some interesting pieces hanging on the wall in the second photo.

    Roo
    001.jpg IMG_20181105_0043.jpg
     
  30. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 29,116

    loudbang
    Member

    Masterson and the Batmobile cut inside another American-built sports car, a Devin SS.

    Look how low the rollbar is.

    sport3 Masterson and the Batmobile cut inside a.JPG
     
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