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Jan's Elto Midget

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by carl s, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. carl s
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 741

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

    http://www.trackforum.com/forums/sh...(Western-Racing-Association-vintage-race-cars)

    One of a kind is how they were made.
    And Jan drives the hell out of it all over the West Coast.

    [​IMG]
    The Bob's Big Boy Special is a mid-thirties home built midget. The cowl and tail are steel with a rail frame most likely from a Chevrolet. Front and rear axles are 1923 Model T Ford narrowed to a 44" tread width. It has hand mechanical brakes that are a Model T Ford parking type of brake. The steering is from a 1929 Franklin and it has Hartford friction type shocks. The wheels are made by using a 1927 Ford brake drum welded to the center of a 12 inch rim. A period honeycomb radiator cools the Elto 4-60 engine which is a 4 cylinder opposed outboard boat motor built by Evinrude in the 1930's. The engine is 2-cycle 60 cubic inch 60 horsepower which uses methanol and castor oil. This engine stands with the crankshaft vertical and the power makes a 90 degree turn in the in-and-out box and continues on to the rear axle. Final ratio is a non-adjustable 5.71. The car weight is 790 pounds. Originally, the car was from San Diego and it ran at Balboa Stadium. At one time it was sponsored by Western Auto, Perris, CA. Little else is known about the car. To my knowledge this Elto Midget is the only one running in vintage events in the U.S. It is a museum piece.
    Jan Plischke, Owner
     
  2. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,291

    The37Kid
    Member

    I've always wanted to know why the ELTO had such a large exhaust, nerver seen a photo of the engine with out the header. Nice looking car, thanks for the post.
     
  3. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 7,827

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Evinrude/Elto would sell you a engine configured for a midget or even a complete midget back then. Appears they even offered a dohc 4 stroke, never seen one though.
     

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  4. Bluto
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,114

    Bluto
    Member Emeritus

    People forget just how important Midget Racing was often they had bigger purses that Sprint cars ... Spectators love the little cars and owners poured heavy money and time on their little cars

    I'd buy a good one if I could find one and let Mrs B use it in addition to her Miller

    Was it Rodger Ward that did very well road racing in So Cal

    OH ..... Memory fades you know.....
     
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  5. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 7,827

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    RW won the Lime Rock Formula Libre race in 1959 with a midget. Lime Rock, being a tighter lower speed track was better suited to a midget. Earlier in 59 he raced the Leader Card midget at the first U.S. Grand Prix at Sebring but was pretty much outclassed on the high speed track. Ended up dropping out with a blown clutch.
     
  6. Beef Stew
    Joined: Oct 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,253

    Beef Stew
    Member
    from So Cal

    Jan is my father-in-law and yes, he definitely drives the hell out of his Elto. Here's a vid my wife, his daughter, took of him making a few laps at the Orange Show in San Bernardino.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caIV8xhXOWw

    It'd be great if someone could embed that for me since I can't figure out how. :confused:</EMBED></EMBED>
     
  7. Bluto
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,114

    Bluto
    Member Emeritus

    The video is great but I am reminded that when a driver lifts for a corner the bottom end lube is restricted. When you stand on it again there is often a lot of oil and result in a lot of smoke.

    The Saab racers used to keep the throttle open and left foot brake racing
    On street cars the driver had an option of free-wheeling to overcome this problem in normal use
     
  8. michaels
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 12

    michaels
    Member

    Nice Elto midget. My brother has one also, but has not run it. I am also a collector of antique outboards and was told that Evinrude sold more 460's for midget racing than for hydroplane racing. The giant exaust was the technology of the day. These are 2 stroke motors and they thought no back pressure was good. Today the outboard racers know better and use adjustable tuned pipes. But those old open pipes sure look cool. I wonder how one of these Elto's would do in a streetable midget hot rod?
     
  9. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,475

    aircap
    Member

    Classic stuff - looks like fun!
     
  10. TommyA19
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 240

    TommyA19
    Member

    From above:
    "
    RW won the Lime Rock Formula Libre race in 1959 with a midget. Lime Rock, being a tighter lower speed track was better suited to a midget. Earlier in 59 he raced the Leader Card midget at the first U.S. Grand Prix at Sebring but was pretty much outclassed on the high speed track. Ended up dropping out with a blown clutch."

    Actually, that race was in December of 59 - after Lime Rock.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959_United_States_Grand_Prix

    In part:
    "The field featured works Coopers for Brabham and 22-year-old Bruce McLaren of New Zealand; blue Rob Walker-entered Coopers for Moss and Frenchman Maurice Trintignant; four Ferraris&#8212;three in Italian red for Englishmen Brooks and Cliff Allison, and German Wolfgang von Trips; one in American white and blue for Phil Hill; front-engined Lotuses for Innes Ireland and Alan Stacey; and, incomprehensibly for the European road-racing elite, the number 1 Kurtis-Offy Midget of USAC National Champion Rodger Ward, the only American-built and American-driven entry.
    Ward's car had an underpowered engine (1.7 liters to 2.5 for the F1 cars), separate gear-change levers for the two-speed gearbox and two-speed rear end, and an outboard handbrake! Ward explained how his participation in the race came about by saying, "Ullman called me up and invited me to race in the Grand Prix. He offered me some money, and I was in the habit of accepting money, so I told him I'd bring the midget."

    <!-- / message -->
     
  11. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,882

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    In the History of Schwinn bikes Ronny Householder, mentioned in the catalog, is shown in his midget that ran windbreaker for a Schwinn 108 MPH record run. He went on to be a Chrysler engineer during the Ramcharger team days.
    67 HP out of 60 inches before WWII is impressive !
     
  12. TommyA19
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 240

    TommyA19
    Member

    Johnny Ritter won the track championship at Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, NJ in 1946 with his Outboard midget. He had 6 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds in feature races
     
  13. gtxrider
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 74

    gtxrider
    Member

    Johnny Ritter also did well on the boards in Nutley in the little yellow #23, 5 wins in a row! Those 2 cycles needed to stay rev'd up as to not foul the plugs.
     
  14. dan ostwick
    Joined: Feb 11, 2010
    Posts: 10

    dan ostwick
    Member

    My dad, Eddie Ostwick, won the Michigan championship in 1939 with an ELTO owned by Dick Harroun, son of Ray.

    Dan
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
  15. Ken Hillberg runs an Elto with the WRA here in Ca. Runs pretty good once the mixture is set right.
     
  16. dan griffin
    Joined: Dec 25, 2009
    Posts: 432

    dan griffin
    Member

    The old 2 strokes were fast if they could as they say [stay up on the cam] the 4 stroke cars would drag there feet lining up for the green flag hoping the 2 strokes would foul a plug.
     
  17. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,679

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    I have been in the same heat several times with the 13 car when they bunched the roadsters with the midgets because of low car count. It sure smells neat when you come up behind him what with the castor oil.

    And speaking of Roger Ward, we raced against the Leader Card midget on December 27,1958 at Saugus with our Ford powered 22 car. We had fast time, won the dash, the fast heat, was leading the main and picked up a sheet metal screw in the right front tire. Our driver quipped later, "we were screwed out of a clean sweep".
    This pic was taken a week after we got home.
     

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  18. Good looking Kurtis. Love the original windshield.
     
  19. memaerobilia
    Joined: Mar 24, 2004
    Posts: 191

    memaerobilia
    Member

    That's a beautiful Elto.
    The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum in Fairbanks, Alaska, has several of our vintage flat-tail midget race cars. They have put up some You-tube videos of the fun they had, running our beautiful Elto outboard. Lots of laughing and BIG ear-to-ear smiles!

    I have one Last (favorite) Elto. I was saving for my younger son, but he is always on the move with his job, and can't take it.
    So it needs a new home. ASAP, as we are moving to a smaller home.
    See the classifeds.
     

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  20. dan ostwick
    Joined: Feb 11, 2010
    Posts: 10

    dan ostwick
    Member

    This is Eddie Ostwick's ELTO. B&W pic is 1941. Left to right Clarence Trout, Dick Harroun, Eddie Ostwick. they are installing an experimental engine in the midget. The engine is an 8 cyl opposed. It was designed and built by Ray Harroun. The color pic is after being restored, with an ELTO, by Les Deline. The other pic is me sitting in my Dad's car in the Richard Erickson museum in Utah last October. A proud moment for me.

    Dan
     

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  21. 1turbobrick
    Joined: Sep 10, 2011
    Posts: 62

    1turbobrick
    Member

    There is an Elto coming home shortly. It's called the Frederick Special. I've done a bunch of searching and can't find any information on it. Does anyone know anything about the Frederick Special?
     
  22. Beef Stew
    Joined: Oct 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,253

    Beef Stew
    Member
    from So Cal

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